Posts Tagged ‘sensory’

12 Great Ways to Make Regular-Old Stamping More Fun

Using stamp pads is an easy, (sort of) mess-free activity that children of all ages can do. But how much sensory stimulation do kids get from sticking a generic rubber heart shape in an ink pad and smashing it on a paper a few times? Not much. Here are 12 cheap and easy ways to pump-up your regular old stamp pads- by using things from around the house, yard and classroom.

1. Bubble Wrap- a personal favorite. Bubble wrap makes great detailed textured prints using both the ‘bubble’ side and the ‘back’ side. It is easy to manipulate, easy to wash, most often free and fun to pop when you finish stamping 🙂 I recently had the kids use bubble wrap to make texture for an underwater scene and it came out perfect!

2. Corks- using both the round ends and rolling the cork on its side create fantastic texture. Corks are free (after you drink the wine!) and using them for stamping is a fun and easy way to recycle while making great, hands-on art.

3. Plastic animals- grab some plastic animals with different shaped foot prints and stamp away! The animals are super easy to wash, easy for small hands to hold and can be tied in to a lesson about nature, wildlife and animals.

4. Sponges- using dry sponges in ink pads is really easy, and a little less messy than using something like water colors or poster paint. Cutting the sponges into shapes is also fun, and using a sponge stamp print for a back ground on a larger progect is a great way to bring hands-on art into every project.

5. Tooth brushes- I know, crazy, right? But tooth brushes really make some very interesting patterns when using stamps. Using the bristle you can get some great grass or fabric texture, and some tooth brushes have ‘tongue scrapers’ on the back that create really nice stamp prints as well.

6. Leaves- real and artificial. The leaves shown are plastic and had some glitter on them (fancy, I know) so the stamp prints ended up with a little added sparkle. Real leaves make a wonderful nature stamping project, the children can collect leaves of different shapes and sizes and experiment with different printing techniques. A great (easy!!) way to bring nature into the classroom!

7. Rubber bands- another way to use something that is just laying around the home or classroom! Kids LOVE rubber bands, if there were three tables set up with various cool toys and art activities they would pick the manky rubber band that holds the easel together over all else. Why not have an activity that LETS them play with rubber bands? Here is one way to do that- it comes out looking pretty interesting!

8. Plastic forks- I discovered this one y accident, but it turned out to be a happy one! Using the back side of a fork to make a print turns out pretty interesting. I can see using this as grass for a garden scene, or teeth for a big monster. The opportunities are endless!

9. Toy cars&trucks- children LOVE playing with cars. Using a car with plastic wheels (easier to wash) and rolling it in a stamp then onto paper is a fun way to get kids who might not otherwise be interested in art to use their hands for a project. It is also fun to cover a table with butches paper and set our shallow trays of poster paint for kids to roll cars and trucks in, this way they can use a larger area and get more of a sensory rich experience from. Try it out!

10. Plastic reptiles- similar to using plastic animals to create fun tracks, using plastic reptiles is a great way to create texture with toys already in the classroom. The snake is definitely a new favorite of mine!

11. Buttons- take some old buttons and glue them onto a cork (so they are easier to hold). Buttons come in all different shapes and patterns and really make amazing stamps. Make sure to grab buttons that have a relatively flat surface or it will be challenging to stamp with them.

12. Textured home decor samples- another awesome way to use something free to make something fun! I used some plastic ‘bubble’ tile samples to make a stamp and came out with a nice delicate print. Great for adding texture to any project!

Take a look around the house, classroom, yard and see what other sorts of things might make a good stamp- again, the opportunities are endless!

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DIY Sensory activity- using something old to learn something new

Sensory experiences are how children learn about the world around them. This is a great (and super easy!) way to create a sensory activity for your home or the classroom.

Using old medication bottles, a bit of construction paper and small items from around the house or classroom you can create a fun, educational sensory activity.  I used a different color of paper and number for each bottle so that the kids could identify and sort their colors and numbers while playing.

What you need:

empty medication bottles or other small containers with lids (medication bottles work really well because the kids can shake them as hard as they want and the lids won’t come opened)

construction paper

clear tape

sharpie marker

a variety of small objects with different texture, weight and consistency to place inside- marbles, buttons, feathers, beads, screws, keys, corks, shells, pom poms, string, small toys, seeds, jewelry, stones, rubber bands, paper clips, magnets- anything that fits!

1. Gather up some old empty medication bottles:

2.Cut a piece of construction paper the height of the bottle and long enough to wrap all the way around, tape one end to the plastic bottle then wrap around and tape the other end securely.

3. Trace the lid top and the bottom of each bottle onto construction paper and cut out to cover the whole bottle so the hidden treasures inside stay hidden!

4. Number each bottle so the children can easily identify them, as well as practice their numbers.

5. Select a variety of small items with different textures, weight and consistency, shells, buttons, corks, yarn, beads, keys and place one (or a few if it is beads, marbles, seeds) in each bottle. Click the lids tight- kids like to shake the heck out of them in my experience!

6. Have the children sit in a circle where everyone can see and begin a discussion about the 5 senses and what we use them for.

7. Pass around the bottles, one at a time- I start with the number 1 bottle- have each child shake the bottle and describe what they hear.

Ask questions, “What does it sound like? “What do you think is inside?” “Do you think it is something hard or soft? Big or small? One thing or more than one things?” etc to create a discussion

Once each child has had a turn to shake the bottle and describe what they hear open up the bottle in question and pass around the item, or items, inside. Have the kids feel, describe, smell, (maybe not taste!) the items.

8. After all the bottles have been passed, shaken, described and opened you can ask the kids to talk about HOW they used their senses for this activity.

How did we use our sense of smell? How did we use our sense of sight? How did we use our sense of hearing?

Our senses:

Sight- children use sight to identify the color and number of each container, as well as to identify items and describe what colors, textures, patterns, shapes they see on the items once the containers have been passed around and opened.

Sound- when each bottle is shaken the item inside will make a sound (unless it is something sift- like a feather, which opens up a brand new discussion about how sometimes it SOUNDS like the bottle is empty but it really isn’t!) They can describe what it sounds like, compare to other things they have heard and try to figure out what the sound may be.

Touch- by passing the items around after the bottles have been opened the children can feel the texture, weight, consistency of each item and begin to make connections about the feel of an object and what sound it might make. Encourage describing words, hard, soft, bumpy, smooth, rough, fuzzy, cold, hot, and so on

Taste- this activity could be done using edible items like raisins, M&M’s, pretzels, if it is age and culturally appropriate (and sanitary) for the group of kids involved. Have kids taste test items and describe what it tastes like, is it salty? sweet? sour?

Smell- if the activity is done with food items the kids can smell before they taste and make predictions about how it will taste based on smell. They can also use their sense of smell for non-edible items for identification- shells, feathers and other items may have a distinct smell

Enjoy!