Today was one of those annoying days where the kids have colds and it's raining out and I'm feeling guilty for having let them watch tv for the last three days straight, so I decided to break out "Fun Mommy" and do a few activities with the boys.
First, I broke out some Post-It Notes. I showed them once that it was ok to stick them to the walls, and they took off with it! Ben actually went across the room to find his own wall:
Caleb stuck a few on the wall, then thought it would be cooler if they were on his belly. Then he watched Sesame Street:
Without any prompting, Ben got the box of crayons (yes, that is an old wipes box. They are PERFECT for holding crayons!) and started drawing on his Post-Its:
While the boys thought this was pretty awesome, my mistake was keeping the tv on. This activity lasted about 10 minutes before they all lost interest and tuned back into Sesame Street. Oh well.
While they watched Sesame Street, I assembled these:
They are bug sensory bins! I've been collecting fake bugs from the dollar bins at Target and the Dollar Tree for quite some time, and today I thought it would be good to assemble them. The green stuff is dyed rice. I found a blog on Pinterest that told me you can squirt some Purell and green food coloring into a Ziploc bag of white rice, so I did that. I enlisted a couple assistants to help me mix it up (they did so well with taking turns!):
Caleb thought the "rub the bag on the dog" method was most effective.
I then filled the bins, quietly set them down on the floor, and took a step back. This is what happened:
Ben came running over to see what I was up to.
He immediately started digging through the bin, putting insects into the net.
Then I quietly set a muffin tin down next to him. Almost immediately, he started sorting his bugs into the wells. I love that it was all on his own!
Quietly examining his bugs with the magnifying glass.
Caleb wised up to what Ben was doing and came to join in the fun. I thought it was neat that he started using the magnifying glass, too. Especially since he never saw Ben doing it.
I also got some bug masks and aprons. Ben was the only one who actually wore his.
After several rice spill incidents, I moved the whole operation into the kitchen and put a sheet under the bins. Caleb thought it was neat to fill each well of the muffin tin with rice:
This activity would have kept the boys a lot busier a lot longer, but we had issues with toddlers throwing the rice. I'm trying to teach them that it's not ok by immediately removing them from the activity when they throw. So far, it hasn't worked with any of our sensory bins, but I'm hopeful that one day they'll be able to play with them without making such a mess!