Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beans and Tractors

This little man loves his tractors, and backhoes, and bulldozers and whatever big machinery you can think of.  He is always looking for things to load into his play trucks. I grabbed some beans that I keep just for play (cost about $2 dollars at the grocery store) and poured them into a pan for him.  He has played with this for days on end.  Loading, dumping, pushing. using his fine motor skills, problem solving, learning cause and effect, involving all his senses.  Who knew a bag of beans and some toy tractors could be educational.  It may look like he is only "playing" but he is learning, with every push, dump and scoop.  By the way, this little man is almost 2, in case you were wondering.  My almost 6 year old had almost as fun as the 2 year old. 

I store my "play" beans in recycled Gatorade bottles.  This is how I store my other items such as colored rice and pasta, aquarium rocks and whatever else we use in our sensory tubs.  It is easy to see what is in them and they line up nicely on the shelf.  You can also just let the kids play with the full bottles, with the lids tightly on. 

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Monday, August 13, 2012

DIY Australian Bilma's

We love making our own musical instruments.  I love when the kids can use their creativity and really get involved in the process of creating something they can use.  When Daria over at Daria's Music, offered to send us our own Australian Bilma's to make, I was super excited.  You can click HERE to find out more about the Bilma, and how to make your own.  Daria was kind enough to send us the wooden sticks and the paint to use.  Traditional Bilma's are decorated with stripes and dots. 

 Here are the bare sticks.
I painted them white to give us a blank canvas.  My daughter painted hers red. 
 After the coat of red dried, she started to add dots.  I don't know if you have ever painted on a cylinder object, but it isn't that easy, especially for a 4 year old.  We put aside the one with dots, to add some yellow to the other Bilma. 

She grew impatient waiting for the paint to dry so she developed her own painting technique.  I loved watching her problem solve and discover the best way for her to paint her Bilma. 
She put dots on the tray.... 
then rolled the Bilma into the paint. 
Here she used the paint to draw a line of purple on the tray.... 
and rolled the Bilma's into it.. 
We stood them up in an egg carton to dry.  
We hot glued on a little ribbon to add some pizazz.  
She loves them!!  I think they are beautiful.  So fun.   
Here are our finished Bilma's!  Beautiful, I think! 

Daria is doing a giveaway for a pair of Bilma's over on her website.  She is giving away these,
Aren't they lovely?
You can read all about how to enter HERE.
You should go over and spend some time on her website.  She has some wonderful ideas for making musical instruments for children (and adults too).

Thank you again, Daria for introducing us to the Bilma's.  I will be making more for my class. 
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