Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Water Bead Sensory Play

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Kids LOVE playing with water beads. It’s a great sensory activity.

Follow this simple recipe for creating your own water beads!

Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Water Bead Sensory Play

Ingredients:

  • Colorful water beads
  • Warm water
  • Airtight container with lid (shallow rectangular containers work better than bowls or small deep containers)
  • Old measuring cups, plastic spoons, plastic eggs, seashells, or toy creepy crawly bugs.

Optional: a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, or lemon essential oil.

Directions:

Pour ½ of mixed color water beads in large shallow container.

Add 4-6 cups of water. Let sit overnight.

If beads have not expanded all the way add another 2 cups of water.

Add fun objects for sensory play: measuring cups, seashells, plastic spoons, toy snakes and bugs, abc letters or beads, dinosaurs, ramekins, old jars, etc.

When done playing put the lid on so the water beads don’t dry out.

As needed, add water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil to kill pathogens.

Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed  her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

 

One of her passions and goals  is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

 

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

 

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Sensory Play DIY Recipe: Silly Putty

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Every kid loves silly putty because it’s squishy and messy. If you have carpeting, keep this as a kitchen or outdoor only activity.

Silly putty is fun to play with, they have a unique texture and their chemistry is definitely therapeutic.

Who knew you could make it out of simple ingredients you probably already have lying around the house?

Sensory Play DIY Recipe: Silly Putty

Ingredients:

• Pitcher
• 4 oz water + 2 cups of water
• ¼ cup Borax Powder
• 4 oz Elmer’s Glue (school or glitter glue, NOT washable.)
• Food Coloring
• Bowl
• Fork or spoon

Directions:

In the pitcher pour 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 cup of Borax powder and stir for 30 seconds. There will be borax that doesn’t dissolve, that’s ok.

In a large bowl pour 4 oz of clean water. Add 4 oz of Elmer’s Glue (store brand is ok).

Add desired amount of food coloring and stir until it’s well blended.

Add 4 tablespoons of the borax water to the bowl of diluted glue and stir continuously. It will begin to get thick and stick to the fork or spoon.

Add 1 tablespoon of borax water at a time to the bowl and stir until there is no watery glue left.

Then Scrape the bowl with the fork and remove all of the putty from the spoon. The silly putty will be a little watery at first.

Flatten, fold and knead putty until the consistency is how you want it.

Store in an airtight container or plastic egg to preserve.

Tip: For transparent glitter putty, use glitter glue instead of traditional white glue.


 

Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

One of her passions and goals is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

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Free Thanksgiving Kindergarten Skills Printables

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The holidays are upon us and you know what that means…..more fun, free printables for homeschooling!

This fun and FREE Thanksgiving-themed printable worksheet package includes 5 pages to help your little one develop hand-eye coordination, find motor and counting skills.

Just click any of the images below to download this free Thanksgiving Kindergarten skills printables pack!

Free Thanksgiving Kindergarten Skills Printables

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More Fun Thanksgiving Resources and Ideas

Look for more? Here you go!

Free Thanksgiving Activity Sheet for Homeschoolers

The Ultimate List of Thanksgiving Books to Read for Homeschoolers

Free Thanksgiving Memory Match for Preschoolers

10 Easy Thanksgiving Treats Kids Can Make

Free Thanksgiving Themed Printable Worksheets for Preschoolers

How Kids Can Keep with Thanksgiving

10 Fun Turkey and Thanksgiving Themed Desserts

Easy Kids Craft: Monogrammed Thankful List

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Activities to Encourage Creativeness in Children

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It is true that all children have the potential to be creative in his or her own aspect. However, this particular potential that they come with may get stifled if their creativity is not properly nurtured and stimulated. It is the creativity inside us that defines the uniqueness that one possess. And as the saying goes that there is no such thing that we cannot, it is also our responsibility to make the upcoming generation able to bloom out their potentials. These creativities may not be their career option from the very beginning; rather it is the duty of the parents to ensure that their children get so much exposure in that particular creative field that it becomes one of the options for the children to develop a career.

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There are several activities for kids which will help to develop a sense of creativity in your children. Some of them are listed below:

How to Encourage Creativeness in Children

Creative Painting

One of the favorite pastime for all children is painting. It is one of the arena where the child ushers all his or her creativity in one canvas. Introduce your child to a whole new aspect of painting where they get access to fabric painting, glass painting, molding craft and 3D painting to name a few. Another such art is clay modelling which will be an instant hit amongst the children. These are some of the fun art activities for preschoolers which will help them grow interest in this particular field and will be a great help in expanding their thinking abilities. It is also the duty of the parents to make sure that they do not help them much. It is better to allow them to give vent to their world of imagination. It is actually better to appreciate their work instead of criticizing them. This will give them more enthusiasm to prepare better pieces of art.

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Drama and Play Acting

Another important way to encourage creativity amongst children is play acting and drama. There are numerous ways in which you can make it possible. You can ask your child to pretend to be anything- from a cat, a giant, a lion, a tree to non-living objects like a lawn mower, a pencil sharpener or might be the entire world. Make them think about what it is likely to be a pencil sharpener or a dog. You can even ask them to make the sound of the topic that they are trying to imitate. Ask them to give a spontaneous response. This will help to sharpen up their analytical minds and act according to the things that they encounter in their day-to-day life.

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Story-telling

This is one of the skills that will provide a huge boost on your child’s imagination. Give them a scenario to ponder upon. Ask them to be spontaneous. Let them develop a story on that particular scenario and ask them to present it to other people. Ask them to make those story as interesting as it gets. If they can grow the confidence of presentation in them, that will be a wonderful characteristic in them to be used later in life.

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Junk Modelling

This is one of the most recent activities that can be included in the to-do list for teaching your child. Ask them to collect whatever junk items they can find in the house. Provide them with some glue, different-colored pens, scissors and all other required materials and ask them to make something that they can imagine of. It can be a house, a cave, any animal, dolls or anything else that can come to their mind. For example, they can use toilet rolls to make snake or a telescope. Encourage them to go for such creativity without interventions in the form of strictness or critical analysis of their art.

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Funny Outside Games

This is an activity that your child will love to do. Ask them to go out and play innovative games which they can design on their own. Your child may be a bit confused at first; you can start the process by introducing games like peek-a-boo or stone skipping. This will help your child to develop fresh ideas about innovative activities. It is better that you take participation in such games as well; this will give them the confidence and self-satisfaction. Such outside activities for children will help them develop their thinking abilities.

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In conclusion, it is noteworthy to mention that creativity is a sure boost for the young minds. It is very crucial for the development of their analytical and observatory skills. So it becomes an essential responsibility for the parents to nourish such thinking minds. Some of the aforementioned activities will help the parents in their endeavor to develop creativeness in their children.

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About The Author

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Nicole Lewis is a freelance writer at CustomWriting.com from Boston. Working remotely allows homeschooling her gorgeous boys. She believes that mother is the best teacher for her children

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Art Books for Homeschooling: Review & Giveaway

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I was very excited to get the book ‘Art Parts’ by Kim Bogren Owen. It is a very simple overview of art and what it is. For parents like me who don’t necessarily know much about art (I’m more of a math and science kind of girl) and not sure where to begin, this book is a great introduction.

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ART PARTS: A Child’s Introduction to the Elements of Art

by Kim Bogren Owen

Illustrated by: Kay, TJ, Maddie, Stephanie, Darin, Abi, Timothy, Kaila, and Zac

 A Book that Introduces the Elements of Art to Children

 Using simple text and children’s art, Art Parts: A Child’s Introduction to the Elements of Art introduces children to 6 elements of art.  Designed for children between the ages of 2 and 8, it includes blank pages after each element where children can experiment with the concepts of line, color, shape, texture, space, and emotion.

 These blank pages allow children to personalize the book making it a keepsake to treasure, and a wonderful gift for a special child in your life.  It would, also, be a great asset to any classroom to add to the art center with materials that allow children to investigate the elements of art.

 In addition, Art Parts includes an activities page to expand on concepts in the book for parents and teachers to use.  These activities include suggestions for special projects, as well as things parents and teachers can do during everyday routines.

 Five percent of the profits from Art Parts is donated to Reach Out and Read.

Get free lesson plan ideas for using “Art Parts” here.

Normally I just give my kids paint or markers and paper and let them go crazy, but this book helped me to separate out the different elements of art and talk about lines, space, colors, shapes, textures and feelings so we could experiment with each one separately before combining them. We also learned a lot of new vocabulary that we can use when describing art or talking about art.  “Art Parts’ is a very nice book. I love the included art pictures by other kids.

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It was less intimidating (I think) for my preschoolers to see those rather than perfect paintings by adults. My kids and I enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it. I would definitely recommend it to others who would like to introduce simple art concepts to their preschoolers but are not sure how to start.

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‘Orchids’ by Kim Bogren Owen is a wonderful book for preschoolers. It’s beautiful illustrations, engaging, short sentences and descriptive style even captured the attention of my wiggly three-year-old. It has easy to understand, simple language but it was very informative. I even learned a few new things!

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ORCHIDS

by Kim Bogren Owen

Photography by Amber Owen, Ron Hanko, and Mike Pearson

The perfect book for a young orchid or flower enthusiast, as well as for the parent who is a  lover of orchids, Orchids features beautiful photographs that bring the beauty and appeal of orchids to life. In addition to introducing children to the diversity of orchids, this book introduces simple science concepts.  Developed for children between the ages of 2 and 8, the concepts  in this books include opposites, diversity, pollination, and symmetry.

This book includes a page with ideas for activities that expand on the concepts introduced in Orchids.  These activities include simple art projects, as well as conversation starters to make the concepts meaningful to young children.

 Five percent of profits from Orchids are donated to Reach Out and Read.

Get FREE lesson plan idea for using “Orchids” here.

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This book included a very good introduction to pollination, growing seeds, and other math and science concepts like symmetry, color, shape, size and function of different orchid flowers. And it did this without boring or overwhelming my two kids (4 and 3).

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In fact, I was surprised that the kids were interested and stopped me often to asked questions and point things out to me. At the end it also made the different kinds of orchids relative to people. They are all different, just like us! Overall I was impressed with the quality, writing style and illustrations in this book.

In summary, it is obvious the author knows her audience and understands how to capture their attention. The books are beautiful and interesting and don’t shy away from using “big words” with little kids. I like how they introduce new vocabulary and ideas in a fun, engaging way and keeps the kids’ attention. I recommend this book for anyone who has or works with a child of preschool or elementary school age.

Enter to Win!

Here’s a chance to win your very own set of Kim Borgen books! Leave a comment below, telling us how you incorporate art into your homeschool, fill out the Gleam form below (there are chances to win extra entries for sharing the sweepstakes with your friends!) and you’ll be entered to win one of five set of books we’re giving away!

Art Books for Homeschooling: Review & Giveaway

About Kim Bogren Owen 

Kim Bogren Owen has worked in Early Childhood Education since 1988 in a variety of programs and roles from teacher to coach to Quality Initiative Coordinator. As part of that work, she learned to tell and make up stories for the children in her care which started her passion for writing. She brings her expertise as an educator and love of working with children to her books.

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Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Herbal Play Dough

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Play dough is beneficial to help strengthen little hands and get them ready for the pencil and scissor skills they’ll need in your homeschool. Together with herbs,with their own distinct smell, they work well to give kids a great sensory experience.

Here’s a great recipe you can use to create your own herbal play dough.

Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Herbal Play Dough

Ingredients:

• 4 herbal tea bags of your choice (can use dry herbs of your choice, ie: lavender, chamomile flower,
• rosemary, anise seeds, basil, rose petals, etc.)
• 2 cups of water
• 2 cups white flour
• ½ cup of salt
• 4 tbsp cream of tartar
• 1 tbsp oil (my favorite is Coconut Oil)

Directions:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and steep 4 tea bags for 10 minutes. Remove teabags.

Add flour, salt oil and cream of tartar. Stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until it forms a ball in the center of the pan.

Remove ball from pan and knead on lightly floured surface. Tear open tea bags and knead leaves into dough.

Store in an airtight container.

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Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

One of her passions and goals is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

 

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

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Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Perfect Homemade Bubbles

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Enjoy hours of outdoor play with this non-toxic, and inexpensive homemade bubbles recipe. Homemade bubbles are great for those lazy Saturday afternoons and even during birthday parties!

Follow this simple recipe to make homemade bubble solution from a few simple ingredients.

Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Perfect Homemade Bubbles

Ingredients:

  • An old bubble container or empty milk gallon with lid
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of DISH soap (cannot be any other soap)
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable glycerin or corn syrup

Triple the recipe to fill an old milk gallon.

You can also make great homemade wands using simple shaped cookie cutters and wire or pipe cleaners.

Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

One of her passions and goals is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

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The Educational Benefits of Pokemon Go

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Pokemon Go App has been the hottest thing in the news lately, but what about using Pokemon Go for more than just fun? Have you ever considered the possible educational benefits of Pokemon Go and tried to encourage your kids to play the game for this purpose? It’s quite interesting actually once you start thinking about all the different elements you could include and touch upon with the Pokemon Go App as an object lesson or tool! Honestly you could cover aspects of Health/Fitness/Safety, Science, Geography, Spelling/Vocabulary, Reading, and even Math! Here are a few of these subjects as they relate to the app:

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Educational Benefits of Pokemon Go: Geography and Map Reading

In order to truly understand the app, you have to become fully engaged in game play. That means you’ll want to go on walks, bike rides, or even road trips in the car to explore different areas of town and different Geographic locations. This includes keeping an eye out to visit these areas and search for wild Pokemon such as the Pidgey and Spearow that appeared here. You will find them from different land types such as desert, mountains, lakes, oceans, rivers, forest, or city. Having long chats with your child about the different types of land or water you are noticing on your adventures can help build their vocabulary skills and enhance their learning through this hands-on activity.

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Educational Benefits of Pokemon Go: Map Skills To Locate Poke Stops

Being able to read the map is important too and covers their practice in Geography. You use your map to follow the roads until you come across a blue square shape on a stick (a 3D Poke Stop icon). This square shape will transform into a circular shape on top and allow you to click on it. You can now spin the image in the middle to earn free items such as extra pokeballs, potions, revives, and even berries. These items are all extremely valuable when it comes to capturing and powering up Pokemon. If you are taking a drive in the car for your adventure with your child, you could have your child play navigator. Ask them to read the map directions to you using the compass or following the roads. They could specifically say, “travel south and turn right here”, or “stop up ahead at the next intersection and park”.

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Educational Benefits of Pokemon Go: Addition, Subtraction, and Counting

Kids can practice their addition and subtraction skills when trying to figure out how many Pokemon Candies they need to evolve their Pokemon. For example: It takes 25 Ratatta candies to evolve your Pokemon into a Raticate. If you only have 3 Ratatta candies right now, how many more do you need to find (by catching more Ratatta Pokemon) in order to have enough to evolve it? Or, if you have 91 Ratatta candies and you need 25 to evolve it, how many candies will you have left over?

You can also encourage younger kids to count the number of different Pokemon they see in their “Nearby” Pokemon screen in the bottom right corner. Sometimes there is one, sometimes there are nine! The most common Pokemon can be fun to count too, as sometimes there could be several of the same kind of Pokemon all around you while on a walk in the fresh air, or when sitting in your car near a Poke Stop. The options could be endless on things you could have kids count, add, or subtract within the Pokemon Go game app.

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Educational Benefits of Pokemon Go: Science

Being outdoors and experiencing nature first hand on their walks while adventuring (even if holding an electronic device in the process) is a fabulous way to bring up conversations in Science. As you are capturing snapshots of wild Pokemon with your device, consider it a goal to try to work in other animals, birds, or even trees and flowers into the pics.

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No matter what subject you’d like to try applying to this app whether P.E. with walking long hikes to hatch those Pokemon eggs, or encouraging your child to read the “hints and tips”, you’re sure to have lots of material to work with that will make your child smile and enjoy learning these concepts while playing Pokemon Go.

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Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Perfect Moon Sand

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If you are looking for a project to make with your kids, this Perfect Moon Sand Recipe is perfect. Not only do they provide a great sensory experience, they are fun to make too!

Sensory Play DIY Recipe – Perfect Moon Sand

Ingredients:

8 cups of white flour
4 cups of baby oil
colored beads, colored rice, or holographic glitter for extra fun 🙂

Directions:

In a large container pour in the 8 cups of flour and then the 4 cups of baby oil.

Mix very well. Consistency will be messy at first. It shouldn’t be too dry, or sticky. You will know the moon sand consistency is right when it doesn’t leave hands messy and it will hold a molded shape like real sand.

For extra fun, you can put in sea shells, beads, colored rice or mixed holographic glitter!

Directions for colored rice:

To make colored rice you will need food dye and a bag of white rice (not instant).

In 4 bowls pour ½ cup of white rice. Pour several drops of your preferred color of food coloring and a tablespoon of water. Mix well until the rice is evenly colored. Using a spatula scrape rice onto a cookie sheet and spread evenly. Try not to mix the colors too much since it’s wet.

Bake at 250° for about 15 minutes, flipping the rice about halfway through.

Once it’s cool you can put all the rice into the moon sand. Now your moon sand has colored sprinkles!

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Picture-8-300x168This Sensory Play recipe was provided by Katie Vega.

Katie Vega is a mom of 5 in Columbus, Ohio. She is an internet marketer, marketing/branding consultant, and e-book author. She began her career in the Network Marketing industry in 1999, and over the years has totally transformed  her business to use her passions and talents. In early 2013 she left her job to build her business at home part time so she could homeschool her children.

One of her passions and goals  is to show moms with ADHD or behaviorally challenged kids how they can manage the chaos at home and run a profitable business without losing their mind!

 

Visit KatieVega.com to learn more.

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Free Father’s Day Printable: All About My Dad

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Father’s Day is right around the corner. Help your little one show dad how much he’s loved with this adorable free Father’s Day Printable.

All About My Dad will be a cherished keepsake for years to come. Let your child answer the questions and draw a picture, then frame his or masterpiece and present it to dad!

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