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Monday, January 27, 2014

Sensory Balloons

In my past life, I was an elementary school teacher. I didn't do much work in preschool classrooms, but I did a little and I even got a tiny bit of experience in a Montessori preschool. There were so many hard things about being a teacher, but I loved it and I hope I get to return to it one day. The weird thing is, I don't really miss it - but not for reasons you might expect! I don't miss teaching, because I haven't really given it up! I've got a whole new teaching gig cut out for me with the best two little learners I could ask for!

Calvin is at an amazing age (maybe all the ages are amazing??) where he is learning things quickly and eager to explore and I am super excited about putting together some learning activities for him. I have in mind lots of sensory and fine motor skill types of activities, similar to the DIY baby toys I posted a few months ago. So here's a DIY sensory activity I managed to get photos of today.

Sensory Balloons
- Balloons (I used all the same color so the textures would be the distinguishing difference.)
- Funnel
- Fillers: I used rice, black beans, millet, and sand. You could also try lentils, beads, baby powder, even liquids like hair gel, shaving cream, or just water... though that may be a whole other sensory experience ;)

Fill 'em up, tie 'em up, and you're all set! The idea is that kids can experience different textures and weights by squeezing and squishing the balloons. Experiences with different textures helps promote sensory integration. The more kids use their senses, the better they become at sensory processing. Here's a better explanation on why sensory play is important.

I was so excited to make these for Calvin! Fun! Activities! Funtivities! Yay!

And this is how excited Calvin was about the sensory balloons...

Yes, with a look of disgust he chucked them across the table.

So we made a game of chucking them into the wooden tray. #whynot #justgowithit

Maybe they'll grow on him? #smh