Thursday, August 23, 2012

Window Gellies

Last weekend we made window gellies - I have no idea if there is an actual name for them, lets just go with window gellies for now :) 

The Setup:
I made sensory bags using clear hair gel, a little water, and gel food coloring. Then duct taped them to the sliding glass door. We only get direct light early in the morning so I made these the night before. Ready for action as soon as Baby Rex wakes up!

Baby Rex getting his first look at the window gellies :)
BEAUTIFUL in the morning light.
I put them at different levels to encourage Z-Rex to stand & reach or sit when he was tired. He is working on standing without assistance and cruising along furniture. This was a great way to add in gross motor development to our activity.  

This was a perfect morning activity for Rex. It was exciting enough to peak his interest, but quiet enough to allow him to feel in control.


After giving him a few minutes on his own to investigate, I doodled on the window gellies. We drew letters, shapes, and a smiley face. Even though he is only 10 months old, I am always looking for ways to bridge hands on activities with academics. 
My hope is for Rex to develop a passion for learning that will carry him well beyond his finger painting years. 

I left the window gellies up for Baby Rex to come back to and explore in his own time. They are still up a week later, still intriguing  :)

Z-Rex has entered into "monkey see monkey do" phase. He quickly perfected the finger poke and doodle. 

Often throughout the week, Baby Rex has simply sat by the window gazing at the colors, deep in thought.  

Tips & Tricks:
  • Use double zipper gallon freezer bags. I only had quart :(
  • Duct tape the bag sealed before taping to window/door to help prevent leaks
  • Add glitter, beads, small toys, or foam shapes 
  • Bridge academics - draw and talk about letters, colors, shapes, etc.
  • Verbally illustrate child's actions & feelings to help build vocabulary and awareness. 
  • Let your child lead the activity, offering suggestions as he or she has a natural lull in play
  • Have fun & be creative!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Mmmm Blackberries

Trying new foods can be a fabulous sensory activity. Z-Rex reminded me of this when he had Blackberries for the first time at a little over 8 months old. 

He is lucky he is so cute with all this energy waaaay to early in the morning!

Baby Rex was very content and focused on examining the blackberries. His favorite thing to do with new food is to smear and scrap it across his highchair tray. 

Z-Rex played and explored his blackberries for a long time. He was fascinated by their texture and taste. These blackberries were big and super juicy, perfect for little hands.

WHAT do you mean there are no more blackberries?!?!


I am looking forward to introducing more new foods to Baby Rex in the coming months. My hope for him is to build a life long love of adventurous eating with a wide variety of flavors, textures, and colors.       

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Jello Safari Tub

With Z-Rex teething like crazy and not feeling the greatest, napping in his crib has become a luxury for me. After a run of several bad nights in a row, Baby Rex finally slept well and took a nap in his crib to boot! I felt like a new woman, with an amazing new rush of energy. To celebrate I created a super fun sensory tub for Rex when he woke up.

I used washable Crayola paints for the grass and trees, allowing for dry time before Rex woke up. Added a few safari animals, lime flavored Jello and downloaded some fitting nature tracks to the iPod. 

This was the first time playing with our Safari Animals.
Baby Rex was very intrigued and inspected each one. 

I of course took this opportunity to work on perfecting my animal sounds. Daddy makes the best elephant sound :)

Z-Rex was fascinated by the Jello texture. He amused himself trying to pick up globs. 

I think next time I will follow the directions for Jigglers to give him a different experience. 


Baby Rex quickly went from exploring with his hands to crawling all over the tub chasing globs of Jello. 

Rex says Hi and hopes you will enjoy a Jello tub of your own soon.
  Next time I am using TWO boxes of Jello :)

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Bubbles make it Better

Z-Rex has cut 4 teeth in the past 3 weeks, with 2 more about to poke through. As any parent knows teething babies are fine one minute and crazy the next. On one particular afternoon Rex was having one of those days. Nothing seemed to hold his interest, he was a MAJOR fuss bucket. What's a Mama to do? 
Just remember, everything is better with Bubbles :)

Filled up the play pool on the patio then cranked the bubble machine and the tunes to full blast.

Rex LOVED the massive amount of bubbles floating around. He has always enjoyed waving his hands at the bubbles. As he has gotten older I have tried to encourage him to clap his hands or use an index finger to pop bubbles.  

Bubbles are magical. They are great for children (and adults) of any age. In all of my experiences working with children, bubbles have always made a rough day better :)

Even I got a kick out of the floating bubbles.

Insider Tip:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Gazillion brand bubble solution. I have used others but this is my all time FAVE and well worth the few extra dollars in my opinion. I came to this realization based on three important factors to me:
1. They photograph like NO other, check out all those colors in each bubble!
2. They are SUPER easy for younger kids to blow. 
3. Work great even when using homemade and other non traditional bubble blowing tools (like your hands!)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


With Z-Rex being under house arrest, per doctors orders, we have been doing lots of sensory play activities. These help break up our day and give Rex an opportunity to explore using multiple senses. Our favorite this past week has been oatmeal. 

Just dumped a canister into our trusty play pool and we've had fun every day!

I supplied Rex with the usual assortment of measuring cups and spoons. His play pool and scoops are familiar and comforting when exploring a new play substance or texture. 

Baby Rex trying to catch the oatmeal as I rained some down for him. This was a good way to regain his focus when he seemed to be losing interest.

Z-Rex was very interested in the oatmeal canister, look at the FOCUS in his face. I love that deep contemplation as he is learning critical thinking and problem solving skills. 
Rex decided that oatmeal did NOT belong in the canister and insisted on removing every last bit.

One of my favorite things about sensory play is how the same materials are used differently each time.
Today Z-Rex was more interested in closely examining individual grains of oatmeal. 

Baby Rex adores his big yellow bowl. It is the perfect size and weight for filling and dumping :)
We use our play pool to contain messy play when it is too hot to go outside. This gives Rex plenty of room and freedom to thoroughly investigate while containing most of our mess.  Dry rice and oatmeal vacuum up really easy. We are also able to save it for playing another day.

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