Yellow and blue play: ice fish, water beads, jelly stones and lights

Lullaby TrustLast week the Lullaby Trust celebrated one year since they changed their name from the Foundation of the Study into Infant Deaths (FSID). I was part of their launch campaign, writing a lullaby alongside lots of others bloggers for one reason mainly. To remember a beautiful little girl who should not have died. A very real victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A daughter. A sister. A niece. A god-daughter. A grandaughter. A very special blog baby.

Matilda Mae.

So last week’s yellow and blue play was for the Lullaby Trust. But the pink and purple water beads could only have been for Matilda Mae.

yellow and blue play~ used one of the side trays from our sand/ water table to make a small ocean filled with blue jelly stones and water beads. We added some pink and purple water beads too, and some submersible lights for an extra sensory experience. I also popped in some yellow ice fish (we got the mould from Ikea and added coloured water before freezing) and a range of nets, pots and sieves.

At first, The Toddler loved exploring the water beads and jelly stones. We soaked them in warm water and she exclaimed that they were “nice!”. She obviously loved feeling them under her fingers and was happy to play like this for a while. Then we added the fish, and changed both the temperature and the colour of the ocean. Jelly stones quickly take on new colours and soon were a lovely shade of green, while the water beads retained their original colours. The Toddler noted that the ocean was now “cold!” and switched to using different tools to scoop and pour instead.

yellow and blue play sensory~ lights were a wonderful addition to this sensory play experience as The Toddler loved fishing for them with the net and the pots, and watching them change colour.

After a while, she concentrated hard on scooping the lights and fish and pouring them from one pot to another. This kept her amused for quite a while, as The Preschooler and The Big One had a wild time bouncing the water beads on the Tuff Spot and splashing the ocean around the tray!

yellow and blue play scooping the lights~ a while, we decided to add some warm water to the ocean to see what would happen. The Preschooler correctly guessed that the fish would melt- and they did! The ocean was a truly green fluid affair now and the play became quite messy indeed. The Toddler loved scooping and pouring even more with the ocean in its altered state, and announced “splash!” each time she transferred the ocean from one pot to another.

yellow and blue play scooping and pouring~ finish the activity, I brought out our frozen water beads and invited The Preschooler to melt them. He chose to use warm water and poured it quite efficiently from a large plastic jug. The water beads took quite a while to thaw and The Preschooler was amazed to see tiny ice crystals (“snowflakes!”) formed on top of them as the water began to thaw them.

yellow and blue play melting frozen water beads~ yellow and blue play was simple, messy and fun. Please take a look at Jennie’s yellow and blue play too, and do take a moment to read back through some of the posts linked up to Messy Play for Matilda Mae. Be inspired to get messy today!





Shaving foam and the Tuff Spot mirror

I’ve recently found a few new blogs to read, thanks to the wonderful Tuesday Tots link up at Rainy Day Mum. One post in particular caught my eye this week as it featured a very simple activity with shaving foam and mirrors- one that I knew The Toddler would love. Please do pop over and have a read of Danya Banya, it really is an amazing mix of recipes, crafts, family and play.

I’ve also recently invested in a mirror for our Tuff Spot, from TTS Education (where else?!) and this one is great because it fits snugly into the tray, and its actually a thin sheet of mirrored plastic that you can roll up for storage and that is totally safe for babies and toddlers to climb on and to investigate. We’ve used it quite a lot with sensory play since we got it, but this was our first focused activity with it.

Shaving foam and the Tuff Spot mirror

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Glowing jewels water play!

Recently, we discovered the wonder that is jelly stones- thanks to the fantastic TTS Education. I could spend a small fortune on that site and when I was teaching it was a firm favourite of all the staff too. Do take a look it you’re wanting to stock up on play materials for the little ones.

Alongisde our Tuff Spot mirror and magnetic marbles, I couldn’t resist getting some jelly stones too, and we’ve been using them in lots of activities since. Jelly stones are a lot like waterbeads (used in lots of play, including our space themed sensory play activity) in that they absorb water and grow in size. The wonderful thing about jelly stones is that they grow a lot quicker (around 4 hours) and they can be mixed together to create new colours too. They vary in size and can be dehydrated and stored away for future use.

Regular readers will know that we’ve also been playing with submersible lights and that in my bid to teach colours to the toddler, we combined these lights with the jelly stones for some wonderful sensory play. So here it is- Glowing jewels water play!

glowing jewels water play Continue reading