Fairy Dust Playdough Set

We are all familiar with how play dough has captivated children of all ages! They are fabulous for fun and learning! Here are 5 ways how it helps your child to develop!

1. Fine motor skills

Play dough is ideal for building the tiny motor skills through your child manipulating the malleable material by rolling, pressing, pinching, chopping, shredding and much more!

Poking in objects into the play dough requires focus and coordination.

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2. Develops creativity and imagination

Play dough provides endless possibilities for imaginative play and can represent anything in the mind of a child!

3. Great for building Cognitive skills!

Using play dough with letter shapes us great for letter recognition, and inserting small objects like buttons into play dough can be used for counting! Children can use the play dough to compare sizes, length and thickness. They can roll little balls and learn one to one correspondence, and even addition. They can also sort the balls by colour! iThe choices for learning are limitless!

4. Making Play dough- Great for Science concepts!

When you make play dough with your child, your child gets to be amazed by the process of mixing different ingredients into something gooey, and sticky! They learn to use their senses to learn about texture, and see the process of transformation of different materials!

5. Great for Language Development

Pretend play with play dough contributes greatly to your child’s language play. Interacting with play dough, your child taps on her imagination and comes up with play scripts, where she conceives ideas for a social scenario, and uses her vocabulary and functional language to verbalise and ‘act out’ her ideas. She engages herself in social dialogues and learn to think of solutions to problem-solve.

Our Fairy Dust Play Dough Setup

My little darling has been preoccupied with the theme of fairies in the woods, their magical journeys and fantasies of adventure and wonder.

To encourage creativity, I like to use open-ended materials for her to tap on her imagination and encourage originality.

This thematic fairy-dust playdoh set is easy to set up! And is perfect for a whole afternoon of make-believe and pretend play!

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Presenting the materials on a tray is like an invitation to play! which no child can resist!

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My little one immediately was captivated by the myriad of materials, and started coming up with her ideas as to how to use the materials. As she picks out the different materials, she used adjectives to describe the twigs and the paper flowers. She also started coming up with incredulous ideas about how a fairy has wings, and was  playing in the Pixie Garden. To make the fairy, she had to first used her palm to roll the play dough, and then estimate how to make a big and smaller ball. To join the parts together, I suggested to her using a sharp long object, and she immediately picked out the twig. To create the wings, she selected the angel wing embellishment and pressed it hard to make it stay. Using the eyes and twigs as hands, she completed the look of her little make-believe fairy!

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Next, to create the setting for the main character, she decided to make a garden! She stayed on task for a prolonged period of time trying to actualise her ideas for the garden! She flattened the dough to create grass and ground for the fairy to stand on. Then she inserted flowers and twigs to make it natural looking. She also added in little garden creatures like butterflies and worms. This was a great opportunity for me to use thematic vocabulary like different garden animals! To complete the garden look, she started referring to Tinklebelle story about pixie dust. She then sprinkled some glitter into the play dough and the wonder happened!

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Look at her little Fairy Garden with her Fairy! I love how this process of  creating art and actualising her ideas!

The process of creation far supersedes the finished product!

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Tantalizing Tartlets! A Simple Baking Experience!

Making Tartlets

I saw these lovely tartlet shells at Cold Storage, and I thought this is a sure winner for busy moms like me who have always wanted to bake with my little girl, but simply have no time to make everything from scratch!

For simple baking and decorating, you simply need:

1. Tartlet shells

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2. Nutella! ( or heat up chocolate chip drops in the pan)

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3. Decorating ingredients like sprinkles, pearl drops and anything pretty! (just visit any baking supplies shop!)

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Using a spoon to scoop up the Nutella, and carefully pouring it to fill the void in the tartlets, my little preschooler was honing her fine motor skills of scooping and transferring. Not wanting the chocolate filling to spill over, she had to practice using her concentration skills. Using a spoon also helps her to estimate the quantity needed to nicely fill up the tartlet with just enough Nutella. Her first couple of attempts had her scooping up too much Nutella, and over-spilling it. So I took delight in watching her realise for herself that a smaller quantity is needed.

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Decorating the Tartlets

Next comes her favourite part! Decorating the tartlets with pretty attractive toppings! We are spoilt for choices as we just received a gift pack of nice dainty toppings collection from a friend !

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My little preschooler pinched up small toppings, that are so inviting for a lick! Practising her pincer grip, she selected her own combination of different coloured toppings and sprinkled them delightfully on the tartlets. It was simply a feast for the eyes, even without tasting them!

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Put these lovely, nicely decorated tartlets in the oven for a mere ten minutes, and they instantly become a delectable, pretty snack for you and your little wannabe pastry chef!!

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10 Frozen Fun Activities!

 10 Frozen Fun Activities!

The insane popularity of this Disney movie has gotten kids singing the theme songs in the malls, classrooms and kids’ playdates.

Tapping on my little girl’s interest in the movie hit Frozen, I have decided to capitalise on that to come up with 10 different sensorial and learning activities!

1. Pretend Play

My 3 year old has been so captivated by the characters in Frozen movie, that she does all kinds of pretend play with her princess dolls.

I enjoy watching and being amused by the play scripts my girl comes up with whenever she is engaged in pretend, dramatic play. The latest being the conversations and songs between the Frozen sister, Elsa and Anna

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2. Making a Snowflake!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/snowflake-ornament/

Tying in with the Frozen Movie craze, my gal has been fascinated with the idea of snow despite our hot humid weather all year round.

I thought why not let her experience deeper with the concept of snow by making a snowflake ornament, with the colour theme blue, so as to add to her Frozen props for role-play!

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 3. Frozen Ice!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/frozen-fun/

I thought to make the play scene more elaborate and sensorial, why not create some frozen fun for her with some ice blocks and ice cubes?

To make the ice blocks, simply recycle your plastic containers, add some blue food colouring and freeze it overnight! And you are ready to enact the play scene!

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4. Frozen Snow Globe!

https://playhood.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/frozen-snow-globe/

One of my favourite activities is to come up with a snow globe, based on the theme of snow and winter throughout.

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether s it winter or not for your season.

These globes allow your child to create a wintry scene straight out of their own imagination.

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5. Storytelling with the books!

Nothing like retelling this heartwarming plot through the use of books! Allow your child to experience the depth of the characters and seeing the story come alive through the use of beautiful illustrations!

6. Olaf Marshmallow!

Kids will love this food making activity! Just get marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins and some orange icing and they are ready to make the adorable snowman that is also edible!

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7. Olaf Sushi!

Thanks to my sister-in-law who ingeniously created this incredible Olaf Sushi! This is too cute to be eaten, but my girl gobbled it all up in no time!

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8. Stickers

Why not add some magnetic tape on the Frozen character stickers and create props for the children to enact scenes from the story on magnetic whiteboards?

9. Making an Olaf Snowman!

You can create a Olaf tray where the child has to assemble the different Olaf snowman body parts together!

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10. Colouring & Drawing

For some quiet seat work, colouring is great for them to focus and fill the pages of their favourite characters with colour! Drawing the characters out also stretches their imagination and builds their attention to details. We were at a play date when the kids started drawing the characters on white sheets and even on paper plates!

For colouring pages, just google Frozen Colouring Pages

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Have an icy blast with the kids with these activities! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Frozen Snow Globe!

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Tapping on my little girl’s interest in the movie hit Frozen, I have decided to capitalise on that to come up with different sensorial and learning activities based on that.

One of my favourite activities is to come up with a snow globe, based on the theme of snow and winter throughout.

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether s it winter or not for your season.

These globes allow your child to create a wintry scene straight out of their own imagination.

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To make the snow globe, you simply need:

1. Recycled glass jars

2. Figurines of the characters/ stickers

3. Glitter, sequins, little buttons

4. Distilled water

5. Glycerin (optional)

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Step one:

Recycle your jars from the baby food, jam jars, or buy a cheap one from Daiso.

Simply choose your favourite figurines and glue them on the jar lids securely.

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Step Two:

Add the distilled water and a little glycerin to prevent the flakes from falling too quickly.

Then add the shimmer glitter, sequins or white ‘snow’ to create the snowy effect.

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Step three:

Secure the lid tightly and close the jar. Turn it upside down repeatedly and let it snow!

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Frozen Fun!

My 3 year old has been so captivated by the characters in Frozen movie, that she does all kinds of pretend play with her princess dolls.

The insane popularity of this Disney movie has gotten kids singing the theme songs in the malls, classrooms and kids’ playdates.

I enjoy watching and being amused by the play scripts my girl comes up with whenever she is engaged in pretend, dramatic play. The latest being the conversations and songs between the Frozen sister, Elsa and Anna.

I thought to make the play scene more elaborate and sensorial, why not create some frozen fun for her with some ice blocks and ice cubes?

To make the ice blocks, simply recycle your plastic containers, add some blue food colouring and freeze it overnight! And you are ready to enact the play scene!

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My girl was super thrilled to experience the Frozen fun! It is extremely sensorial and tactile as she holds the cold cubes in her hands! The huge ice blocks are also great for building ‘ice-palace’  for princesses and ‘resting places” for the animals. In watching the ice melt away gradually, she is also picking up the science concepts of ‘melting’, ‘freezing’  and ‘condensation’.

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Importance of Pretend Play

The musical Frozen also comes alive when she enacts the scenes from the movie with her princess dolls. Pretend play is great for language development, and enhances their social skills for friendship and conflict resolution. I love how the conversations between the Frozen sisters evolved into one that resolves around kindness and kinship! She also used new vocabulary that expresses emotions, appearance, apparel and values. Through pretend play, I also got to catch a glimpse into her own thoughts and perceptions of relationships, dreams and even fears. She was scared of the ice monster, and told she sees it in her room sometimes. That actually explained why she refuses to sleep alone in her room! She also said that a princess treats people with kindness, which is a message I have been reinforcing to her when we talk about being a princess.

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Why not try this out at home? It’s free and completely fun for your little one! 🙂

 

 

 

Sensory Bin with Picture book characters & Props

Goldilocks and The Three Bears- Book-based Activities

This is our second week into book-based activities on Goldilocks And The Three Bears. By this time, my girl is so familiar with the story plot that she can narrate the sequence of events with her own words, and I thought it will be an appropriate time to introduce a sensory bin with some props and handmade characters for her to immerse herself in role-play and imaginative play!

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Benefits of Pretend Play!

There are so many benefits to your child doing pretend play! It facilitates:

  1. Imaginative thinking and discovery
  2. Abstract thinking and problem-solving
  3. Application of Life Skills
  4. Social Skills development
  5. Learning “Theory of mind” where they do perspective-taking
  6. Confidence in communicating their ideas and thought ( through story-sequencing & narrative script and use of new words acquired

There are many types of pretend play like dress up, imitation of adults and adult life, acting out stories, role-play or using materials to create play.

Her Pretend Play!

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She was smiling with a look of surprise on her face when she approached the sensory bin. She was elated to meet the characters which I made from paper-cut outs and toilet paper rolls. She immediately started naming the characters- Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear and Goldilocks. as she explored the sensory bin, she also noticed I poured some rice and beans for her to interact with. Since the bears loved porridge in the story, she took on the role of Mama Bear and started cooking porridge for the bears. She particularly was engrossed with pouring and transferring rice into each bowl using the scoop. This is one good example of using fine motor skills in the process of pretend play.

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After cooking, she decided that she must set the table for the bears. She arranged the bowls and assigned each bowl to each bear according to sizes. She also allocated one spoon to one bowl which allows her to apply the Math skill of one-to-one correspondence. She also used adjectives like “biggest” and “smallest bowl to describe the size of the object. She re-enacted the whole scene in the book where the bears tried the porridge and exclaimed ,” It is too hot!” “It is too cold!”. This kind of re-telling using her script narration hones her language skills of story sequencing and sentence construction. 

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With the episode of Goldilocks trying out the chairs, she cleverly places the character Goldilocks over the prop, and was amazed that it fitted perfectly! She then positioned Baby Bear over the chair with the soft cushion. Upon realising that the cushion there probably signify that the chair is soft, she then changed the character to Mother Bear. She was doing recalling of the story, which is the script she wanted to enact. In her second telling of the story on another day, she actually swapped the characters to sit on the chair as she re-invented the storyline to create a twist. She said the baby bear likes to sit on soft chairs and so Mummy bear let him.

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Try creating a sensory bin based on your child’s favourite picture book! The experience for imaginative play is very enriching!

 

Teaching Opposites (Antonyms) with Touch Game

Based on the popular fairy tale- Goldilocks & the Three Bears, we love the use of antonyms such as “hard” & “Soft” that Goldilocks used to describe the polar opposites of the texture of the bears’ chairs and beds.  To help my girl internalise the new adjectives, “hard” and “soft”, we came up with this favourite Montessori-inspired activity- The touch and texture game. This is suitable from curious toddlers 1 year old right up to 3 years old where they use their senses to learn about their environment and the objects around. This game specifically heightens their sense of touch as well as pick up new words in a sensorial manner.

It is so simple to set up! All you need are objects you can find around the house!

Materials you need:

1. A basket to put all the objects in

2. 2 containers such as disposable boxes.

3. Labels for “Hard” and ” soft”

4. Hard materials can include: pebble, stone, cup, spoon, small bowl, etc!

Soft materials can be cotton ball, socks, cloth, bean bag, sponge, paper etc!

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Steps for the Touch and Texture Game

1. Sit with your child and take out one hard and one soft object from the basket.

2. Demonstrate by pressing your fingertips on the hard object and say “hard”, then place it in the container with the label “hard”.  Repeat the same procedure for the soft object.

3. Invite your child to repeat the process and encourage your child to say out the adjective to describe the texture of the object. The opposites are placed there to help your child understand the concepts of opposites.

4. If your child merely just want to feel the objects, allow them to explore with freedom. Go through the objects of her interest and guide her by talking to her about the objects and how it feels to the touch.

5. Once your older child is able to sort the objects successfully, to reinforce, you can ask the child to point to you which object is soft or hard. He or she will be able to recall the sensorial experience she had a day or two before and is more confident in ascertaining the texture of the objects sometimes even without touching them.

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Here my little girl is having so much fun feeling and sorting the objects according to their properties. She held each object in her palm and tried squeezing it, stroking it, pressing it to feel its texture. For some objects , it turned out to be a little deceptive as I could tell it was surprising to her that a sponge actually feels soft when she presses it. IT was a wonderful discovery process for her learning about the characteristics of the objects! And when we re-read Goldilocks story again, in the episode where she described the chairs and beds as soft and hard, she could list out the other objects from the activity that were hard or soft!

You can definitely use this method for teaching other opposites like hot, cold, rough, smooth.

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