Play Everyday

365…ok 366 days of simple, inexpensive and wildly fun 2-year-old play!

DIY Oobleck from Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck

This is a fun activity to bring to life the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. I made the mistake of asking noah if he wanted to do a fun activity with me before we read the book. Anytime i ask him this he jumps up, shouts “Yes!” (or my favorite “Oh Yes!”) and immediately runs to the kitchen and sits cross-legged on the floor where we do a lot of our messier tasks. Noah dies love to read, but this book has more words than most of the Dr. Seuss books we have, so we flipped through as I narrated the pictures. At last it was time to make an Oobleck!

I found this recipe at apartment therapy. We didn’t have much cornstarch so I really just eyeballed it, adding small amounts of water between stirrings as needed. Here’s a more specific recipe:

  • 1 1/2c cornstarch
  •  1/2c water
  •  Food coloring (optional)
  •  Scent extracts (optional)

Here we are measuring and mixing. Noah was surprisingly hesitant to dig in and mix the goop. This was a good thing though, as stirring too quickly can keep the cornstarch from absorbing all the water properly.

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When we play with playdough, Noah often asks me to make him a ball. I asked if he wanted me to make him a ball from the Oobleck. Of course he was excited about this. I began rolling the goo in my hands and continued to do so as I told him to put his hands out. I quickly transferred the ball from my hands to his but…ooooozzze, the ball melted!

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We had a great time squishing it in our hands, opening them then saying “It’s meeelltiing!!”.

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We were having so much fun in fact, that I nearly forgot to add the food coloring. After all, it was green goop that gummed up the works from our story.

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As for the moral of the story, I have only praise and pride for my boy. He will consistently and often without prompting, say he is sorry. I’ve even caught him saying “Sorry Hooley.” after accidentally bumping into the cat. The cat is of course long gone by then but I sure wasn’t. I rushed in with a big hug. More importantly it is his ability to independently apologize to me, often after taking a moment to cry, that has taught me a great lesson. “Please” may be magic, but “I’m sorry” is memorable. And heart-changing.

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Shadow Play for Groundhog’s Day

As I’ve said before, our pre-bedtime ritual is my favorite part of any day.  With it being groundhog’s day (and my birthday) shadow play in bed sounded like the perfect end to a wonderful day!  I wanted to find little templates of all the animals from Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.  Although I wasn’t able to find exactly what I was looking for, I did find these printables which also includes several activities that could be done along with reading the book.  I used some of the images from the above printables after resizing them.  Some I just drew up myself.  I printed them on cardstock and glued another layer of cardstock on the back before cutting them out.  A practice run on white cardstock didn’t turn out so well so I wanted these to be as opaque as possible.  Here are my templates…

Noah loves flashlights and was just delighted that I asked him to bring one to bed with him!  He helped me pick the animals as we made a new shadow for each page we read.  This is the dog shadow.  It was a struggle to hold a flashlight, read a book, hold a shadow template and take photos at the same time!

At the end when the teacher and children make an appearance I shone the light on myself (scary story style at my chin) and on him.  He got a big kick out of that and we stayed up playing flashlight games.  I think 33 is going to be a great year 🙂

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Building a Fairy House

Every night, Noah and I snuggle up in my bed and read stories.  It is absolutely my favorite part of every day.  It feels like a celebratory way to end a good day and after a bad day it is my refuge.  A calm, comfy, snuggly place to remind me what matters and let everything else fall away.  Noah will go into his room and pick the book for us to read.  I’ll see him come running into our bedroom and I’m always a little nervous – Please don’t let it be Hop On Pop or Trucks!  But when he came in last night with Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane I was relieved.  And happy.  This was the first time he chosen that book on his own which made me even happier!  As we read it together last night I knew what our fun activity would be today.

Rules of the Woods:

“You may build houses small and hidden for the fairies, but please do not use living or arificial materials.”

 

We have several trees that would make suitable building sites but I knew immediately which one Noah would pick – the Tresure Tree.  We found a great little nook for our house.

We got to work clearing out the space.  Even kitty wanted to help.

    

 

I started collecting moss and lichens.  I showed Noah what I was looking for and asked for his help.  “Moss!” he yelled as he pointed to a large tree stump on the other side of the field.  What he had found was actually fungi.  As I started to explain that the fungi was actually living and we shouldn’t pick it for our house, Noah declared another discovery: “Ants!”  Right as his feet were what I would estimate to be about a billion ants.  The red biter ants.  We would have to look elsewhere for materials.

 

I suggested pine cones but Noah had another idea.  He led us into the barn to collect shavings.  We did find some pinecones and pine needles behind the barn as well.

      

 

As hard as he tried, he couldn’t harvest this post.  Bless him ❤ So he added what materials we did have to our fairy house.

    

Our Fairy House.  For now anyway…

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