Penguin sensory box: styrofoam Ice & waterbeads.

Styrofoam Ice & Blue water beads with penguins.

Using Broken pieces of Styrofoam box as ice capsules for the penguins to sit on & bright blue water beads as the water Dimples played in the penguin sensory box for hours.

Like as if it were in water the Styrofoam didn't sink in the water beads. It was a fun experiment and we talked about where the penguins lived and how they lived on ice capsules and were able to escape from predators who live in the water like killer whales and lion seals by jumping up onto the floating ice.  Happy feet the kids movie came into our conversation a few times because the penguins are off this movie and Dimples adores the movie.

If you push the Styrofoam down under the water beads it slowly floats back up to the top. So Dimples experimented by putting the little penguin figurines on it and seeing if they could balance and stay on there as they floated on an angle up to the top, & popped back to the surface (just like ice does) they did stay on it most of the time.   He tried covering the Styrofoam with water beads but they just rolled off. The penguins had a good swim around diving under and over the rock and ice.

Eventually he broke the Styrofoam up into small pieces for each of the penguins but they still wouldn't sink or stay under the "water".  I also put in some foam packing that you get in delivery boxes and the water beads made it do strange things. this was something interesting for Dimples as well, the pieces stuck together and got some what sticky so through play they ended up slightly touching each other and eventually clumped together.

Dimples loves water beads, he never gets bored of them.

Number Hunt to Marbling Activity

Number Hunt Trail to a fun Marbling Experiment.

I started Dimples on a Number Hunt. He put on his hat & grabbed his bucket at the first arrow.
Yesterday while searching the bargain shops I came across a stick it note pad shaped as an arrow.
I started with 1 with a picture of a camera, so we grabbed One camera.
the follow was an arrow with the number 2 and a dinosaur on it, Dimples followed the direction of the arrow and came across 2 dinosaurs. He put them in his bucket.
then there was an arrow with the number 3 & a pictures of a car, he followed the arrow to 3 cars and put them in his bucket. Then there was a 4 with a stick looking thing on it :-? It was a pipe cleaner, so he followed it and found 4 pipe cleaners.

The trail led him outside where I had set up an experimental Marbling Activity, like the one we done previously experimental-marbling.
Next, an Arrow with 5 lizards leading to 5 toy lizards, 6 was knives and forks, which lead to a trail of plastic cutlery. Last was 7 with a picture of a marble which went to 7 marbles just under the table that was set up.

All the things in Dimples bucket were to be used as tools in the shaving cream tub.  I set out a tray filled with shaving cream, the paint/ink, glitter, a brush, a bucket of water (to wash excess cream off and for Dimples hands) and some paper.

First he sprinkled the glitter on and i sprinkled the ink, then he picked out some dinosaurs and lizards to trudge through the mass of cream, glitter and paint. then they walked across the paper.  The idea wasn't to put prints on the paper, this was just part of Dimples process- what he wanted to do.
The main idea was to mix around the colours before putting the paper face down in the tray to absorb the swirled ink. Just like we did in our experimental marbling.

It got messy very quickly, that's how we like it (& that's why we do a lot of our activities outdoors)
Next he used the cars to make a donuts/burn out rings. I sprinkled some more colours in it and Dimples made the cars make circular tracks.  Then the paper went face down and pressed down, then i scrapped the excess cream off the top of the paper with a card & what was left was a cool swirled pattern of ink.

Dimples tried out the forks and lightly manoeuvred them through the ink, then a rolling pin, a brush, then his fingers. Dinosaurs and cars were his favourite!

The best results came from having a dull base colour (mix one colour through all the shaving cream and smooth it all. Then using bright colours to sprinkle over the top. The mix these around a bit, but not too match that they blend. When you put your paper down, smooth it out from top down first to bottom so you have no air pockets that will leave big blank spots!
Then let it sit on it face up for a little while, less than a minute & scrape it off with cardboard of a plastic spatula or take away container lid.

with a pink background


with a grey background

The Pirate Room

The Pirate Bedroom for Dimples has been a work in progress since he was a baby.

The Mural taking the longest part to finish, and it is still not complete. It is very flat with some unfinished fish and objects on it. I did it for a few months solid as his room got renovated.
It has some nice sea creatures under the sea : octopus, eel, crab. leather jacket, blue tang, anenomie, clown fish, jelly fish, lion fish, turtle, clam, star fish, angel fish and more. My favourites are the school of bright yellow fish.
On top there is a pirate boat with a mermaid sculpture on the front, silly me only realised yesterday i haven't even got an anchor on it so there is yet, more work to be done. Ill get there (probably by the time he is a teen & is well and truly over pirates)!  It still needs details to make the sails look life like and some stuff on deck. As I said its flat and hasn't had an surfacing done yet.
Then there is a boy in a boat with a parrot, a light house on an Island, a hot air balloon and a single propeller plane pulling a sail.

The treasure box is complete with 3D jewels that have been super glued to the wall. It is full of treasures including a chalice, a sword, a plate, rubies and emeralds, a pearl necklace and coins.

On the opposite side is his very special Pirate boat bed that I found from KIDZ-KAVE-Bedroom-Furniture. He has a matching Wall Anchor that I love above it, courtesy of kidskave as well. His boat was a design I drew up and kidskave mastered and built. It has a built in shelf on the bed head for his soft toys and 3D waves along the bottom of it. It was designed as a toddler bed with a built in side. On the end of it is another anchor and on the side is a life buoy with his name.
I found a red paper light shade, a red touch lamp, and a funky red bookshelf to add. On the shelf is a photo of Dimples as a pirate. A skull ornament, a pelican statue and a lighthouse.

 The most recent edition is a boat shaped shelf that goes in the corner, it holds some more pirate/ocean theme play things that dimples has. Over his 3 years he has slowly got lots of ocean and pirate themed things and they all live in his room.
His favourite would be the little people pirate boat that he got on his second Christmas.
On the floor there is a funky circular shaggy mat, its shiny and matches the theme well. I got this from Ulladulla-Floorworld & it has been a good play mat to represent the ocean when dimples plays with his boat and ocean toys.

There is lots to finish, lots of things are half done. Like the curtains that i cut off, I need to hem them up (my sewing machine is out of order at the moment) & use the rest of the material to make matching cushions.  Lots of things to finish on the mural as well but its getting there and is looking pretty awesome so far.

Mud is good for you, right?

Playing in the Mud: Our Mud Pies.

In Australia at the moment we have had a record amount of rain, with no break from the wet for over a week we have been doing lots of things inside and I was slowly running out of ideas and motivation as inside play for so long can become very mentally draining.
I promised Dimples that when the rain stopped we could play in the mud and make mud pies.
When the rain stopped for a short while over the weekend we were straight out there.

I gave dimples a couple of old containers and some digging tools. I put a heap of mud into a container next to his play surface and he got busy making me some mud pies, he put grass sprinkles on top with a few stones. mixed it all up and splatted it around until he found a worm to play with, then he let it go free.
Enough with the tools, he went hands first squishing it in his hands, squeezing it through his closed fist, splatting it into the bowl, tipping it out, mixing it with more water, playing with worms, and burying his hand under the mud. If he found any dirt chunks he made sure they were smoothed right out. It was a lot of fun!
By the end of it he was stomping and jumping in the mud puddle.
To tell you the truth I don't know why we haven't done this before, it was too easy to throw his clothes straight in to the laundry tub for a wash and take him in for a quick warm bath before the rains hit again.

Did you know that playing in the dirt & mud is good for kids.
I think with the modern day plastic toys, cool kids movies and all the stress about cleanliness mothers forget that the most simplest fun can be had with some tools and a bit of dirt.
If you give your child some old pots and plates, cooking utensils and tools with a bucket of wet dirt then let them go without stressing over how dirty their clothes will get or if they will rub mud in their hair you will find quite possibly that they will have fun for hours.

I recently read an article about the benefits of playing in the dirt, a-dirty-kid-is-a-happy-kid and I must admit I was surprised about how good it actually is. I knew it was great for sensory and tactile abilities but did you know that the (good) living bacteria in dirt can help improve mood, has been linked to higher iq's and boosts a child's immune system.  So now you have an excuse to let your kids get dirty and play in the mud!

Another thing that I must point out, that i personally think is very important is that this dirty messy fun play builds a stronger bond with nature and the outdoors which is very important in raising the next generation. With all the technology, on line activities, video games, cool kids movies and a million reasons to sit in front of a screen for most of the day parents need to be reminded of how beneficial outdoor play is in the long run, it can influence the health and well being of a little person by reinforcing that being active and outdoors is alot of fun and is really enjoyable.
If you have a chance check out the article above, a dirty kid is a happy kid and this one, let-your-kids-get-dirty. and the mud center for info on the benefits of playing in dirt and some mud ideas.


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