Old Mac Donald Had a Farm Sensory Box

Old Mac Donald had a Farm Activity for kids and toddlers
Old Mac Donald had a Farm is a favourite nursery rhyme in our house at the moment and we have read (and sang) the book many times over.
To continue the learning and love of this nursery rhyme, I thought I would set up a fun Sensory Hide and Seek activity. This activity is also provides a learning opportunity that encourages oral language and fine motor development.
Old Mac Donald had a Farm Hide & Seek Sensory Tub involves hiding all the plastic farm animals and characters in the rice and split peas mixture. Then using the mini tongs, searching through the mixture to find and catch each of the farm animals. This is all done while singing Old Mac Donald had a farm.
What you will need?
Invitation to play sensory hide and seek
You will need a large plastic tub, mini tongs, farm animals and characters, rice and yellow split peas.
I have used the rice and split peas for many activities and store them in this container with an air tight lid. This tub of rice and split peas has lasted for over a year and is showing no signs of needing to be thrown out. The life expectancy of the sensory tub will depend on how many children use the tub and the items that added to the tub.
Let’s Play
Hide and Seek Senosry Play Game
Some Ideas:
  • Hide all the farm animals in the rice and split peas mixture. Using the tongs to find and catch them. The first animal to be found, add them into the song Old Mac Donald. For example, when we found a horse, we sang; “…and on that farm he had a horse”.
  • Use your hands, instead of using the tongs to find and catch the farm animals in the rice and split peas.
  • Read a nursery rhyme book and sing Old Mac Donald had a Farm.
  • Talk about what sounds each animal makes.
Let’s Learn
Sensory Games for Kids
Sensory play promotes many learning experiences:
  • Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mold materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent. Toddlers and children process information through their senses.  They learn through exploring these.
  Benefits of singing nursery rhymes:
  • Develop and extend vocabulary.
  • Rhyme – understanding rhyme in our spoken language helps children learn to read.
  • Rhythm- helps children to remember words and develop auditory memory skills.
  • Phonemic awareness – hearing and understanding that words are made up of individual sounds and other word patterns.
Find more Sensory Activities <HERE>
Sensory Play and Activity Ideas for Kids, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Children’s Learning and Technology

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Kids is the tablet that grows with your child. With intuitive Kids Mode, parental settings and a great selection of preloaded apps, it’s the unique tablet for kids that parents will love.
Children's Learning and Technology
Technology is touching almost every part of our lives, our communities and homes.  It is a big part of our world today and our children are being born and raised in this digital 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, particularly the way we educate and teach our children. 
I believe that with the introduction of technology in schools and in the home environment has opened up a huge window of opportunity  in children’s learning.  Tablets and other technologies are an effective tool in children’s learning when they are relevant and interactive to the learning experience. 
Like with anything though, moderation is important and there is nothing better than real life hands-on learning opportunities for our children. 
How do kids learn?
Technology and Learning
Essentially we all know that children learn differently, in their own way and at their own pace.
Children learn best through following their interests and what has meaning for them and seek out stimulus best suited to their style of learning. 
As educators and parents we need to find ways that motivate our children to learn and create opportunities that are interesting, motivating and engaging for them. 
For example all my children learn through play but they all have their own specific interests and ways of learning and acquiring information.  My eldest child loves books and learns best through repetition and reading.  She is also musical and often uses this artistic streak to help her development an understanding of a challenging concept or skill.  My middle child is very sensory orientated and learns best through technology, games and hands-on experiences.  She will continue doing something over and over again through trial and error until she finds the solution.  My youngest child is also very sensory based and learns best through watching and then exploring and doing.  She is very hands-on orientated. 
Benefits of Technology as a Tool for Learning
Benfits of Technology for Children
Effective technology integration is achieved when its use supports curricular goals. It must support these components of learning: active engagement, participation, frequent interaction and feedback.  When looking at the benefits of utilising technology within the classroom or home we first must look at purpose, relevance and nature of the device, game or app.
  • Technology provides each classroom and home with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials.
  • Technology has provided another means for providing information and another tool for learning.  Some technology and educational games and apps are highly interactive and this can keep students actively engage, focused and on task longer.
  • Technology can be used as a tool to motivate.
  • Technology provides another avenue to explore concepts and skills and may assist children developing an understanding that was previously a challenge.
  • It has provided the opportunity for self-correcting, try again and problem solve.
  • Prepare children for the future and up to date technological advances and developments.
Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means.  The educational opportunities that technology gives to children are amazing and endless.
Make sure you pop over to our current GIVEAWAY – We are giving away 1x Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Kids and $100 Google Voucher.

This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Kids is the tablet that grows with your child. With intuitive Kids Mode, parental settings and a great selection of preloaded apps, it’s the unique tablet for kids that parents will love.

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 it 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!
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