Sunday, August 18, 2013

Smelly, Slimy, Clean

Today's sensory activity was designed to get Lachie to interact with different smells and to record his reaction to them. It seems that Lachie cannot smell his own body odour but has no issues detecting other odours which he finds unpleasant.

First I made smelly playdough, here is the recipe:

One cup (250ml) of plain flour
1/4 cup of salt
1 cup of boiled water
2 tbsp of cream of tartar
2 tbsp of oil

For smells, cocoa, rosewater, peppermint, jelly crystals. For colour, non-toxic paints, natural food colours, glitter or whatever takes your fancy!

Place the flour, cream of tartar and oil in a saucepan along with your chosen colour. If using paint I wait until the mixture is cool. Although I use non-toxic paints,  I thought it was better not to experiment with heating them.

In a jug place your boiled water and salt. Wait until salt dissolves.

Mix your salt water in with your saucepan ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. It will look runny and lumpy.

Keep stirring until it is starting to look smoother and thicker and it comes away a bit from the sides. Remove it from the heat. Different added ingredients mean different quantities of flour, judge it by how it comes together, not necessarily how sticky it is. When it is a good consistency to pick up and knead, it will still be a bit sticky at this stage and depending on the added ingredients may not come cleanly away from the pan (cocoa is a really sticky one).

Place the playdough on a floured board or in a slice pan (this is a neater way of doing it) and knead and add flour as necessary to get a smooth consistency. Place in zip lock bags in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Lachie was quite unimpressed by the smell. He tolerated it because he was interested in the rocks. He made different rivers and islands using grass, river rocks we bought from the reject shop for $4 and sticks. I wanted Lachie to be able to explore this activity without interruption so Aria stayed inside with Daddy.

The minion (AKA: The Me) and the Macca's man made an appearance in the play of course. We had the sensory tub set up but he wanted to use the messy mat instead.

After the activity it was time to clean the play dough off the rocks. The warm water and soap is calming and the slippery soap makes handling the rocks a challenge. This activity was also for Aria as she love to clean things.

Spot the Macca's man. As the bubbles grew so did their ideas about what they wanted to put in it. Of course, Aria engaged in the activity for longer than Lachie. She enjoyed the slimy rocks a lot more than he did.

Lachie was keen to dry the rocks and Aria got in on the action. There was a bit of push and shove here because they shared the same bucket and container but they worked it out in the end.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to Basics

This morning we played Snakes and Ladders and memory. I often wonder if the introduction of screens and waning popularity of these types of social experiences is impacting on our children's development. Brand name board games can be expensive but yesterday I found a range of cheap classics at Kmart for $5 each. I got Snakes and Ladders as I felt it would be good to teach Lachie maths concepts as well as give him the experience of set backs (going down the snake). Lachie at first was very upset over having to go down the snake during our morning test out of our new game. However, the game held his interest long enough to overcome his feelings of injustice and he eventually won. Apart from the obvious maths skills he learnt valuable social lessons. Turn taking and not cheating were definite challenges!

Snakes & Ladders

Snakes and Ladders from Kmart $5