Worms and "Clean Mud"
Our Clean Mud Recipe:
4 Cups Corn Starch
2 Cups Conditioner (we used coconut scented Suave - cheap!)
Stir and Squish.
Add Plastic Worms.
Giggle as worms "make" their tunnels.
March Green Leprechaun Goo
1 Part Conditioner (Go Cheap)
2 Parts Corn Starch
The more you mix, the softer it gets.
Optional: Add gold coins for those little Leprechauns to find.
Gingerbread Moon Sand
Sensory Activity That Smells Like Christmas!
8 cups sand
4 cups corn starch
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 can of pumpkin
½ Cup of water
Mix dry ingredients together.
Add 1 can of pumpkin
Slowly mix water until it is the consistency you want.
During the Holiday Season, those Sensory Seekers need even more ways to get their sensory needs met. Being deluged with increased sensory input can result in increased sensory seeking (e.g. spinning, tripping, body slamming…). To help those with extra sensory needs, remember to keep sensory materials available to balance out all the sensory input that comes with this time of year.
All About Me . All About My Feet.
You don't just get sensory input from your hands. A great place to start is by taking off those shoes.
"What?!" You scream in your head. "Then I have to put everyone's shoes back on...ugh."
Yep, I heard you.
So. Start those self-help skills early. But that's another story for another day.
Barefoot dancing often leads to a discussion on how you can feel with your feet…and feel you can. A Texture Walk brings out all sorts of giggles. Try soft fabric, indoor/outdoor carpet, burlap, and most unexpected (and stickiest) of all, contact paper (yep, the sticky side).
Walking on Raw Eggs
This is an amazing idea I borrowed from the wonderful website, Housing a Forest,
Can you imagine?
Click here for a detailed tutorial and for other great experiments.
When we tried this, we were questioned all week with:
* "Have you tried it yet?" Yes!
* "Does it really work?" Yes and Yes!
* Most importantly, "Does it also work with styrofoam egg cartons?" Yes!
* "Would you do it again? " Yes, but I wouldn't rush it. In my excitement to try the actual experiment, I failed to spend enough time letting the kids explore eggs in general. In the future, I will allow for playing with eggs individually so that they can question and predicate more. Also, stomping on eggs could have gone on forever with those sensory seekers.
Sensory Bags and First Day Jitters
She walked in and without taking a breath stated with the authority of the House of Representatives Sergeant of Arms introducing the President of the United States, “I am not touching GAK.”
“Hi, I’m Ms. Peggie. You do NOT have to touch anything you do not want to touch.”
Oh, no, my Back to School Night speech to parents has backfired. I had spent lots of time talking about messy play, the benefits, the research that supports it all wrapped around the “This is why they need a change of clothes” slide show (this is one of the greatest idea from Lisa Murphy at http://ooeygooey.com to introduce parents to the importance of play).
The new parents sending their first born ran home to tell New Girl all the great things she gets to do at her new school. New Girl hears “GAK”, “touch” and “Messy”. She is drawing a line in the moon sand. “Nope” that is not happening to me. “See, I have on my birthday shoes.”
Feeling safe and secure is the most basic of ground rules before anything else. New Girl was not going to be open to learning if the worry of the mythical GAK was present. I want to give the opportunity to engage not force. By giving her the control over what she touches, it also lays the groundwork for the fact that she can be responsible for her learning. Once again, not getting them ready for kindergarten, but getting them ready for college. For life.
So how can I get New Girl to take that step towards being engaged?
Sensory Bags. Mess in a Bag!
It was the same thing I did for her parents. At parent’s night, I place zip lock bags full of goop, GAK, colorful gel and paints around the room. Slowly as I talk, they will reach out to touch them. By the end of the night a few are completely involved, drawing designs, squishing it in their fingers and erasing their fingerprints with a swipe of their hand. They were fully engaged and did not see it coming.
So on the first day for New Girl, the bright colors pulled her in. My modeling gave her courage. Her curiosity got her engaged. By the end of the morning she had done everything possible with those bags…squished, stacked, drawn, inspected and shared. As she bounced around the room, exploring her new space, she repeatedly came back to the bags, that is, if they weren’t in her hand.
“Bye, Ms. Peggie. Keep my GAK right there for tomorrow.”
Large Zip lock bags
Packing tape to seal
You choice of materials:
Clear Hair Gel plus blue liquid Water Color
White Coconut Shampoo plus confetti glitter
Shaving Cream plus foam shapes
Two colors of paint
Paint plus sand
Kick Off Your Shoes We're Going for a Walk
“I need everyone to take off your shoes and socks, we’re going for a walk.”
“Without our shoes?”
“That’s right. We’re going for a walk on a feely path.”
Shoes and socks start flying.
Now that I had their attention, I knew we were about to practice skills in self-help, language, cooperation, and sensory exploration through out feet. But all they saw was we were going to do something really fun. We were going to walk on something called a “feely path”.
Creating a feely path in the classroom is a recipe for laughs. Our feely path was made up of objects that were hard, soft, squishy, cold, sticky, slick, crunchy, loud, pokey, and everything in between. The kids had a blast walking along the path and feeling what was under their feet. What came natural was the expressive language “it’s bouncy”, “it’s pokey”, “this feels gushy”, “this is poppie”. We never had to ask them how each object felt, the words just tumbled out along with the laughs as they made their way along the path. Crawling along the path gave a whole new sensory experience and description. “I’m stuck”, “my knees feel ouchy”, “It feels mushy and rough at once”. What came as a bonus was the cooperation that quickly happened within the group. They formed a line, waited their turn, corrected each other if someone took “cuts”, and even worked as a group to create new paths throughout the classroom. The path was travelled over and over again accompanied all the way with laughter.
A feely path doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. We used things like bubble wrap of different sizes, bagged rice, play dough, and Styrofoam, floor tiles, carpet (both indoor and indoor/outdoor), contact paper (sticky side up of course), placemats of various materials, and packing airbags. Just put it out and let the kids take it from there.