3 Ingredient Glitter Slime

It’s all the rage. Squishy, stretchy, often glittery. Slime has squeezed its way into the hearts of so many children and even some adults! It makes a fantastic stress reliever, an easy mess-free fidget, and it’s even a great science experiment as there are many variations to try.

Today we made our own slime using a variation I found at My Frugal Adventures.

Sunday Morning Slime Experiment

Bug loves her gold “play putty”!
Baby K loves to squish!

This version of borax free Glitter Glue Slime uses ingredients I had on hand, and took less than a minute to make, even with little hands helping. This alone gives it 4 stars in my book, and the fact that it makes perfectly textured, pretty slime every time makes that 5th star a no-brainer. All three of my girls were really excited to be able to conduct an experiment on this cold, rainy morning. I was really excited that said experiment promised to be fun and fairly mess free.

 After playing for a few minutes, Bug excused herself to go upstairs, which I found a bit odd. However, she returned quickly with a bin full of Shopkins, Hatchimals, and other tiny plastic toys. This turned out to be a brilliant idea and she, Boo and Baby K then spent over 30 minutes hiding little toys inside their slime and challenging each other to guess who was inside. It was a bit chaotic, and there was occasional shouting (“No! How could it be Delish Donut in my slime when you just had her and Beverly Heels in your own slime!”) but all in all it kept them happy and busy for quite a bit.

Making Glitter Glue Slime

So what, you ask, do you need to get your own half an hour of peace?

  • 4oz of Elmer’s glue (we used glitter glue, but you could use any kind and add your own coloring, glitter, or small objects)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Contact Solution (make sure the brand you use contains boric acid)

That’s it. Pour the glue into a bowl. (We used a 6oz bottle and just estimated.) If you are adding color, glitter or any other extras, now is the time to mix them in. Sprinkle the baking soda on top, mix until there are no lumps and then pour in the contact solution.

 

Use a popsicle stick, unsharpened pencil, handle of a spoon, other solid stick like object or just a finger to quickly mix the ingredients. The slime will form very quickly. Once everything has solidified (there will be some solution left in the bowl) pick up the slime and work in hands until no longer wet or sticky. The whole process should take about a minute.

 

Now put out some little things to hide, some containers to fill and some fun things to squish with, and sit yourself down with a cup of coffee! (Ok, be responsible and load the dishwasher first. You have time!)

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What is Sensory Play?

 

Sensory Play for All Children!

 

Sensory Play.

You’ve heard those words, but what does sensory play mean, and why is it so very important? Sensory play isn’t just ‘play’. It is learning and developing at a very basic level. Children use sensory to learn about the world around them, even before they can talk or begin to understand the concepts behind it.

 

As the mom of a child with sensory input issues, we have always made sure to include tons of sensory activities in our daily routines. These vary from small activities such as playdoh and water play, to large motor games such as obstacle courses and trampoline time. We also spend a lot of time doing things that have sensory play built right in: swimming, beach time, playgrounds, gymnastics, rain walks, and bike rides. I’ve found that even my two other children with no input issues benefit greatly from this extra emphasis on sensory during the day.

How you ask?

Sensory Play builds vocabulary.

Hard, soft, squishy, crinkly, hot, cold, smooth, rough. These are words that are difficult to describe, especially to a small child. They can however be easily experienced. It is much easier to introduce words like soft, smooth and squishy while playing with a nice soft batch of playdoh. These describing words are critical to a child’s vocabulary, as it allows them to explore and talk about the world around them. It builds confidence and a foundation for creating an extensive vocabulary later in life.

Sensory Play provides answers to question kids didn’t even know they had.

When children play, they often discover things that are amazing. A child playing with playdoh knows it will squish, but how amazing when they figure out that the large ball of playdoh can actually be shoved into that tiny hole! Or when the blue and yellow playdoh they are creating with suddenly turns green! These are learning experiences your child has created all by themselves. Most sensory based activities are very open ended and leave tons of room for exploration

Sensory Play in important to a child’s physical development.

Sensory play helps children develop both fine motor skills and gross motor skills. This makes them equally as important to babies and toddlers as it does for older children. The sooner children begin to develop their motor system, the sooner they can begin to explore their world. As children begin to explore, sensory experiences are much more likely to stick in a child’s memory. They engage the senses, and therefore are more cognitively rewarding that other forms of learning.

Sensory Play is FUN!

Not only is Sensory Play a great learning tool, its fun! Children will often be entertained for hours on end without even knowing they are growing their brain. My children’s most requested activities are all sensory play activities!

 

Check out some of our other posts for some great ideas have fun with Sensory Play with your little one today!

 

Learning with Pokemon!

Make Learning Fun with Printable Pokemon Games!

 

As the parent of children with very active imaginations, I have to be aware of what sort of characters they are ‘meeting’ through television and YouTube. My girls, Bug especially, have many imaginary friends, and will play out very elaborate scenarios and adventures with the characters from their favorite shows. These are occasionally wildly entertaining to listen to, but more often than not they are an excuse to run, flip and shadow fight in the living room.

Currently some of our more frequent guests include the antagonists from PJ Masks, the Octonauts, and a variety of Pokemon.

 

Now, I’d like to take just a moment to appreciate the longevity of the Pokemon franchise. I remember when my brother discovered Pokemon about 10 years ago and was shocked that I was cool enough to be able to recognize several of his favorite characters.  Now Bug is super into the show, and its characters. While I usually try to limit her exposure to violence, I do honestly feel that the way battles are presented in this cartoon are perfectly acceptable. She loves the idea of searching for rare Pokemon and training them to do battle with her.

Learning with Pokemon

As with her other interests, I try to tie Pokemon activities into our daily homeschool tasks, to make them a little less painful (for both of us!). This has proven a bit challenging. Considering how long the show has been running, there is very little in the way of educational games or supplements. I did manage to find some, however, and I have provided the links to some below.

 

Pokemon Endless Cards

What a great idea! There is a small learning curve for putting these together, but it is totally worth it. These Pokemon endless cards by Hattifant and Red Ted Art are awesome, and great for keeping little hands busy! Be sure to check out our printable page for 3 Giggling Twirls own endless cards.

 

Pokemon Optical Illusion Toy

This is a 20th century optical illusion game that has been modified for the pokemon lovers out there. I originally got the idea from a blog post I saw on Pinterest, but I went a little farther with the idea, and made it suitable for a color printer, and added Bug’s favorite characters. We used a glue stick to sandwich a paper lollipop stick between the two layers and then played by rolling the stick quickly between our palms, but they could easily be used in the traditional manner.

Printable Pokemon Toy

 

 

Pokemon Action Cards

ANDNEXTCOMESL is a great website for ideas and advice pertaining to Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Hyperlexia. She has a great idea to have kids read and react to Pokemon Action cards. We loved this ides, and used her free printables for a while, and then I decided to make my own version with the characters and actions that appealed to Bug (and the other two!). Check them both out, and make sure you have plenty of open space to get moving!

Edit: In my rounding up of activities, I forgot about the well done Camp Pokemon app. camp-pokemon-gallery-6If your kid is into screen time, this is a good app for them to play in their down time. Its not exactly educational, but it is way better than a lot of other apps they could be playing! The app is free and available for both Android and IOS. I also know about the super popular Pokemon Go app, and I’ve read some things about it being an asset in one way or another for home schooling families. We do not have any personal experience with it, however.

So now you have a couple ideas, and there are more on my ‘Learning with Pokemon‘ Pinterest Board. Now get out there and try ’em all!

 

Let us know what works for you, or if you have found any other cool ways to make Pokemon a part of your homeschool…

Making Chores Fun for Kids!

 

There are lots of chores around the house that children, even small children, can help with. In fact, with the right approach, you may even have children who beg you to let them clean. Talk about a parenting win! The trick is to find a way to make those mundane household chores look like fun. Heck, you may even find a way to enjoy the chores a little more was well 😉

Whenever I find myself teaching my children a new chore, or even asking them to do a learned one that they aren’t so keen on, I find myself thinking of the lovely Mary Poppins:

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and *SNAP* the job’s a game!” Words of Wisdom if I’ve ever heard them.

Put yourself in your child’s shoes and find the fun in all those boring chores on your to-do list. Not only will it keep them busy and get your house at least a little cleaner, but it is the foundation of a life skill that too many children lack.

Sound intriguing? Not sure where to start? That’s ok! I’ll get you started with some of the ways we make housework fun at my house…

Dusting – This is probably the easiest chore to get young children started. Give them a Swiffer, or even better one of these colorful static dusters, and let them go to town. Show them a super dusty spot, and how cool it is to make it clean and then send them off in search of all the flat surfaces in the house. Chances are he may even find a few places you didn’t even notice!

Windows – Washing windows is pretty easy, and it can keep kids entertained for quite a while. It’s a little tougher for children who haven’t developed the fine motor skills to squeeze the trigger on a spray bottle, but it is a great way to work on it! I find it best to use a homemade solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1tbsp baking soda and 8-10 drops lemon EO. Just keep an eye on younger children who may end up with a puddle on the window sill from spraying more than they wipe!

Vacuum – This one is great for older kids, as it tends to take them a bit. Some vacuums can be a bit on the heavy side (like the Kirby I HAD to have. If you have one, you know why…) but most should be manageable for your kids once they are tall enough to comfortably push it. Of course, the alternative for big and little kids alike is to invest in a handheld vacuum. These things are awesome and so much easier than hauling out the big vacuum for small messes. Once you have a machine your kid can comfortably handle, I bet it won’t take much persuading to get them to use it. Sometimes I even buy myself some time by “accidentally” sprinkling leftover cheerios or shredded paper on the floor and letting my toddler help me by cleaning it up.

Sock Matching – The most dreaded of my grown-up tasks! Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you why I am so opposed to matching socks. I could blame it on the plethora of odd colored socks my children have accumulated, but I didn’t even match socks in my pre-children era. This is why I am forever grateful that my children think me up-ending the entire sock basket on the living room floor is the best most funnest game of Memory Match ever. Sometimes they race, sometimes they work together, but they always are building real skills, including tracking, spatial and pattern awareness and, not least, the life skill of dealing with laundry!

Sweeping – What kid sees you with a broom and doesn’t immediately ask you for a turn? Something about brooms just look fun. As adults who are forced to use them, we know they really aren’t that great… but your kids haven’t figured that out yet! Kids can sweep just about anything, from actual kitchen floor crumbs to cheerios and balled up paper you throw on the floor. When they are just learning to use a broom, it is helpful to let them sweep big things, and to learn to sweep things into one big pile. A good way to teach this is to use painters tape to make a ‘target square’ on the floor. Let your kiddos practice sweeping paper balls, rice, cereal, beans or anything else into the square. Smaller children may have trouble controlling a normal sized broom, but the good news is there are many smaller brooms, especially at the dollar store or somewhere similar. Another choice might be to invest in a dustpan with a small brush so that your little one has more control. They could even buddy up! Bigger children sweep things into the square, and smaller children put it in the dustpan and deposit into the trash! Now we are having fun, working together, improving our gross motor, and learning a life skill all at the same time. Who knew?!?

10 Second Tidy – OK, so maybe we borrowed the name of this game from a TV show (Do you know which one?? Clipart freebie to the first person who tells me in the comments!). At our house, toys live upstairs. They are rarely invited down, but still have a way of appearing in my living room. For this reason, there is a basket kept at the bottom of our steps designed to collect these toys. Whoever goes upstairs should escort up a toy or two as they go. Every few days, I find that the toy presence is beginning to get out of control. Instead of picking them all up myself, like the mommy maid they would like me to be, we have a 10 second tidy. I stand in the middle of the room and draw attention to the toys that need to be picked up. Then, with a “ready, set, go!”, I begin my s-l-o-w count to 10. I say slow because we all know that no matter how speedy kids think they are, there is no way they would pick up more than one toy if I counted quickly. So I drag it out, giving encouragement and pointing out the things that are hiding. Sometimes they race each other, and sometimes they band together and race me. Either way it is fun, and gets them to clean up their own mess quickly and with little complaint.

 

Alright. There is a decent list to get you started! Now go check out your To Do list and find a way to get your kids engaged and busy!

10 SQUISHY Sensory Ideas

Squishy Sensory Play!

 

We love sensory play around here. Seriously, it’s like 80% of our waking hours involve some sort of sensory stimulation. While we love gross motor activities, sometimes you need to bring it down a few notches. That’s when you find something to entertain and stimulate while sitting down! This list of Squishy Sensory Play ideas are awesome for children who need to fidget, without encouraging them to get out of their seat. Win! As an added bonus, on a homeschool level, many of these great ideas can be used as science experiments if you get the kiddo involved in the creating process, instead of just the finished product.

Squishy Sensory(This post may include affiliate links for which I may receive a commission)

 

Top 10 Tuesday

    1. Make your own playdoh! – This takes only minutes, is an awesome science and learning activity in itself, and makes the softest, squishiest dough around. You can add scents for an added sensory bonus. We like peppermint, lavender and citrus essential oils for everyday play and spices like allspice, pie spices and cinnamon for the winter holidays!
    2. Sensory Squishers- Kids love to squish! Start out with some colorful balloons. Fill them with rice, shaving cream, baking soda, beans, cotton, sugar, salt, sand, marbles, water, or even some of that awesome playdoh you just made! Anything you have laying around that will squish into a balloon will work! Fill the balloons tie them up and put them in a basket. Instant fun for kids of all ages! You can even add some string hair to the top and draw some silly faces 🙂 For older children you could even number them and write a master list. They will have a great time trying to figure out what is inside of each balloon using just their sense of touch!
    3.   Water Beads! – If you have little kids and you haven’t found these, you are waterbeadsmissing out on a lot of busy kid time! My children will play with these forever! They can be squished, swished, mixed, dumped, poured… there are so many ways to play. You may even find your hand in the water squishing with the kids! They come in large numbers (usually several thousand) because they start out as teeny tiny plastic beads. Add a couple tablespoons (no more!) to a large container of water, such as a plastic bin or kiddie pool, and watch as they grow (takes about 20 minutes). Then set your little ones free with bowls, cups and spoons. Mine love to hide small toys and then swish around to find them! For extra fun try a water bead bath! Just make sure they are collected before the plug comes out, as I wouldn’t trust them in the drain. When they are out of water they will dry up and return to their original size. They can, however, be kept in water (and easily accessible for play) for a very long time. Beware, once they are filled with water these little suckers are VERY bouncy!
    4. Fluffy Stuff – Its amazing what you can make with 1 box of simple corn starch and 1 can of shaving cream! Just dump a box of corn starch in a large bowl (this is fun to feel all by itself!) and then start squirting in shaving cream (we get ours at Dollar Tree!). They take a few squishy minutes to combine, but keep at it and in no time you will have a big batch fluffy stuff to play with! This is about as simple as it gets folks! This will keep for about a week in an air tight container but it will get a little less squishy and a little more moldable as time goes by.
    5. Silly Putty – Everyone loves silly putty! This one has been all the rage with a lot of the older kids lately, but the little ones love it too! This isn’t a good one to have children help make, but playing with it will entertain them more than enough. You need a few simple ingredients: Liquid Starch ( I’m sure a lot of kinds will work but we use this one), white glue, and some liquid food coloring. Mix equal parts liquid starch, white glue, and food coloring. Mix well, and then wait about 5 minutes. Scoop out the solid bit and dump out the rest of the liquid. Now squish away!  Different color putties can be mixed together after the are completed, but it will take a few minutes to incorporate them. For even more fun add some sparkly glitter or small beads to the finished putty.
    6. Kool Aid Slime – I always wanted to make slime, but i never wanted to have my babies playing with borax! Not safe. This great slime is made with all non-toxic, edible (though not particularly yummy) ingredients. Check out the instructions from Growing A Jeweled Rose.
    7. Kool Aid Foam – Another great idea we got from Growing A Jeweled Rose (I love this blog!) Uses Kool Aid and dish soap to make fantastic bubbly fun!
    8. Kinetic sand – This stuff is pretty darn cool. We have some store bought and we’ve tried the home made kind. Both are pretty good! I suggest making a good amount as everyone, including parents are going to want to play with this stuff! You need 1 cup of play sand, 1/2 tbs corn starch and about 3/4 a cup of warm water. You can add a small squirt of dish soap to the water, but I don’t find it to make much of a difference. I also like to add food coloring, liquid water colors and/or essential oils with the water. Simply dump in the sand and corn starch, mix it around and slowly add the water. Pour a little, mix a little, repeat until the sand is the consistency you want. That’s it! Play away! And don’t forget to save some for yourself 😉
    9. Marshmallow Playdough – This is a relatively new discovery at my house, but a huge hit. Marshmallows + Playdoh. How could you go wrong?? Place 5-7 large marshmallows (or the equivalent of smaller marshmallows. A cup maybe?), a 1/4 cup of corn starch and 2tsp of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 30-35 seconds. Remove the bowl and add 10-12 drops of food coloring to the oil or marshmallows. Use a big spoon and mix until the ingredients are well combined and form a ball. If necessary add another scoop of corn starch. Now let the kiddos at it! Be sure to use a mat or parchment paper as it does get a bit greasy from the coconut oil!
    10. Clean Mud – An oldie but goodie! This one was always a huge hit in my daycare classes. All you need is a roll or 2 of cheap toilet paper, a cheap bar of soap grated or cut into small pieces and some nice warm water. I always found it most productive to have the kiddos tear the toilet paper into a million pieces and put it in a large plastic bin, while I worked on grating the soap. Pour the soap bits in with the shredded toilet paper and add warm water 1/2 cup at a time and get everyone involved in the squishing! It will take a few minutes for the soap and tissue to dissolve but when it does every thing will come together into a mud like substance that is super fun and completely clean!  Mom win!
    11. Bonus!     Ivory Cloud – Speaking of soap… have you ever stuck Ivory Soap in your microwave? If not, you have to try it! Like today. Take a bar and put it on a microwave safe plate or bowl, and then pull up a chair! Microwave the soap on high for 1:30 or 2 minutes. It will grow to a giant cloud! Let it cool off for a minute or two and then explore! After your kids have crumbled and squished to their hearts content you can use the powder to make the Clean Mud above!!

 

Do you have any great SQUISHY Sensory ideas for little ones? Make sure to share in the comments, or just let me know which ones worked best at your house!

 

Check back next week for Top Ten Tuesday!