Tot School 33.5mo Twins – Lemonade

Twodaloo had the cutest post on a pretend lemonade day so I stole her ideas and we had ourselves a lemonade day this morning.  It was really fun and kept the boys’ attention for about an hour.  Yesterday I added some rice to a ziplock gallon bag.  To this I poured a big dash of rubbing alcohol, one packet of lemonade Koolaid, two big squirts of yellow food coloring and kneaded it until the color was evenly distributed.  I poured it out on a big cookie sheet and let it dry out.  It  dries crunchy so you have to work it with your hands to separate the grains before play.  It smelled so great, just like being in a lemon grove with all that citrus smell.  I poured the rice into a plastic pitcher with a lid for play the next day.

This morning we made lemonade and I let the boys have a taste.  If you are going to have a pretend play session, then you need to have experienced the real thing to make any connections. 


I spread out a blanket in the front lawn.  I set two trays out, each containing: DSC_0963

        1 condiment cup with 3 marbles to be used as ice

        1 condiment cup with gold glitter to be used as sugar, use white or silver glitter for a more realistic effect (we only had gold in the house)

        1 real lemon

        1 small cup

        1 measuring cup

        1 wooden spoon

        1 teaspoon

        1     1/4tsp measuring spoon

        1 tongs

The boys were so excited when they saw it.  At first they just looked at everything and said ohhhhh! Look!


Then we got down to some playing.  They poured from the big pitcher into all the little cups,  dumped the little cups out,  scooped the marbles, stirred in the sugar, grabbed up the marbles which was a challenge in those little cups and we poured the rice back into the pitcher over and over.




Besides all the great manipulation skills that they practiced, we got in some good word practice too.  We talked about what everything that they were using was called, what each motion was and we talked about the texture, hardness, color and smell of the real lemon.  We are building a wealth of vocabulary words that our boys can use.

If you want to make this non-messy play, just leave out the glitter.  The glitter stuck to everything.  We had to go in the backyard and hose off because we had so much glitter on us.  It looked like Lance had been dipped in a vat of gold.  I didn’t take any pictures of the blanket near the end.  Depending on your child, they may pour carefully and neatly, however, my boys aren’t too neat.  I started with a full pitcher of rice but I ended up with only 1/2 left to store away for later play. 


This was definitely one of my favorite tot schools and I think the boys might say the same thing too.  So I’m counting a$1.00 bag of rice as my mercy for the day.  Have fun, go out to make your own sensory pretend lemonade and enjoy summer!


Tot School 32.5mo Twins – Water Bead Sensory Bin

I have seen so many people post about how great water beads are for a sensory bin.  We finally got around to trying it out.  I think my whole family would agree that this was fun.  You do have to plan ahead for this activity because the beads take 6 – 12 hours to fully hydrate.

This is how it all went.  We were grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and everyone knows that you don’t leave that store with just groceries.  Especially if you casually stroll down the crafts aisles.  That’s what I was doing when I spotted a package of water beads on sale for $1.50.  I was so pleased, not only for the price but they were a beautiful purple color.  Having just boys, not much pink or purple comes my way so when it does my heart just rejoices.  We came home and I poured these tiny hard beads into our sensory bin.  They looked so small and I had the boys examine them before I poured the water in.  I even got to put in a Bible lesson too about the mustard seed being very small but faith even as big as a mustard seed can move mountains.







The boys took turns pouring the water in and I helped with this.  Otherwise the water would have been poured on their brother, on me, on the cabinets, stomped in and thrown around.  I can never be too careful around these two.  After a few hours, we peeked back in and Lance shouted, OH, they’ve grown!  Through out the rest of the day they both asked to watch the beads grow.  The boys had to go to bed and wait until the morning to play with the beads.





My husband even took a turn at running his hands through the sensory bin and he also liked it.  After breakfast I sat the bin down on the kitchen floor and the boys didn’t hesitate to jump right in.  The giggled as the squished the beads, raked hands through it and felt the new sensation.  I pulled out a few different water beads and we talked about how each one looked different but they were all the same color called purple.  We even looked at all the different shapes: round, oval, jelly bean, and a defunct crescent shape.




I gave them two small measuring scoops and two small cups.  They scooped, they poured, they dumped into and out of in every combination imaginable.  They pretended the purple beads were blueberries and they made blueberry muffins for mom.  They played like this for a long time.








If you have very active kiddos, then you know what came next, yes, the accidental spilling that lead to the intentional spilling and on to the rolling, hitting and throwing which crescendod into intentional squeezing and popping of the water beads, with jelly everywhere.  When it hit that point, all the fun stopped.


My kitchen floor looked like we hit the play load of a gem mine.  I didn’t think to get a picture of that, no beads were left in the tub.  It took the better part of 30 min to pick up all those slippery beads from up off the floor and you bet I made those two boys do it themselves too.  Oh what fun they had while even picking up the beads.  Kids can turn anything into fun.  I need to remember that myself.  A note for those who have little ones that figure out how to smash the beads, the next time the water bead bin comes out, they get to the smashing really quick.  So for us, this may be a sensory bin that goes away for quite a while before it comes back out again.  We really enjoyed it though the two times we did it this past week.  Now we get to watch the beads over the next few days to see them evaporate and turn back into tiny hard beads.