Easter Sensory Box

Easter Sensory Box - Learning4kids
It is amazing how giving kids the most simplest of props can inspire and encourage their imagination and creativity.  There are no rules, no right or wrong……just fun, with a whole lot of learning happening. 
The Easter Sensory Box is filled with lots of Easter themed items to be explored and discovered creatively.
We have previously shared an Easter Sensory Play Table a while back and thought it would be fun to create another one using lots of different items.
What you will need?
How to set up a easter sensory box - invitation to play
To set up this invitation to play you will need a box, shredded paper, plastic eggs, craft chicks, mini tongs and Easter basket.  The shredded paper, plastic eggs and chicks can be found in most craft and discount shops.
You can add just about any Easter theme items to this Easter Sensory Box such as pompoms, empty egg cartons or foil to imitate the foil wrap around chocolate Easter eggs.
Let’s Play
 Easter Theme Activities
Some ideas: 
  • Sort the coloured chicks to match coloured plastic eggs.
  • Hide the chicks in the shredded paper and search for them.
  • Make a nest with the shredded paper and role play stories of hatching eggs.
  • Using the tongs, pick up each chick and count them as they are placed into the basket.
  • Mix up the coloured ends on the plastic eggs and un-jumble them to match the correct colours. 
Let’s Learn
Pretend Play Easter Theme Ideas
Learning Opportunities
  • Promotes imaginative play – provides opportunities for children to identify with the adult world.  Practice and role play their understanding and interpretation.
  • Strengthening fine motor – exercising fine motor muscles through manipulation of props.
  • Hand and eye coordination – trial and error, repeating actions to achieve an outcome.
  • Spatial perception and exploration
  • Problem solving – provides an opportunity to practice working out problems and strategies to overcome challenges.
  • Self Esteem – Overcoming the challenges promotes a sense of pride and achievement.
  • Language development
  • Maths – Counting, matching and sorting.
To view our previous Easter Sensory Play Table <CLICK HERE>
ideas for an easter sensory tub or table
Learning 4 kids

Learning Colours – Orange

Learning Orange Activities
Come play with the colour ORANGE!
As part of our Learning Colours Series here on learning4kids, today I am sharing with you some of the activities we have been doing as we explore and play with the colour ORANGE.  Our ‘orange activities’ involved reading The Big Orange Splot followed by some ‘splot’ painting, also playing with orange water beads, orange play dough and making a orange sensory ice box.  
By completing all these activities we are not only learning about the colour orange but we are also promoting other learning, development and skills building. 
If you have only just joined our Learning Colours Series here on learning4kids and would like to find out more, click here
Orange activities for preschoolers
A fun and simple activity which involves reading the story The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater followed by making orange paint ‘splots’ with oranges cut in half pressed into paint.   Books are a great way to introduce new ideas and concepts and this story is perfect for introducing the colour orange. 
I set up our activity table with newspaper and placed 2 orange cut in half faced down onto an orange paint tray.  Kids will love to create their own ‘splots’ with paint and cut oranges on paper!
Orange Scented Play Dough1
Making Orange Scented Play Dough is a great way to create a fun sensory learning experience that promotes fine motor development, creativity and learning the colour orange.  We have used this play dough before in a previous activity with Number Play Dough Mats.
Click here to view and print Orange Scented Play Dough Recipe
Click here to view the full activity Number Play Dough Mats and print your FREE Number Play Dough Mats.
Orange Ice Box 1
Another orange activity Miss 2 had fun playing with was an Orange Ice Sensory Box.  I filled a jug of water and added a few drops of orange food colouring and then filled a range of different shape containers, some small and some larger ones.  I placed the containers onto a tray and into the freezer.  When frozen the colour appears to be a more pale orange. 
To make the ice sensory box a little more fun we added a small amount of bright orange water (food colouring) to the box, a pair of tongs and different orange objects to create an invitation to play in an unstructured and creative way.  I added the tongs to encourage Miss 2 to pick up the ice blocks.
We also have a Blue Artic Ice World here on Learning4kids.
Orange Water Beads 1
I absolutely love water beads, so when I found these orange ones I thought it would be perfect for our learning the colour orange activities.  On our activity table I laid out a bowl of orange water beads, an orange spoon and orange cupcake pans.  Miss 2 spent hours picking up the water beads with the orange spoon and placing them into the cupcake holders.
  1. Threading Beads:  Threading ORANGE beads onto ORANGE pipe cleaners.
  2. Wear ORANGE for a day:  Dress your child and/or yourself wearing the colour orange for the day.  Where your favourite green scarf or socks.
  3. ORANGE Discovery Box:  Go on a ‘orange treasure hunt’ around the house with a box and fill it with as many orange things as you can find.  You can involve your child or make the discovery box for your child to explore. A box filled with so many ‘orange’ treasures to pull out to touch and feel, smell, listen to, look at and explore. 
  4. Make an ORANGE morning tea: Cut up a range of orange foods such as carrots, melon and oranges for morning tea.
  5. Sing Songs about the colour ORANGE: You can basically take any song and replace some words with the colour green.  Why not make up your own song or chant with the word orange?
  6. ORANGE Bath:  Fill the bath with water and add a few drops of orange food colouring and orange balloons filled with water.  Adding bubbles makes it even more fun!
Click on the links to see our other Colour Activities from our Learning Colours Series
Learning 4 kids

Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids

Valentines Day Activities for Kids
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would collate all the activities we have done so far here on learning4kids.
Strawberry Scented Play Dough
To inspire creativity and the imagination set up a hands-on play dough activity with bright red play dough with sugar heart sprinkles and decorative heart shaped tooth picks. Read more…..
Heart Shaped Paper Chains
Heart Shaped Paper Chains are so much fun and super easy to make.  They are a great activity to do with the kids this valentine’s day and use them to decorate their bedroom, play area or classroom with.  Read more…..
Heart Flowers
Making craft heart flowers in a vase is an activity that you could do with the kids to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a special gift to give or a pretty decoration. Read more…..
Bubble Wrap Heart Painting
To keep with the theme of Valentine’s Day why not try this paint printing activity with bubble wrap and red and pink paint.  The bubble wrap is cut into different size heart shapes which are used to create painted heart prints on paper.  The painted artwork makes a perfect gift wrap paper for valentines.  Read more…..
Heart Tissue Paper Sticky Contact Collage
Create a Heart Tissue Paper Sticky Contact Collage with cut out heart tissue paper pieces and clear contact attached to a window.  When the sun shines through it shows the different shades of reds and pinks created by overlapping the tissue paper.  Read more…..
Eye spy with my little eye…….other FABULOUS Valentine’s Day activities I have found around the web!!
Click on the links to take a look!!
Toilet Paper Roll Heart Stamp by Rust and Sunshine
Lollipop Flowers Valentine’s Day Card by Spoonful
Roller Painting by Artful Child
Homemade Heart Sponges by Learn Create Love
Valentine’s Heart Scented Tied Pillow by De Tout Et De Rien
Musical Hearts by Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Learning 4 kids

Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough Ornaments

Christmas Play Dough Ornaments 1

Making Play Dough Christmas Ornaments with Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough is an open-ended opportunity to play in an unstructured way, allowing children to explore their creativity and imagine.
The Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough heightens the sensory experience and was used to make the play dough ornaments which were then decorated with metallic confetti and sequins. 
So simple and so much fun…..and a whole lot of learning and skill building happening too.
A little while back I shared with you an activity we did making Salt Dough Christmas Decorations (Ornaments) for the Christmas tree.  Making Christmas Play Dough Ornaments was inspired by this activity and provided an opportunity for my kids to practice and role play the skills and ideas that they learnt from making the salt dough and their salt dough Christmas ornaments.
What you will need?
Christmas Play Dough Ornaments 2
You will need Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough, Christmas Cookie Cutters and Metallic Confetti and Sequins.  I also added three Candy Cane Ornaments from the Christmas tree to add to the creativity.
Click here to view the Minty Candy Cane Scented Play Dough Recipe
Let’s Play
Christmas Play Dough Ornaments 3
Role Play: Making Christmas Play Dough Ornaments was very much like making our Salt Dough Ornaments.  It involved kneading the play dough, rolling it out flat and pressing the Christmas cookie cutters into the dough.  Using the candy cane ornament my girls made small holes to imitate the ones we made with a straw on our Salt Dough Ornaments.
Christmas Play Dough Ornaments 4
Decorating the Play Dough Ornaments was so much fun and I absolutely loved watching the creativity and ideas they came up with.  They came up with so many different patterns with shapes and patterns with colours filling up the space and area provided.
Christmas Play Dough Ornaments 5
Benefits of Playing with Play Dough
  • Self-expression
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Building and strengthening fine motor skills
  • Eye and hand coordination
  • Problem solving – finding solutions to overcome challenges
  • Social interactions
  • Spatial awareness
More Play Dough Play Ideas
More Christmas Activities and Ideas
Learning 4 kids


Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

Salt Dough Ornaments
We’ve been making Salt Dough Christmas Decorations (ornaments) for our Christmas tree.  They are so much fun and super easy to make! The most wonderful thing about making salt dough decorations is that it is great for all ages to participate in and the final product is something that you can keep and treasure for many years to come.
You will need salt dough, baking paper, rolling pin, Christmas theme cookie cutters and straws.
Click here to find out how to make salt dough:  Easy Salt Dough Recipe
  1. After preparing and making the Salt Dough, place a ball of the dough onto a sheet of cooking paper and roll our flat with a rolling pin.  The cooking paper helps make it easier to transfer onto an oven later.
  2. Press christmas shape cookie cutters into the flattened salt dough
  3. Using the straw place a small hole into the salt dough.  This hole will later be used to thread a piece of string or ribbon through it for hanging.
  4. Place in the oven and bake until completely harden.  Some browning will occur and this is fine because we plan to paint our Salt Dough Christmas Decorations.
The wonderful thing about making Salt Dough Decorations is that it can can spread it out and make them over a period of a few days.  We decided to paint our hardened and cooked salt dough decorations outside because it was a beautiful evening.  Sprinkling on some glitter onto the wet paint adds a nice touch to the decorations.  When the paint was dry, using a black permanent marker pen, I carefully wrote each child’s name and the year they made them on the back of the decoration.  I am sure that years to come they will enjoy looking back on the things they had made.
We thread a piece of ribbon through the hole that was made using the straw earlier and tied a knot to create a loop for hanging.  My kids hung them onto our christmas tree and they look absolutely wonderful, adding a personal touch to our christmas tree.
Learning 4 kids
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