We’ve been playing outside a lot lately, but have also been taking a few breaks and welcoming spring with some indoor fun too.  Some of our activities recently include:

{{ Dissolving Easter Eggs }}

eggsBoth boys have been having a lot of fun with our “Dissolving Easter Eggs.” Just like our “science experiment” where we played with vinegar and baking soda to create bubbles, this one involves dissolving a baking soda “egg” using vinegar, revealing a small treat once all of the baking soda has been removed.

To make, simply mix baking soda with small parts water and food coloring (you don’t have to be precise with your measurements, but the goal is to make a moldable paste). I found some cute Easter erasers at Dollar Tree, and molded my “eggs” around those. (Also note: my “eggs” more resembled rocks or balls of colored baking soda than they did eggs. That’s OK. I promise your kids won’t even notice). Once you’ve shaped them, let them set and dry for a day or so. Then, let the fun begin!

You can dissolve the eggs in various ways – dropping them into a bowl of vinegar, using a dropper to add vinegar bit by bit, etc. My son has enjoyed pouring vinegar over each egg and stirring everything around – that way there’s plenty of bubbles to see and hear. And, finding something left behind after the egg has disappeared is always fun.

{{ Coffee Filter Butterflies }}

IMG_8872A great activity for a rainy day – all you need are coffee filters (white, round ones  work best), markers, and some water.The boys colored on the coffee filters, concentrating (with a little help from Mom) on coloring in the center of the filters. Once they’d had enough, we folded the filters up into quarters and put the tips of the filters into small bowls of water.  The water, once it comes in contact with the markers, spreads the ink over the entire filter, leaving behind a cool water color effect.

After the filters dried, we made butterflies using pipe cleaners and hung them using ribbon. The boys love to watch them “flying” around when the windows are open!

{{ Spring Slime }}

We’ve tweaked our popular “Snow Goo” recipe from the winter and modified it for the spring – there’s no peppermint extract, and we’ve added some pretty pastel glitter glue to make it more “spring” like. Our little guy is finally enjoying playing with it too and both love the…er…farting sounds that the goo makes when you squeeze it into a cup or small container

{{ Spring/Easter Sensory Bins }}

IMG_8791I always love making sensory bins for the kids to play with. I fill a small or medium sized plastic storage bin with whatever, and let them go wild with cups, spoons, bowls, muffin tins – anything that’s great for pouring, sorting and dumping. Their favorite thing to play with lately is rice – uncooked and colored. (To color rice, just pour uncooked white rice into a zip lock bag with some drops of food coloring and shake around. Let it dry on a baking sheet for a few hours). Rice is extremely messy, but it will entertain them for ages!

Other great sensory bin fillers include cotton poms, dried corn or beans, dried pasta, and play sand.  I’ve seen a lot of spring sensory bins involving Easter basket grass too, which we tried – but the kids really didn’t seem that into it at all. I think they like the feeling of rice or corn running through their fingers instead. (Or, they just like the messiest, smallest things available for them to play with).

{{ Upper and Lower Case Letter Matching }}
photo-2Not so much a sensory activity, but something I’ve been working on with the older guy. He recognizes upper case letters, but lower case letters that don’t resemble their upper case selves (b, d, e, I’m looking at you guys) still get confused. To work on this, I took advantage of his love of all of our plastic Easter eggs, and assemble a puzzle game – one piece of the egg as an upper case letter, the other has a lower case letter. His job is to find the right pieces in order to assemble the eggs again. He enjoys it in small doses, and is getting faster and better at recognizing “big” and “little” letters.

How about you? What has your family been playing with lately?