1) Homemade Sand
Myka is a bit weird about textures and getting her hands dirty, so I eased her into the whole sand thing by letting her play with the tools in it the first time. We just played with it for the 3rd or 4th time the other day and she had no qualms about using her hands at all. In fact, she made quite a mess. I was both appalled and proud. lol You can read more about our sand adventures and how to make it HERE.
Playing with beans is a BIG hit in our house. So much so that they are now permanently residing in one of the green tubs like you saw the sand in above...And we added another bag of beans. :D I want to say we started doing this around the time Myka was 15 months? You know how short attention spans can be at that age. She would (and still will a lot of times) sit and play with these for at least an hour. We tossed in some small containers and play utensils to make it more fun too. You can read more about our bean adventures HERE.
Contact paper is one of my new favorite things. We made this flower above recently and I was actually really surprised that Myka put most of the paper on herself. (All of "her work" pictured on left. I just put the remaining pieces on so I wouldn't have to deal with them or waste them. lol) I also cut up bits of yarn several months ago for her to put on the contact paper, but she ended up liking to take them off more than put them on,which is ok too. ha ha You can read more about our tissue paper suncatchers HERE.
So...water beads aren't actually marketed as a toy, if I'm being completely honest. You can find them near the floral section of craft stores because they are actually used to water plants over a period of time. But, they're also super fun to play with too! They're wet, they're bouncy, and they're slippery, so it's all kinds of fun for a sensory activity! You can read more about our fun with water beads HERE.
When I first came across sensory boxes, I fell in love immediately! Myka was only around a year old and very much still in the "sensory stage of learning". With her being my first and not having much experience with children aged 1-3, I discovered it can be a challenge finding fun activities for this age range. Sensory boxes are great because you can pretty much put whatever you want in them so long as they're of interest to your child and age/child appropriate. We usually do seasonal boxes like the one pictured above. That fall box had fake leaves, little plastic pumpkins, gourds, pompom balls, etc. She loved it! You can find more of our sensory boxes HERE.
*Ahem* Disclaimer time...
PLEASE use common sense when choosing activities for your child AND supervise them as well! You (in theory) know your child best. If you have a child who likes putting things in his/her mouth, as most young children do, save activities with small parts until they're older and choose a more age/child appropriate activity. To be real honest, most of the activities mentioned above are probably more suitable for older toddlers. Our daughter happens to be a little different than most kids and never really went through the oral 'puteverythinginmymouth' stage. So please rest assured that we were never putting our child in danger either and were always supervising closely or playing with her on these activities.
This post is linked up at: the Blog Mama Blog! Link Up