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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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 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!

 

Sensory Beans!

In my previous post, we talked about the importance of sensory play, why sensory bins are great for little toddlers and how to create the different types of sensory bins!

Click here to read more!

My Sensory Bin: Beans, Rocks and Shovels.

The ideas for this sensory bin came when my little girl was urging me that to bring her to play at the sandpit. So I thought of making a pretend sandpit right at home!

To assemble the bins, I found this little bath basin with separate compartments in the storage room. I put in black-eyed beans and green beans and some rocks. For props, I added in some sandplay play equipment like a shovel and rake. You can introduce a prop one at a time to prolong your child’s interest in the sensory bin.

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My preschooler took to the sensory bin straightway as it looked so appealing and inviting! She used the rake to sift through the small beans, and produced the rustling sound of the beans. She then proceeded to feel the beans with her fingers, and I asked her how it felt. She said, “Small, hard, dry, and like sand.” This is one way you can get your preschooler to use language to describe her sensory experience.

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Putting the rake aside, she decided to use her fingers to feel the beans in her palm.She cupped a quantity of the beans by scooping them with her open palm, and felt the beans drop through her fingers. She then experimented cupping the beans and closing her palm tight to hold more beans in. She then transferred that cupping action to the rocks. And she exclaimed, ” Mummy, this rock won’t drop from my hand.” She realised smaller objects can fall through her fingers easier than a bigger item. All this while I was just sitting by her side observing her interact with the materials, and she was constantly constructing new knowledge for herself!

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The sensory play then progressed to her little ‘project’ of picking out the small green beans from the mix. She used her fine motor skills such as hand-eye coordination and pincer grip to pick out and transfer the green beans. This requires her to be very attentive and focused, and even though it was a tedious process, I observed she was immersed in it. She then made the new discovery, ” Mommy, the green bean is smaller than the black dot bean.”

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To extend the play, I started introducing new sandpit play equipment. She started using the props to transfer beans from one prop to another. She had to be extra careful not to drop any bean. I also reinforced her Math skill of numerals by asking her to count a small quantity of beans.

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Things to Remember:

This must be a supervised activity at all times! Small materials are choking hazards for babies and toddlers!

Allow your child room for creativity and imaginative play when she is using the sensory bins! Extend their play by providing prompts for more elaborate play scripts! Expand their vocabulary by asking questions that encourage to take observation of the materials, how the materials feel to their touch, and prompt them to use descriptive terms to describe the props or whats going on in their play episode.

Sensory Bin- Shaving Cream

A sensory bin for imaginative play! Just use a stir stick to mix in the food colouring into the shaving cream in the sensory bin! Put in some of your child’s toys like fishes, animals or marine animals and it provides a great avenue for pretend play! You can add in blue colouring (which I ran out!) to create effects of a blue ocean for the fishes or marine animals!

Rae was so engaged in the pretend play with the fishes that she started coming up with her own narrative script of the dialogue of the fishes apparently chasing each other in the fish tank. She became a character in the story plot when she broke out into song ” One Two Three Four Five, Once I caught a fish alive!”. Taking on the role of the fisherman, she turned to me to ask for the fishing rod for her to enact the scene for me. It is no wonder pretend play is great for developing language skills such as narrating, use of contextual vocabulary and weaving stories. 20130526-213214.jpg

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