Monday, July 21, 2014

Letter & Lego Press and Marshmallow Painting on Motor Skills Monday!

Our Summer Fun Schedule is BACK! We took a brief hiatus from our daily activities since we were in California last week. 

And because we did A LOT of this...

And a little of this...

It is time to UNPLUG and do some motor activities. 

(Seriously, my kids have been on TECHNOLOGY OVERLOAD the past couple weeks. iPad, iPod, Computer, TV, name it...on vacation we were all plugged into everything!)

Today we did 2 activities focusing on Fine motor skills. We have been doing some different things for over a month pretty regularly. And just today, I noticed that M didn't need any help opening her peaches! Those darn things are hard to open, I have 2nd graders who still can't open these by themselves.
Coincidence? Or maybe our little activities are paying off? :)
Sure, she still spilled the juice a little but she didn't need any help.

(I don't open anything for her unless she really has tried on her own. Once she shows me she really can't is when I will help her.)

So, parents of littles, if you are still opening, buttoning, pulling up undies, ETC, go for a Fine Motor Check and see if your kids can do it on their own. They may surprise you. Sometimes I feel we do more for our kids because it's just faster and easier that way. For so long, I was getting Myla dressed as she just stood there when she really could do more on her own. 

Anyway, back to our activities for today...

Playdoh Letter & Lego Press


Play-doh (50 cents at Wal-Mart right now!!)
Legos or Duplo blocks
Magnetic Letters (don't have to be magnetic but all I had, letter stamps would work too)
Small rolling pin (optional)
Placemats or tablecloth

Knowing my "audience", I knew the kids would love to explore with the blocks and Play-doh first.

And opening those darn Play-doh containers is tough! Or is it just me??

I finally got this one open and she pulled out the Play-doh. 

The kids loved exploring and rolling out the play-doh. I grabbed Myla's play rolling pin which was the perfect size to roll it out. N preferred to use his hands which was great, since I only had one. :)

Then they began pressing the Duplo blocks into the play-doh to make different imprints.

Myla thought it was pretty cool to try all the different sides of the block and see what "design" it made.

Silly boy...

Such concentration...

She liked smoothing it out over and over.

After a good 20 minutes or so, (and it was a nice and quiet 20 minutes!) we moved on to the letters!

The Dollar store had both capital and lowercase letters, which is one of the things we are working on with M, so these were perfect. 

My idea was to have the letters sorted and we would match them up and press into the Playdoh. 

Look carefully and you can see I sorted one in the wrong spot! Can you see it?? ha ha :)

I chose a Capital letter from the pile and pressed in the play-doh. Myla had to find the matching lowercase letter and press next to it. 

Then here is where the fine motor practice came into play...picking up the letters out of the Play-doh. She learned not to press it in too much!

Then we took turns and Myla chose a letter for me to find...

And would you believe it??? The lowercase "x" was NOWHERE to be found. we moved on to another letter.

Meanwhile, Noah had fun smashing letters into his play-doh as well as his cracker crumbs.

Finding the letters in her name to press is next!

 Pretty neat!

After we were done, we found the little "x" under the table! Can you see it??

The kids really loved this and it will definitely be something we do again. 

Next activity...

Painting with Marshmallows


Washable Paint
Large sheets of construction paper 
Ice Trays

Before we started, I told the kids we would be painting today, which they LOVE. 

BUT... I told them we didn't have any paintbrushes to use.

Here was their reaction...

"So, mom, what are we going to do??"-Myla

I explained we would be painting with marshmallows!!

(Whoo-hoo!! Can we eat them too?!)

I got bowls for the marshmallows..I got the tiny size and I also found some shaped as stars. Fun. 
I got two old ice trays for the paint.

 They would take a toothpick and stab a marshmallow, dip in paint and PAINT.
Then I made sure to get lots of toothpicks so they could use one for each color.

Noah jumped right in!! (he preferred the smaller white paper)

And started mixing colors, of course!

Myla was a bit more careful not to mix the colors.

I had them put their used marshmallow in the empty ice space while they used different colors and that worked pretty well. 

They did eat a few marshmallows, without paint on them, I think, as they worked on their picture.

I tried to get them to use the marshmallow paintbrush to make dots but they liked to smear it instead, which is fine.

Here is the one I made! 
Can you tell the yellow spots at the top are supposed to be stars?! Yeah, didn't work very well but it was fun having the different marshmallows.

Noah is so proud of his marshmallow painting...

Myla was still working...

She noticed the marks the toothpick made as she pressed harder when she painted the paper...

 All done!

Just beautiful. ;)

Then it was clean-up time. (my least favorite part.) 

And because I am cheap and hate to see paint go to waste, I used a teaspoon to salvage what was left of the paint! As long as it wasn't all mixed up, I saved it!

Overall, it really held their interest, was super fun and helped sharpen those fine motor skills. 

Myla already asked if we can paint again tomorrow. :) 

We shall see! Tomorrow is Thoughtful Tuesday and we are planning to have a Free Lemonade Stand. Should be the hot Texas heat. Think 7am is too early for a lemonade stand??

Yeah, probably...expect to see some sweaty faces as we hand out free lemonade tomorrow. :)

Until next time...

Thanks for reading!

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