Balloon Squishies

Balloon Squishies

We’ve been having some cold, wet, loooong days lately. We love getting outside and splashing in puddles, but there’s only so much washing I can cope with before I start losing. my. mind. I am a big fan of finding stuff to make and do using the things lying around the house and that takes very little effort, and this week has been no exception. I’ve always got a bag of balloons in the cupboard because balloons = awesome. Play dough is another staple play ingredient in this house. Put em together and you get balloon squishies!

These little guys and gals are fun to squish and squeeze, to add to pretend play or to role play different emotions with kids. Pebble decorated her own balloon squishies and named them after everyone in our family. To make your own just push some play dough inside a balloon, tie a knot and draw on a face with a sharpie. Instant fun!

Tip: to get the balloon into the play dough make several small, grape sized balls of dough the stretch out the balloon using two hands while your little person throws the dough into the balloon. I managed to fill a few on my own too, using my index fingers to stretch out the balloon and my other fingers to grab the dough and push it into the balloon. Yep, I was impressed with me too.

Want more ideas for preschoolers? Check out the Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook, it’s packed full of fun stuff to do.

What would you use these balloon squishies for?

Play doesn’t have to be complicated

Play doesn't have to be complicated {Octavia and Vicky}

 

I love Pinterest. I can get swept up in all the amazing, inspiring play ideas that I find there. But more often than not, in reality, we enjoy simple play around here. Like playing with bubbles in the kitchen sink. Play doesn’t have to be complicated.

In The Weekly Kids Co-Op you’ll find play ideas of all kinds, art and craft too, for kids of all ages, all abilities. Dive in and find something to play today.

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25+ Awesome Activities for Preschoolers

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

It’s here, it’s here! I’ve been holding this little baby under my hat for weeks, but I can finally announce that the Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook is HERE! I was thrilled when Cathy from NurtureStore asked me to be a part of another of her amazing ebooks, you might remember that I collaborated on the Zero to Two ebook earlier in the year. It was a winner and has had so much support from readers, I just know that you’re all going to love this ebook too.

What will I find in the ‘Three to Five: Playful Preschool’ ebook?

  • 25+ awesome activities for preschoolers
  • hands on, play based learning
  • inspiring ideas that are practical and easy to follow
  • beautiful photos and step by step guides
  • 10 printable resources including a city play scape scene, My First Journal pages, a recipe card, numbers game, weather chart printables, alphabet play mats, hand drawn art pages, conversation cards, block building challenge cards and bookmarks)
  • links to over 50 more preschool activities
  • ideas for language, literacy, science, art and play
  • features from some of the best play blogs, including Laughing Kids Learn, Picklebums, Babble Dabble Do, Rainy Day Mum, Lessons Learnt Journal, One Perfect Day and many more.

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Take a sneak peek at what’s inside with this video:

How do I get my copy? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

  • Okay, steady on! Three to Five: Playful Preschool  is an ebook. You can download your copy on any device (computer, tablet, phone) from anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW! You can print it on your printer at home, or read it straight from your phone, computer or tablet. I know, cool right?
  • get your copy for the awesome price of $8.99 (USD). Don’t worry about working out the exchange rate, it’s all done for you when you get your copy. You’re welcome :)
  • Just click on the button below to be whisked away to the checkout…

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool ActivitiesHave fun playing :)

Three ways to play and learn with measurement

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Children love to measure things in their world. Pebble has often helped us with measuring furniture for a space in our house, or measuring ingredients for cooking. She also naturally measures objects in her play, choosing longer and shorter blocks for building, filling and pouring different sized cups of water in the bath or choosing which piece of furniture to put where in her doll house. 

Giving children the chance to play with measurement helps them learn how to compare objects and use words such as ‘tall’, ‘taller’, ‘heavy’, ‘heavier’, ‘full’, ’empty’.

1. Block play

You will need:

  • blocks of different sizes

How to play

  • Build with the blocks.
  • Talk about the similarities and differences – colour, size, shape.
  • Hunt for blocks that are short and blocks that are tall.
  • Choose five blocks and put them in order from tallest to shortest.

Before starting this activity it’s important that your child knows what “long” and “short’ mean and how to compare two objects. If five objects is too overwhelming then start with a few less.

Pebble found this activity easy peasy. I asked her how she knew which one was the longest and she showed me how she lined them up along side each other to check. Rocky joined in alongside, playing with the blocks too.

We talked about how the size of the blocks changed depending on which way you turned them and ultimately Pebble chose which way she wanted the blocks to go.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

2. Lego Towers Race

You will need:

  • duplo/lego
  • stop watch/clock/timer

How to play:

  • Set the timer for 60 seconds.
  • Build a tower as tall as you can in that time.
  • Keep repeating the tower building race until you have three or four towers (or build one each if you are playing with three or four children).
  • Compare the towers to see which is the tallest and which is the shortest. Put them in order.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

3. Straw collage

You will need:

  • straws
  • scissors
  • paper
  • craft glue

How to play:

  • Cut straws into different lengths using the scissors.
  • Choose some straws of different lengths to stick on to your straw collage.
  • Stick the straws in order from tallest to shortest.

This looks very simple but can be quite tricky, especially with so many objects to compare. Pebble lined up each straw from one end, so that she was getting an accurate comparison. It takes children a little while to get the hang of doing this. Lots and lots of practice will help them get more confident and accurate.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

More ideas for playing with measurement:

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities
More maths play on Octavia and Vicky:

Invitation to Play bottle top numbres

Learning about numbers - subitising and number recognition | Octavia and Vicky

Baby Obstacle Course

Baby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddler

Baby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddlerRemember that pic of Rocky falling from the tower of cushions? What WAS he up to anyway? Well, this is what he was up to – a baby obstacle course! We were kicking around at home on a day when Pebble was at kindy and I thought it would be fun to set one up just for him. It was kinda hilarious to see him giving it a go, he had a lot of giggles and a few tumbles. It made our afternoon fly by much faster. Here’s how I made the obstacle course. You might like to make one at home for your kids too.

Zero to Two - the book of play

Baby Obstacle Course

You will need 

Objects that suit your babies ability, eg. rolling, climbing, reaching, grabbing, crawling.

We used:

  • a small pop up tent
  • sofa cushions
  • a tunnel
  • dining chairs
  • muslin wraps
  • sticky paper
  • shiny paper

Other ideas:

  • small or large balls
  • soft and fluffy rugs
  • large boxes to crawl through
  • baskets or tubs for climbing into and out of
  • a box of rattles or shakers
  • baby safe mirrors
  • bubble wrap

How to create an obstacle course

Set up the objects around your home or in your garden and encourage your baby to explore them. There’s really no right or wrong way!

Baby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddlerBaby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddlerBaby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddlerBaby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddler
The sticky paper was an interesting experience for Rocky. I stuck it with the sticky side up, so that as Rocky crawled across it his hands touched the sticky surface. He has played with it before but not for a month or two and not like this. He reached out to crawl as usual, then pulled back quickly and scrunched up his face as he felt the sticky paper on his hands. He sat and stared at the sticky floor for a few seconds, then reached out and quickly pulled back again. He repeated this exploration again and again, until he was comfortable enough to cross the sticky paper.

Baby Obstacle Course - tips for setting up an obstacle course for your baby or toddlerDo your children seek new sensory experiences? Or do the struggle with new sensations?