Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crafts & Inspiration: Balls for sensory box?

This morning I woke up really early (like 5am) and knowing that girl is home for a weekend and that two of us will be spending most of the time together (specially with rain outside!), I've decided to put together a little sensory box for her. Problem at that point was I didn't have anything to pour into a box (no rice, corn, sand, or anything similar at 5am)!

Then I got thinking about how much she loves playing with all the different balls. We even had a faze where we couldn't get into a store without her yelling: "Mom I want that ball!" each time she would spot one! That gave me an idea of using balls for sensory play.

So, I gathered all the different balls in small sizes (small enough to be carried in one hand by a toddler) and different textures: soft plush balls, bouncing balls, rubber balls, some string balls. And added couple surprises like yarn balls from recycled yarn, pom poms and marbles. Just to add to variety, color and structure of the play.

Also, took all the different sized kitchen tools - both from mom's kitchen and from girl's. We had different sized utensils created from plastic, metal and wood.

And, on the side, few different sized boxes, plastic and paper cups, few cardboard tubes and empty egg crate.

All of this was laid for her on her favorite Dora blanket. Mom's attempt to keep the play inside limits of the blanket... haven't worked, naturally! :)

So, what she woke up to was this:

Mom got very surprised face expression. But then she sat down and started to explore what she has inside each of the "boxes".

This was probably something that comes naturally - she first took things she doesn't usually play with: yarn balls and soup ladle. And transfered yarn balls from one pot to another.

Trying to balance it with both hands pouring at the same time:

Next, comes a reaction: "Mom, look what happened?!" and she tried to put the yarn ball together. I left her try until she asked for a help then I secured all of the yarn balls.

She placed smaller yarn balls into cups and pom poms into paper cups. This is her hard at work :)

Then she moved to pretend food play and served mommy some chocolate candies in paper cups and some hot chocolate in plastic cups. All sorted on her little tray.

And then she went fruit picking coming back to offer me some oranges (orange yarn balls), strawberries (red pom poms), lemons (yellow pom poms), apples (red yarn balls). She couldn't quite figure out what blue and green pom poms would be so we agreed those could be plums and grapes. ;)

This occupied her for good hour and half. :) We had all the different balls all around the house. But it was totally worth it. And she acted nice when I asked her to take it all back on the blanket before nap time. I caught her sorting out pom poms into egg crate when she was done. ;) Now we're up and she's back playing with her balls. Looking forward to see what she'll come up with next! :)

I have decided to place this post into crafts & inspiration for few reasons: First, we usually look for an inspiration outside of our homes and in purchased toys. And couple of recycled and reused objects from kitchen and playroom can shine bright in whole new light in child's eyes is presented differently. And then again, this "sensory box" was inspired by one little girl's love for balls. Do you get inspired with your child's favorite toys?

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Best Toys for Toddlers
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  1. That's an awesome sensory set up! I love all the little balls - and the spoons are a perfect combination!

  2. Brilliant! I love that she got so many play activities out of it! Sweet Pea loves balls, perhaps I can set up something similar for her, but without the small balls (she's a bit too young still at 14 months).

  3. My girl is 3,5 and she's not bored with balls yet :) So, Princess Pea can also dig in! ;)

  4. Scooping, tipping, pouring, filling, gathering - all the things that toddlers love to do!

  5. These are good ideas to keep kids busy and let them have fun at the same time.


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