The Gingerbread Man

This week, Swords and Snoodles has joined with some fellow bloggers to create five fairytale themed sensory blog posts. The five fairy tales were Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the three bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, and The Gingerbread man.

I chose to base my sensory blog post around the story of the Gingerbread man because my children are both obsessed with it, and they are very familiar with the story.

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I’m not really a sensory blogger, I usually just write about things that are on my mind or my heart, although I do make sure I do at least four sensory activities with my children each week. My fellow fairytale bloggers emphasise sensory tubs as their main item, which I think all looked absolutely amazing. My boys would have loved them. I haven’t done a sensory tub and there are various reasons for this. Sensory tubs don’t work well with my 2yo and my 4yo together – they have totally different personalities, one is beyond messy and the other is very neat and likes things in order. This means that sensory tub activities, as a pair, usually end up in screaming matches and full on wrestling, yet neither of them are behaving bad, they just have different approaches to exploring their world. For this main reason I decided to do a few activities based around the theme of The Gingerbread man.

Our first activity involved a sensory setup of The Gingerbread Man story. We used fake grass sample squares, aqua beads, Happyland figures & accessories, characters on sticks,and plastic animals. I then presented it to my boys. They loved it. They knew straight away what the story was, and they reenacted it several times. They explored this setup for 90 minutes.

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For our next activity I decided to do a little science experiment with them. I asked them if they knew what would happen if the gingerbread man had fallen in the water. My 4yo said “He’d be all soggy and his head would crumble off!” I then presented them with a little experiment setup which involved three cups full of different textures/liquids. Cup one had fake snow, cup two had water, and a third cup had aqua beads. They absolutely loved dipping gingerbread men into the cups to explore the effect the contents had on them. As you can see in the pictures below they particularly enjoyed seeing The Gingerbread Man meet a watery fate!

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For our third activity we did a simple Gingerbread Man and shapes hunt. My 2yo particularly loved this activity because he adores being messy. Needless to say, there was a snow blizzard in my kitchen. For this activity we literally used felt gingerbread men, and brightly coloured cardboard shapes, all buried in fake snow.

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Our fourth, and final, activity ended the theme on a high. We baked gingerbread men biscuits! My boys love cooking, so this activity was a big success. They loved exploring the different textures of the flour, sugar, and spices. They enjoyed smelling the ground ginger and ground cinnamon. This activity was particularly helpful with my sensitive 4yo, it made him step out and become adventurous with smells and tastes. After we had pressed out the gingerbread men and popped them in the oven, the boys explored with some left over gingerbread dough. They loved creating shapes with it. Once the biscuits were cooked and cooled, the boys loved decorating them.

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We have loved being part of this fairytale blog share.

Please stop by and take a look at the work of the incredible people I have worked with this week:

The lovely Victoria from Silly Sparkles

The lovely Amy from Learning and Exploring Through Play

The lovely Emma from The Adventures of Adam

And last, but not least, the lovely Louise from Building Blocks and Acorns

 

Water Beads Play and Cereal Play

My boys love getting messy. They love digging, sprinkling, eating, pulling-apart; you name it, they like it!

I love doing sensory activities with them. I have two very different children, so I do it for two very different reasons.

My 3yo is a Sensitive Child. He has a heightened sense of smell. Textures effect him. He is beyond aware of other children’s emotional cues and anxieties. I do alot of sensory activities to help him with some of his sensitivities so he can cope as an independent human being, especially ready for school next year. I like him to explore smells and textures he likes and doesn’t like. I want him to understand that there’s nothing to be anxious about regarding a smell or texture that isn’t to his liking.

My 2yo is not sensitive. He just absolutely loves mess! Edible mess is his favourite! I want him to be able to explore through the only way he knows how; by making a mess, by eating, by licking, by breakimg things up etc.

Sensory play takes priority in this house over housework and errands. I believe it is so important.

This is just a quick post to show you whay we did today.

Today we simply played with some water cubes. We ordered them quite cheaply from Ebay. We explored the dehydrated cubes and then we soaked them overnight. They were so excited to see the results the next day!

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I set the water cubes out for them in a bowl of water with some splodges of shaving foam, and some plastic sea creatures. They really enjoyed it. Sebsory and imaginative play!

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After an hour my 3yo added some fake grass and a few dragons. He declared it “Dragon iceage time!”.

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For our pre-dinner activity I filled a plastic crate with fake grass, Asda cornflakes, dinosaurs, farm animals, and a few toy soldiers and accessories (to get my 3yo engaged). I knew cereal play would entice them.

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My boys adored this cereal play. We had so much fun. We made the dinosaurs stomp loud and quiet. We rescued stranded animals. We made a mountain for the soldiers.

We buried the dinosaurs and then my 2yo excavated them with his spade.

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My boys really enjoyed this simple cereal play activity. My 2yo enjoyed eating it too!

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Give it a go; minimal setup, minimal cost, priceless fun!

 

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I’m also currently helping with a giveaway for InviteXpress who sell personalised letters from Santa. If you’d like a free one you can enter the prizedraw here! Look out for their giveaway post and follow the instructions.

Edible Paint Activity

My boys love making a mess, and getting creative. My 2yo is obsessed with painting, but even more obsessed with eating it! The amount he consumes during the painting of an A3 sheet of paper is crazy. This is why I decided to create an edible paint. I basically put food colouring into condensed milk. Then I went to a cheap supermarket to buy several white and neutral coloured foods, both sweet and savoury.

I brought white bread, meringue nests, prawn crackers, pink wafers, and custard cream biscuits. Popcorn would be a great one too but the shop had no stock.

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I mixed the edible paint into a clean paint pallete.

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The food and food colouring cost around £5.50 total from a cheap supermarket.

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This activity is relatively mess free, and that’s a miracle in this house! We also coincided it with afternoon snack.

Here’s a few photos of our edible paint session:

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Then my 3yo made a traffic light.

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My boys were so excited that they could paint food and then still eat it!

I’d recommend this activity to everyone. It was cheap and very easy to do! Have a go and share your photos with me here on my Facebook page!

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