I’ve posted about sensory bins before (No Mess Sensory Bin) but now that my youngest daughter is older we are re-visiting a lot of the same activities that I did with my first daughter. My oldest is enjoying everything again too.
For this sensory bin I just threw in a lot of small items and spoons to practice scooping and pouring. There’s smooth gems, and puffy cotton balls, etc. Throwing in some scented objects (like the tea tree oil toothpick container) is fun too. I save all tiny random objects around the house (like nuts and bolts and twist ties, for example) to switch out. Keeps them entertained in different ways for a quite a while!
This is an update for my post Sewing with a preschooler. My 5-year-old finished her first sewing project! I helped thread the plastic sewing needle every time she needed a new color of yarn, and I also helped her correct errors (which happened a lot). But she really enjoyed it and it made her feel accomplished.
I helped my almost-3-year-old and she is not bad either (below) 🙂
My almost-three-year-old could cut paper all day long. One of my favorite items I’ve found at the Dollar Tree are these children’s scissors. I initially thought they were cheap and would break right away but they’ve held up so well I went and bought more. They aren’t sharp enough to really cause an injury but I always make sure my kids are sitting while using them. They work best cutting construction or thicker types of paper.
In an old post I mentioned that I save their old drawings and scribbles so that they can recycle that paper for cutting practice instead of wasting it. Cutting is really fun and even a two-year-old isn’t too young to begin with close adult supervision. They get a huge kick out of it and feel so proud of themselves at that age.
This is a very simple weather chart that can get your toddlers/preschoolers thinking about weather and the atmosphere around them. I made it from felt. My inspiration came from an image I saw on Pinterest (in photo below):
This paper plate version is very simple and I love the cotton balls for the cloudy weather. I wanted something more permanent and so I made it out of felt (and I was on a felt sewing kick for a while). I drew the images on paper and cut them out to use as stencils. I free cut all of the letters out (very tedious but they sell pre-cut felt letters at most craft stores which would be easier) and sewed everything down. It’s a very easy sewing project and the kids enjoy it!
Cut out some cardboard in the shape of a hand mirror. Cut out some aluminum foil in the size and shape that will fit the cardboard cut-outs. I used a glue stick to adhere the foil to the cardboard, and it worked really well to smooth down the foil.
I think these magic mirrors could be made a lot better than I did here. I didn’t have good scissors to cut the cardboard so they are far from perfect. A box knife would work a lot better! They also could be decorated with stickers, glitter, and painted for another project.
All-in-all they were fun for my 5-year-old and almost 3-year-old. They pretended the mirrors were the magic mirrors from the movie Beauty and the Beast.
Anyway, It beats having to supervise them with real mirrors. Of course, it doesn’t work as a real mirror but it’s still fun for pretend… and it’s basically free to make if you already have the materials on hand!
I ordered some plastic needles and plastic sewing canvases from Amazon. There are some nice First Sewing Kits out there but keeping it simple is less frustrating. My 5-year-old is able to make basic stitches by herself! Even my two year old attempts but she still needs a lot of guidance with it (I help her put the in and she has fun pulling it through).
She did most of the stitches in the picture above (not all at once).
Sewing is great for improving fine motor skills, concentration, and a practical life skill. It’s more of a craft these days but it’s still important to learn IMO. At this stage I help her correct any errors so it’s not frustrating for her. I want her to be comfortable with stitching before worrying about anything else.