"Dancing raisins" is my favorite science experiment yet! And since every time Kay has raisins for a snack now she asks to make them 'dance', I'd say it was a hit with her as well.
The first day we tried it, we used two paper cups, 1 with just water and another with ginger ale (any clear bubbly liquid would work; I see soda water used often online). Obviously, the one with just water did nothing. But the ginger ale raisins bounced up and down. Very cool. But not so easy to see in a paper cup.
The next day, I found a tall vase that I knew would be perfect for this experiment. So we did it again, adding more ginger ale. Then Kay dropped in a raisin. This time, the raisin "danced" all the way to the top and then back down again. It was very cool!
So Kay added a few more raisins, watched those move, and then added even more. She was fascinated with this and so was I! Then she got a spoon to try to 'catch' the raisins when they came to the top. But the shape of the vase, combined with the fact that as soon as she put her spoon in the raisin would jump back to the bottom, meant she didn't catch very many.
Now I just have to figure out a way to give her raisins without her asking to do this experiment every time!
You may also like. . . or see the menu for more!
Thanks to everyone who participated last week, whether by adding a post or just checking out the ones shared (or both!).
I love this play dough kit from Racheous because it's so open-ended. With a bunch of supplies, kids can create whatever they want to!
This paper bag luminary from Craftulate
is beautiful and wonderful for fine motor skills. We tried it and it turned more into a paper bag collage, so check out how theirs come out!
This is a fun idea from Mothers Madness to make Christmas cards with children's artwork (can be used to make any type of card really!)
I'd also like to share some giveaways you might be interested in:
These EZ Paints
have a brush attached and don't spill if they tip over. 3 winners will find out for themselves! (US only, ends 12/9)
Two winners will each get a$150 shopping spree
of Melissa and Doug products with this giveaway. Think of all the presents that would buy! (US only, ends 12/8)
Hot Dots Jr.'s Let's Master
series is a fun way to learn reading and math for Pre-K to Grade 3. We tried the Pre-K reading one and Kay really loved the dog "pen" that comes with it. Winner will get to chose grade level and subject. US only, ends 12/16.
And on with the show...Add your family-friendly posts here! From recipes and crafts to games and parenting, this is your place!
You added your great posts last week, so let's check out some highlights on things you (or your kiddos!) can make:
If you were featured, Congrats! Feel free to grab a button below...
I'd also like to take the chance to tell you about a giveaway for EZPaints
. These are paints that come with the brush attached and the first time we've painting in this house without a mess! So you see why I'm so excited about these! :) (Bonus: They are awesome for fine motor skills!) So I'd love for you to swing by and enter
- there will be 3 winners so your odds are good!
Now it's your turn again. Add your family-friendly post and check out what others have shared. Mostly, have fun!
Today I have a gift guide written by Antonella Bettley of England. She offers some suggestions about transport toys for preschool boys, but I know my daughter would be interested in some of these too!
What boy, young or old, doesn’t like cars? Well, not just cars, but trains, diggers, motorbikes, and anything that goes fast with a roaring noise! If you’re a fan of all things wheelie or flying, having young boys is a great excuse to indulge in transport toys.
Here’s a run-down of our favourite transport play things….
1 - Pedal cars
are fantastic for developing gross motor skills and physical co-ordination, and for development of space awareness and courtesy. They are also a fun alternative if your child is reluctant to walk short distances, and doesn’t want to be in the pushchair any more. This silver pedal racing car
is classy looking and is a great gift for budding Lewis Hamiltons.
2 - Train sets
come in a variety of types suitable for railway fans from babies to granddads! Trains can be motorised or not, and can be stand-alone or with track. Companies like Hornby have been making train sets since the 1920s, and building miniature railways is a very popular hobby. For young children, the motorised train sets are unnecessary. Wooden train sets like those made by Brio
, or cheaper alternatives made by major supermarkets, are a brilliant, toddler-friendly introduction. Train toys are available in your child’s favourite train characters too – including Thomas and his Friends
, and Chuggington
3 - Space rockets
are the ultimate transportation option and have been around since the mid-20th century. Space exploration is brilliant imaginative play – do the countdown and, in your head, you’re off to the moon and beyond! Early Learning Centre
do space rockets and figures in their popular Happyland range which are perfect for little hands.
4 - Diecast cars
also have a very long history, with toy companies like Hornby, Dinky, and Mattell manufacturing miniature vehicles since the early part of the 20th century. Diecast cars are as popular as ever with new brands like Hot Wheels
being introduced alongside famous names such as Matchbox
. Diecast vehicles are available in a huge range, including cars, vans, buses, emergency vehicles, racing cars, and even airplanes and helicopters. Miniature vehicles are brilliant for developing fine motor skills, and may even become valuable collectables in the future, as well as providing hours of fun. Look out for these on eBay.
5 - Construction vehicles are a great way of developing creative play. This mini JCB dump truck
encourages actions like tipping and loading, as well as wheeling. It provides fun interactive play and develops imagination. It is sturdy and waterproof so it can be taken into the garden for a sand pit session or two.
6 - Scalextric
is fast and furious fun but may be beyond the skills of the average pre-schooler. A good option is a very simple remote controlled car. Choose one with basic backward-forward and left-right functions and it will help develop your pre-schooler’s hand-eye co-ordination and provide lots of excitement.
So whatever types of vehicles your pre-school boy (or girl!) prefers, there’s a huge variety to choose from to suit all age ranges and budgets.
Antonella Bettley lives in Market Bosworth, England, near Leicester with her husband Tim and their daughter, Martha. She is one of three directors and co-founders of Cocobaci, a luxury online Boutique specializing in clothing and gifts for newborn babies and toddlers aged 0-2 years.
You may also like these. . . or see the menu for more!
Welcome to the Top Ten Holiday Lists gift guides as we share with you our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, crafting supplies/kits, and non-food stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own list each week for each of the categories so be sure to see what everyone has to offer (the list is at the end of this post!) Happy reading!
Pretend play is an important part of the preschool years. These toys will help inspire and expand your little one's imaginative play! What's your child's favorite pretend play toy?
Work Belt Tool Set
- One of Kay's favorite toys is her pretend tool set. This one comes with a carrying box and a tool belt! Learning Telephone
- Kids love to play telephone, and this one can help children learn their phone number or other important numbers by hearing a recorded (by you!) message when they dial correctly. Pretend and Play Cash Register
I loved playing with a cash register in my day, as most kids do. It's great for playing store or just pressing the buttons! (Plus you can add in some learning about the value of coins and adding money while they play!)
Pretend and Play Doctor's Kit There are a lot of doctor kit's out there, but I love all the accessories that come with this one! (My daughter mostly just likes giving the shots!)
ALEX's Let's Pretend School
- Kids love to play school (even when they don't like going to real school when they're bigger!) and this looks like a fun set to inspire the imagination! (They might even learn while they "teach"!) Pretend and Play Bakery Set
- This bakery set comes with sliceable food and an egg that "cracks" open to release yolk. Add a little water and they can practice pouring and transferring too!
And I couldn't finish this list without adding a superhero cape. My daughter wears hers all the time, pretending to "save the world." You can buy an inexpensive cape (we got ours at Target) and just glue a felt initial to the back, or if you're not feeling so crafty, here's a relatively inexpensive Superhero cape that comes with a mask from funkidzstuff on Etsy.
Also check out these suggestions... Feel free to pin and share what you like. Happy Holidays!
You may also like these. . . or see the menu for more!
While this is the 6th Learn Through Play blog hop, it's my first time as co-host and I'm happy to be a part! We're all about learning through play. I look forward to reading and sharing your ideas. Link up below!
Oftentimes the best traditions are simple little things. At Christmas time, my father always took me, and later my sister, to pick out our very own ornament. We would pick what we were interested in at the time and over the years we had a collection of what we liked through the years (from princesses to softball to cell phones!). Here are some other ideas, if you're looking to start a new tradition. Remember, it should be something you'll enjoy too. Otherwise it's just another chore!
*Elf On The Shelf is a tradition many families do, where a silly elf doll is found in a different pose each morning. East Coast Mommy
's elf keeps himself very busy!
*Instead of an Elf on the Shelf, KC Edventures
finds jingle bells 'dropped' by elves who are watching over the children!
*Christmas Eve surprise box
, from The Imagination Tree.
*Christmas Tree Decorating Party.
Laugh With Us blog does a version that ends with everyone watching a Christmas movie in their Christmas jammies!
*Christmas Eve Elves
who leave a special delivery on the morning before Christmas.
*Homemade Ornaments - a DIY alternative to our buy-an-ornament-each-year tradition! Mama Papa Bubba
has some ideas to get you started.
*Packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
. Adding the spirit of giving to others to a family tradition.
*Amy at The Connection We Share
had a super fun idea! A special "elf" leaves out a bag for the kiddos each day with a special activity and all the things you need to complete it. There's candy cane growing, expressing gratitude and...eating snowman poop? Gross...kids will love this!
*Magic Reindeer Food. Why should Santa get all the treats on Christmas Eve? Sprinkle some 'reindeer food' (oatmeal mixed with glitter) in your yard to help re-charge the reindeer on their busy night.
*This makes for a fun tradition - elf footprint stamps
that make it look like an elf has visited your child as they slept, checking if they were sound sleepers in preparation for Christmas Eve!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
This post is part of the Sharing is Caring Christmas Blog Hop
hosted by Life With Lovebugs
, Powerful Mothering
and Pam’s Party & Practical Tips
All of the blogs listed below are sharing Christmas themed posts as part of this event, so click on one or all of the links below to find some great recipes, tutorials, crafts and more!
I'm super excited to be one of a wonderful group of bloggers to bring you this great Melissa & Doug giveaway. There will be 2 winners so keep reading for your chance to get in on this Toy Shopping Spree Giveaway from Melissa & Doug Toys!
Kay has been pretending she's a spy a lot lately. With binoculars or a magnifying glass she goes around saying she's a "secret agent" (where did she even hear that word?!) This activity fit in well with her current interest, however. After finding an old container of lime juice in the fridge, I went online to see what kinds of science-y things we could do with it. We used it with baking soda to see the reaction and now we were going to use it to make...invisible ink. Spy science!
This is super simple. I poured out a little lime juice in a cup, set out some cotton swabs and paper, and we both drew designs on the paper. After pre-heating the oven to 250 degrees, I left the sheets of paper in there for probably less than 2 minutes before it was ready - the lime juice that had been "invisible" before had now turned brown and was easy to see! Kay liked it and wanted to try it again.
While not pretty by any means (it comes out a coffee-color), the fact that it went from "invisible" to clearly able to be seen was intriguing to this 4-year-old!
You may also like these...or check out the menu for more!