Indoor fun for toddlers – A Christmas series 🎄

I’m back with another fun Christmas activity you can do indoors! Easy to make and so much fun for babies, toddlers and even the older kids!

This week I made a Christmas themed sensory tub for Izzy, with some coloured pasta and some Christmas props. It was so fun for him to play in and he loved all the different things he could feel and hear. This sensory tub is good for their sensory development, fine and gross motor skills and communication and language, as they learn about some colours, talk about what they feel, see and hear. It can also be used to discuss and explain the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it to older children, who are able to understand.

It’s so easy to make and really doesn’t take long at all, although mine did because I made a silly mistake, haha! I’ll explain as I go along…

What you need:

A small tub/messy play tray

Pasta

Green and red Tempera paint

A dash of PVA glue (so the paint sticks)

Carrier bags/ziplock bags

Christmas props

E.g.

bells

Christmas felt shapes

Tinsel

Snowflake confetti

Pine cones

(All these things can be bought from Poundland or you can even use decorations off your tree.)

The process:

Put pasta in two separate bags; now I’m all about inexpensive ways to entertain my kid so I used food bags that I had lying around in the house. Then, put green paint in one bag and red in the other, add a little pva glue in both and shake shake shake! Make sure all the paint is mixed in well with the pasta and all of the pasta is covered.

Let the pasta dry overnight by pouring and spreading it out onto a flat tray, put some foil paper on the tray first, again, another thing you can find lying around in your kitchen. It should be dry after leaving it overnight. However here’s the mistake I made, I laid all the pasta out on a tray but didn’t spread them out enough and it took three days to dry! Three days! I think I might have put too much red paint on the pasta too because it was the red pasta that took the longest. I usually use rice for sensory play and it dries in a few hours so this was highly annoying that it took so long to dry but we got there in the end!

When the pasta dries, pour it in your tub (I used a bowl I had at home) both colours on either side and throw in your Christmas props and, voila! You have a Christmas sensory play tub. I placed the props in and made the tub look pretty and inviting so Izzy would play in it, I also put in a cup for him to place the bits in.

Izzy wasn’t too sure of the tub at first, so I let him hold the pasta and I told him what colours they were, he repeated them after me, then obviously tried to eat them! I quickly told him they weren’t for eating and once he saw me playing with them, he didn’t try eating them again. **there is a baby friendly way of making the pasta with food colouring in case you have any little nibblers!**

The bells were his favourite, he loved putting them in the cup and shaking it, listening to the sound they made, he eventually added some of the pasta and continued shaking the cup, listening to the sounds. It is safe to say his favourite sensory experience were the sounds.

The good thing about this sensory tub is, you can keep it for as long as you want until your child gets the full play experience from it, after they’re done, you can still store the pasta away for the next time you want to play!

Have a go with this indoor fun idea this Christmas season and let me know how it goes!

Hannah xo

Indoor fun for toddlers – A Christmas series 🎄

Glitter winter sensory bottle

As it’s Christmas season and the temperature has dropped, Izzy and I have been doing a few activities indoors after work and on the weekends. This is the first in my series of Indoor fun for toddlers; Christmas edition. Enjoy!

Making a glitter winter sensory bottle was very quick and easy, the hardest part was probably collecting all the bits we needed and trying to keep Izzy from pouring the glitter and beads everywhere! (Which he still did eventually! Ugh! lol)

This activity is great for toddlers’ fine motor skills development and also communication and language because it requires focus and listening skills as they follow instructions and copy what the adult does. Kids also find these bottles calming and they just love watching how everything moves around and how the substances mix, there’s a lot you can put in your bottle but we used 5 substances.

What you need:

A bottle: we used a ‘smart water’ bottle because I find them quite sturdy and the size was perfect.

Baby oil

Gold glitter

Yellow food colouring (to mix with water)

Beads

Decorative glass shards (frit) – we got these from Flying Tiger

The process –

Put a few drops of the yellow food colouring in the water and mix with a spoon, set aside.

Pour baby oil into your empty bottle up to half way, mine was a quarter way up because I didn’t have enough baby oil, but it still came out amazing!

Pour some glitter into the bottle to sit on top the oil, then put your beads in (we only used white and clear ones to make it look a bit more wintery) then I added the glass shards.

Pour your water into the bottle all the way to the top, leave a tiny bit of air space at the top.

Glue the lid on the bottle to avoid disasters of spillages, I used a glue gun but you can use super glue.

When adding all your substances into the bottle, get your toddler to help, this is where they use their fine motor skills, and show so much concentration. I however, avoided letting Izzy put in the glass shards because of his delicate little fingers, but they’re actually not sharp at all.

It’s beautiful how the substances mix and it literally looks like liquid gold in a bottle! The beads and shards also make a lovely sound like rain when the bottle is moved side to side slowly. What’s also beautiful about this activity is how cheap you can get the stuff you need, perfect!

Izzy loves playing with his sensory bottle, I find he gets more fascinated by it everyday, it’s like he discovers something new every time he plays with it!

I hope you have a go making one of these and if you do, leave me a comment and let me know how it went! Also keep a look out for my next Christmas Indoor fun activity!

Hannah xoxo