Friday, April 12, 2013

IKEA Hack: Creation Station

Ever since our visit at my neighbor's (neighbour's for all of you Canucks) for a birthday party I've been obsessed with their Creation Station in their main living area/kitchen area.  Literally, when I'm awoken for night time nursing sessions I have a hard time going back to sleep because I'm thinking about this table!  What is wrong with me?  But I want one!!

  First of all, these particular neighbors have really cool style!  They put a lot of thought into everything area of their home and make it livable for their entire family...even the youngest members.

Here is why it is so cool:

First, it has awesome storage using THIS unit from IKEA.  They've stocked it with art supplies and recyclables for what ever the imagination can create like, egg cartons, paper towel rolls, etc. 

Second, it is the perfect height so children can gather around and work, without sitting. Boy Moms, you know how that's not happening.  

Third, the top is a counter, used for a kitchen island (from IKEA), so it's totally wipeable, cut and finished...and inexpensive! 


Ahh...I want to do something like this so bad!  I think I'll have to do some de-cluttering first.

Do you have an Art Area or Creation Station you like or use?  
Put a link in the comments!  We want to see!

Monday, April 8, 2013

6 Sensory Table Ideas

     As parents and grandparents, we are always on the prowl for a safe activity that will engage our child either by himself or with a friend  that they can experience independently.   We want an activity that will not only allow them to be creative, but will also let them use their senses and develop their fine motor skills.  (The time will come too quickly where they will be asked to use a pencil and paper.)    One of my favorite and easiest forms of play is the sand and water table.  Now, there is no need to go out and purchase a sensory table but there are several reasonably priced ones at Walmart, Target and Toys R Us.  One of my favorite and easy sensory bin to store is a simple storage bin with a lid.  You can store the play material in the bin, take the lid off and “dwella”  it’s playtime.  You can also have several bins ready to go with different material stacked in your garage for a beautiful day outside or a fun activity on a rainy day on your porch or kitchen table.  LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!!!

                  Water with/without bubbles is always a favorite.  This one just happens to have plastic butterflies hiding in the bubbles just waiting to be scooped up with nets or little fingers.  Note:  The fine motor development with the scooping and picking up the slippery butterflies with fingers.

                  Here is a fun and easy activity.  It is a large block of ice which was frozen in a pan with small plastic toys, sparkly gems and sequins.  You put the frozen block of ice in the tub and give the children different tools to try to remove them.  This little girl had a small rolling pin.  You can also supply small rubber mallets with golf tees,  eye droppers with warm water to help melt the ice, spoons, etc.  Use your imagination.  This is fun to do on a hot day outside as well as an activity to keep little hands busy while Mom cooks dinner.  They love it!   More fine motor development! 

                  Here is a bin of dried corn feed.  You can also use dried beans of all types for a clean, easy bin of play.  We have added forms of transportation  to this table but simple spoons, laundry scoops, plastic cups of assorted sizes are just as entertaining and the learning is just as valuable. 

                  Sand and cornmeal is always a favorite.  Sifting, measuring, weighing, scooping and transferring are math, science and fine motor skills all rolled in one fun activity.   Add some coffee beans for the aroma and texture along with assorted sizes of scoops, spoons, cups, scales, etc. and let them go!!!!!

                  Below is a bin of potting soil with worms.  UGH!!!!  No worries, these are small rubber worms.  Gardening spades, shovels, small cups, tongs, cups and buckets are added for the experience.

                  Last but not least is clean snow dough.  This sweet smelling dough not only is delightful to smell but to touch.  You can make it as follows:
  • One small bottle of baby oil
  • One 5 lb. sack of flour
  • Mix together and pour into your bin. 

                  These are just a few fun, independent learning activities you can provide for your children. 
ENJOY and make memories!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Think Outside the Box: Car Wash

Thank you Cost Co for your boxes.  Sometimes they are a pain, but other times, they are magical.

Carter was using the plain box as a carwash and over the course of a evolved.

Inside shot.  She the mini-koosh balls?
They are the scrubbers.

"Mom, big twucks go in dis side.  And wittle twucks go in dat side."

See the plastic hanging?  It's a door.

I love seeing all fun that can come from a box.  The time creating is so imaginative, inventive and inspiring. The time playing with the new creation is just a bonus!


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