Thursday, April 24, 2014

Grow a Garden Pretend Play Dough

We are loving all things Spring these days.  One rainy morning, Baby Girl and I played with this play dough fine motor activity while Little Guy was away at preschool.  She loves play dough and was very excited to Grow a Garden with a few extras thrown in there to make a fun flower garden.
 
Play dough is such a great way to work on fine motor skills and this garden activity hits the mark when it comes to strengthening those little muscles in the hands.  Not only that, it's totally fun and happy!
 
 
 
 
{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 

I started by making a bunch of flowers.  I used my circle paper punches and glued circles together to make flowers.


Baby Girl and I stuck them onto green paper clips.  It was a great way to get started on the fine motor work in this activity.  She was really focused on putting the paperclips onto the flowers.

 
Next, I pulled out the green play dough and we started planting flowers!

 
Rocks were needed for our flower garden, of course! 

Fine Motor Activity for Kids

We tried clay and play dough for this activity.  The clay was more resistive to press the paper clips into, and a better strengthening tool...but it seemed to stick more to the paper clips.  Play dough worked better for us, and was just as good a fine motor strengthening work out. 

Pressing the paper clips into the play dough is a great way to encourage a tripod grasp while strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the hands.  The small muscles within the hand are so important for arch support and control in many fine motor tasks (coloring, zippering, buttoning...)

We've done another paper clips and play dough color match activity recently that hit on the fine motor work in this activity.  Check it out...your little play dough fan will love it!



This was a fun way to pretend and play as we grew our little garden!

More play dough ideas you may like:


 



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pretend play figures

 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a big part of Little Guy's pretend play and fun on a daily basis.  He's got the action figures and sets up battles with them, pretending all kinds of ninja action.  If you've got a ninja turtle fan in your house, these egg carton figures are the thing to make!
 
We've been playing with these pretend play figures every day for a couple of weeks now...even taking them outside for some ninja turtle fun.  They have battled superman, been victims of his lasso skills, and met a few worms.  These guys are making their rounds in our house lately! 
 
 
TMNT egg carton play figures
 
 
 

DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle egg carton figures

{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 
 
 

We started with some egg cartons that Baby Girl and I painted green.  You might have seen the action on our Instagram feed. (Are you following us?  Stop by and let us know you're over there...we would love to connect!)


We used wiggly eyes that we received free from our friends at craftprojectideas.com.  A little glue on these guys and they were ready for painting.

 
For the masks and mouths, I used acrylic paints for a nice and bright color. 
 
They are looking pretty cute for a bunch of mutant turtles with mad ninja skills!


These guys were immediately a hit with Little Guy.  They were easy to make and basically free, using paints that we already had.  These would be a fun addition to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed birthday party too.  We had a TMNT that we had a teenage mutant ninja turtle party for his fourth birthday...and he talks about it allllll the time. 


We took them outside and have been playing with our TMNT guys in the dirt, with sticks and stones.
Little Guy made a pizza shop using sticks and a sidewalk with rocks.  LOVE the pretend play happening here!


Little Guy loves his "ninja turtle egg heads" and we've been having so much fun!

Let us know if you make these.  We would love to see how you're playing!  Stop by our Facebook page and share with us!

This post is part of the monthly Project: Recycle & Create series with some fabulous bloggers.  Stop by and say hello!

P is for Preschooler Powerful Mothering Afterschool for Smarty Pants Still Playing School Lemon Lime Adventures Creative World of Varya Mama Miss There's Just One Mommy Little Bins for Little Hands Peakle Pie Sugar Aunts Teach Me Mommy Danya Banya ALLterNATIVElearning Widsom Knowledge Joy Preschoolers Day by Day Playtivities


Do you have any egg carton posts to share?  Link them up below or just check out the fun ideas:


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Color Sorting Scissor Activity

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know how much we love to do fine motor activities.  Scissor activities for kids is one of our favorite fine motor topics and we've got a bunch of creative ways to practice them!  This fun fine motor color sorting activity was part of prep for another activity we were doing (watch this space to see these foam squares again!), but we had so much fun with it, that we had to share! 
 
 
 

Scissor Skills Activity for Kids

{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 
 


We started with the wooden crates from our Melissa & Doug Food Groups.  Besides being a totoally fun pretend play toy, the packaging is completely re-usable and perfect for sorting activities.  We shared the picture of our four crates on Instagram and had some great comments about how awesome these crates are for all kinds of play.

I lined the bottom of the four crates with different colors of foam sheets, and drew thick lines on matching colors of foam sheets.


This was a great way for Little Guy to practice his cutting with scissors.  The thickness of the foam sheets is great for new scissor users because it provides greater resistance and therefore slows the scissors more than regular paper.  The thickness of the lines is another way to grade down the cutting task for new scissor users. 

Slower cutting speed is good when the little one needs verbal and physical prompts to hold the scissors correctly, and how to position their assisting hand on the foam. 

Little Guy is working on his scissor skills and needs prompts to hold the foam/paper close to his body and to move the scissors when he's cutting, and not hos whole upper body.  Strait lines are a good start for him for practice.  Older kids or those who are doing a little better with their scissor skills would benefit from thinner lines, curved lines, or even using construction paper instead of the foam sheets.


Once we had all of the foam squares cut out, we were ready for our sorting.  This interested Little Guy for a little while, but Baby Girl was the one who was really into this part of the activity.


She was able to sort the colors into the correct bin.  We worked on naming the colors along the way.


Sorting the squares was a fun way to play and learn!


We had a great time with this cutting and sorting activity.  Let us know if you do this at home, we would love to hear about it!

Looking for more scissor activities?  You may like some of these:


Scissor Skills with Play Dough | Cutting foam beads activity | Using stickers to help with scissor use

Stop by our Scissor Skills Pinterest board for more ideas. 

Follow Sugar Aunts's board Scissor skills on Pinterest.

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