Colour Activity – Coloured Ice Boats

Colour Activities - Coloured Ice Boats
Coloured Ice Boats is a fun sensory activity for children to explore colour.  As the ice melt creates coloured water to mix and make new colours.  It is also an opportunity to play imaginatively and creatively.
What you will need?
Sensory colour Activities Coloured Ice Boats
You will need ice cube trays, food colouring, ice cubes, plastic trays, foam pieces for the sails, blu-tac and straws cut to size.  The straws are used to make part of the sail and the blu-tac is used to hold the straw in place as the water freezes.
We added other matching coloured items to each tray to add to the sensory experience such as bottle tops and gem stones.
Tip:  sit the coloured ice boats on the bench to thaw out a little before removing from the ice cube tray.
Let’s Play
Colour Activities for Toddlers and preschoolers
Some Ideas:
  • Pretend and play imaginatively.  Add some toy characters to the play opportunity.
  • Place one blue and one yellow ice boat into a separate container and see what happens.
  • Create an imaginative play scene: Use the gemstones to create a pretend island and the clear ice cubes are sharks or other sea creatures.  The ideas are endless!
  • Ask questions:  what two colours mixed together will make purple or orange?
Let’s Learn
Mixing Colours with Ice Boats
This activity is great for mixing colours together and making new colours.  Once all the coloured ice has melted and mixed together is becomes brown coloured water.
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development – Pre-writing skills
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
  • Language development
  • Colour recognition
  • Sensory – exploring the world around us through our senses
Find more COLOUR activities <CLICK HERE>

Floating and Sinking Science Activity

 Floating and sinking science activity
Floating and sinking is a fun science concept for children to explore.  Setting up a Floating and Sinking Learning Tray will invite them to play, experiment and explore how and why different objects float and sink when placed into water.
What you will need?
Learning Tray Floating and Sinking Sort
To set up this learning tray, you will need a large container filled with water, 2 containers to sort floating and sinking objects and a range of floating and sinking objects. 
The objects we included for this science activity was: a large rock, bottle top, wodden peg, pop stick, feather, coin, key, gem stone, button, shell and a leaf. 
You can download and print the labels here: Floating and Sinking Labels Printable
Let’s Play
Floating and sinking sort
Some ideas:
  • Place one item into the water at a time.  Does it float or sink?  Place the object into the corresponding labelled container.
  • Talk about why some objects sank and others didn’t.
  • Discuss the weight, size and material the object is made of and how this influences the floating ability.
  • Talk about why there were bubbles when some objects sank.
  • Read books about floating and sinking.
  • Bottles tops are great for floating when turned over both ways.  Can a bottle top hold a small stone and still float?
  • Search around the house for more objects to test if they can float and sink.
Let’s Learn
Why things float and some sink
After experimenting with the different objects floating and sinking, allow some time for your child to play freely with the water, containers and objects.  Add other toys such as cars and characters to the play opportunity.  Kids absolutely love to play with water!
Learning Opportunities
  • Language development: Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking: predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
For more Science Activities and Ideas <CLICK HERE>
Science Activities for toddlers, kids and preschoolers
Learning 4 kids

Learning Benefits of Tablets

Sponsored by Samsung and Nuffnang
Learning Benefits of Tablet
Technology is a big part of our world today and also a big part of our children’s world.  It is a fact that tablets and other technologies are here to stay and will continue to develop and change the way we do things, including the way we educate and teach our children. 
Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing a Samsung GALAXY Tablet 3 Kids and exploring the educational benefits for young children through tablets. 
I will be giving away the GALAXY Tab 3 Kids shown here in this post to one of our lucky readers! 
Learning is Fun with a Tablet
Samsun Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 1
I believe that tablets have a place in development and learning in schools and in the home environment.  I believe it has opened a huge window of opportunity in children’s education. Like with anything though, moderation is important and there is nothing better than real life hands-on learning opportunities for our children.  The GALAXY Tab 3 Kids has parental settings to help you stay in control of app usage and the amount of tablet usage per day; you can even set it to be used only between certain hours.  Having control of ‘tablet time’ will help you to monitor this usage and give you peace of mind. 
I am a big fan of apps that have a purpose, relevance and encourage learning.  In my opinion, they must also promote control of hand gestures and that are highly interactive.  Tablet devices allow children to manipulate virtual objects using natural hand gestures and this appears to stimulate experiences that can lead to stronger learning.  Learning is fun with a tablet because they are bright, interactive, motivating, promote problem solving and the images and icons appeal to the target audience.
Exploring the GALAXY Tab 3 Kids
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 2
The GALAXY Tab 3 Kids is a kid friendly tablet that has a fun bright yellow face. I found all the bright colours and large icons to be really cute which naturally appeal to a younger demographic, we could even personalise the tablet with one of my children’s name and photo.  It has a ‘Kids Mode’ alternative home screen that helps parents to control their child’s tablet time.  My children are aged 3 – 7 and Kids Mode was great as the preloaded apps are designed for kids of all ages but there is also the option to switch to ‘Standard Mode’ – so the tablet grows with your child and can be used like an ordinary tablet.
Other features:
  • Parental settings to help control app usage and purchases and manage the amount of use per day.
  • Available to purchase from selected retailers, including: JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Dick Smith, Target, Big W, Good Guys and Myer RRP $299.00
Educational Games We Loved
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 3
As mentioned before there are a number of preloaded apps available on the GALAXY Tab 3 Kids, some are educational, e-books, games and entertainment.  I really loved the pre-loaded app Dolphin Reader it story books are fabulous, interactive and also provided activities linked to the story.  As the basic story lines are read out loud, they were highlighted for children to read along.
The ‘Creative Corner’ app inspires imagination and creativity and can also be used as a learning tool.  Miss 3 is learning to write her name and this app allows her to play with colours and move her hand in the right gestures to form the letters in her name.  Miss 7 practices her spelling words that she brings home for homework.  It’s great because they can clear the screen and start again without wasting any paper.
Giveaway Image
I’m giving away 1x Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Kids RRP $299 and 1x $100 Google Play voucher to one lucky reader*.
For your chance to win, all you need to do is answer the following question:
“How will the Galaxy Tab 3 for Kids fit into your life?”
* This is a game of  skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. Open to Australian residents only. Entries open 9:01am AEDT, Monday 14 April 2014 and close 5:00pm AEDT, Friday 25 April 2014. Terms and Conditions apply.
<Click here for Terms and Conditions>
Learning 4 kidsTo enter, please scroll down and write you answer in the comment box or scroll up to the top of this post and click on comment near the title.  Good luck!
Sorry Australian residents only!

Super Soft Play Dough Play

Play dough with conditioner
Super soft play dough is a wonderfully textured play dough that will invite children to explore their imaginations and play creatively.  Children can pretend to be a chief making cookies and cupcakes in a bakery. They are able to experiment with the texture and make some amazing creations.
What you will need?
Super soft playdough
You will need Super Soft Play Dough Recipe <FIND IT HERE>, rolling pins, cupcake cases, cookie cutters, small containers and decorative toothpicks.  Some of these resources are optional as you can use just about anything from around the house.  Whatever you choose to add to this invitation to play will add and heighten the learning experience.
Let’s Play
play dough activities for kids
The texture of the Super Soft Play is very inviting for children to squish, squeeze and manipulate with their hands.  As it dries out a little, it is still soft but changes its constancy to a more flakey and crumbly play dough.  This adds to the learning experience and play.   They will have fun moulding all the different colours together and watching as it changes colour or create swirls of colour.  Children will enjoy making characters, pretend food and other imaginative ideas.
Let’s Learn
lets learn - super soft play dough
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Oral language development
PLEASE NOTE:  This play dough recipe is not like other traditional play dough recipes and has no preservative in it; therefore it will not last as long as salt based play dough recipes.  Super Soft Play Dough is designed for a sensory experience, an alternative to other play dough and will become flaky and dry with continued play.  I believe this is part of the experience of playing and experimenting with texture.
To find more Play dough activities & ideas visit our <PLAY DOUGH TOOLBOX>
Play Dough Toolbox Series
Learning 4 kids

Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough Fun

Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough Fun (learning4kids)
Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough is a wonderful and fun sensory activity to arouse the imagination and creativity.  The Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough is scented with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and smell just like the real Neapolitan ice cream.  Children can explore their sense and experiment, pretend and make the most amazing creations with this fun play dough.
What you will need?
Invitation to play Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough - learning4kids
To set up this invitation to play you will need the play make the Neapolitan Ice Cream Play Dough.  It is super easy and you can find the <recipe here>.
You will also need ice cream scoops, beads to imitate sprinkles, miniature pompoms to imitate candy lollies, ice cream bowls and spoons and also cardboard ice cream cones.
To make the pretend ice cream cones we used paper towel rolls and cut them length ways down the middle.  We then twisted the cardboard to form the cone shape and placed a piece of sticky tape on the join to hold it together.
To make the ice cream stand, we took two empty shoe boxes and turned them upside down and carefully pressed 6 holes into the box with scissors, twisting to make the holes wider.  Next we covered the shoe boxes with coloured wrapping paper and again pressed through the holes with scissors.  Finally, we then neatened up the holes by folding sticky tape over the rough edges.
Let’s Play
Let's play and pretend ice cream shop
Some ideas:
  • Pretend play an ice cream shop.
  • Create colour patterns with the different coloured play dough on the ice cream cones.
  • Sing songs about ice cream such as “I Dream of Ice Cream”.
  • Play Guess the Scent: cover your child’s eyes with a cloth and place each of the scented play dough underneath their nose.  They are to try and guess which scented/flavour play dough they can smell.
  • Make marble patterns with the play dough by squeezing and pressing the different colours together.  Use a cookie cutter to make pretend marble patterned cookies.
  • Learn about counting and sharing (division) by counting and sharing out a number of scoops between a number of bowls or people.
 Let’s Learn
learning opportunities with play dough
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Language development
  • Imaginative play – Pretend Play Ice Cream Shop
  • Recognising patterns, colours and scents.
If you liked this activity then you will enjoy our Imaginative Ice Cream Shop <CLICK HERE> to take a look!
Ice Cream Shop 9
Learning 4 kids
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