Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pretend play. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pretend play. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pretend play. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pretend play. Sort by date Show all posts

How to make a Kitchen Stove for Kids Pretend Play from a Cardboard Box

Recycle Boxes and Bottle Caps for the Best Cardboard Play Stove Ever.


Is there anything better than cardboard box for creative play? A box is the best toy ever so we made a cardboard kitchen stove for kids pretend play. Here's a 'how to make' picture tutorial.

Cardboard Kitchen Stove Pretend How to Tutorial
Cardboard Pretend Stove with all the Recycled and Upcycled bells and whistles, ahem, knobs and handles.
How to make a pretend stove from cardboard and reused items


DAY ONE
First, measure a width of wax paper and trace onto cardboard front of your box. Nevermind, if a flap is in the way, we'll fix it later. Now cut out the window (for your oven door) and reinforce the flaps with duct tape. Tape the wax paper on the inside. You can also use plexiglass and duct tape. Get a cardboard paper towel tube and attach to top of oven door. This will become your handle. 

The difficult part is attaching the interior shelf. Get a glue gun and attach strips of cardboard to each side to serve as the ledge the shelf sits on. Make them 2-3 pieces of wide, glue together, and attach face side to the right and left walls of oven. Cut shelf to fit. I used flaps from another box. Now it will slide in and sit atop your pieces of cardboard. I also added "legs" for extra play durability. (The cat likes to climb in and sleep on our shelf!)

Now tape up the bottom and back side flaps of the box. Leave the top box flap up to serve a the area for a clock and knobs. See the photo above, I also added a flap from another box to hold this flap upright, otherwise it likes to fall closed. You are tired and worn out from all of the cutting, taping, and thinking. Sleep on it and save the rest for day two.

DAY TWO
See picture below. Now, trace the fast food cup holders on the top of your box. You may have room for four burners. Cut the hole about 1/2" smaller than the tracing. I used duct tape to attach the burners, but I encourage you to use hot glue and reinforce with tape... BUT NOT YET.

First, cover the sides and the door with some leftover wrapping paper. I used a glue stick on the box and secured the edges with tape. Then, cover your cardboard tube with foil. Cover your stove top with foil. Yes, the whole top. Poke a hole in the center of each opening and cut a small "x". You will have a slit opening with triangles. Fold the triangles in and tape on the underside to the "stove top". Now you can attach your fast food "burners". Tip: I cut the foil about 3" more than what I needed to cover the top of the stove and neatly folded it down forming a chrome edge. 

Go take a break; it will look better after you've had some time away from it.

When you return, attach your knobs (soda and milk lids glued together) and your clock front (Numbers printed off from a Word Document). Let these dry for at least 15 minutes. Remind the kids not to really turn the knobs these are the push to start variety :) We lost one on the first play!

Now, call the kids! It's time for a session of creative play. We save the little french fry containers, small cereal boxes, and juice containers to pretend.

And... the Mommy you are awesome hugs and rewards are worth the frustration :)  


upcycle cardboard boxes to pretend play kitchen stove
Make a cardboard kitchen stove.

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Use Universal Design Elements to Decorate a Child's Room Perfect for Sensory Play Based Learning

Decorate Kids Room for Sensory Play Based Learning

Universal Design elements give children multiple means of inclusion in group settings and aid in learning techniques. Implement design elements into your child's room to incorporate play based learning. We're sharing tips to help you build and design a kid's room that is beautiful, fun, and educational. Enjoy!

Each child has a different learning style. Some children learn visually (visual), some learn by hands-on (kinesthetic), and some learn easily by lecture-style (aural). 

A child's room based on universal design incorporating sensory play concepts can aid in the learning process and can give your child a bright future.


well designed furniture for children's room aids in sensory play based learning
The smooth lines of this "rocking horse" chair help prevent injuries.


The concept of universal design, the brainchild of architect, Ronald Mace, began as a concept to design all products, spaces, and buildings to be both aesthetically pleasing and well functioning for everyone no matter their ability. 

Some principles of universal design include: 

  • Flexibility in use (The design complements a wide range of preferences and abilities.)
  • Simple and intuitive use (The design is easy to understand.)
  • Tolerance of error (The design minimizes hazards and unintended actions.)
  • Size and space for approach and use (Appropriate space for reach and manipulation whether right or left handed is incorporated in the layout and design.)
  • Low physical effort (Design can be used comfortably no matter your mobility/motor skills.)
  • Equitable use (The design is useful and marketable to people with varying abilities.)
  • Perceptible information (The design communicates information regardless of the user's sensory abilities.)

Stairway Bunk Bed
Stairway Bunk Bed.




This bunk bed may not allow for children of all abilities to sleep on top, but it is designed with a sleeping space for people of all abilities. The added element of a secret cubby for hide and seek, a reading nook, or just a private getaway space makes it perfect for sensory play. Children can climb to the top bunk and enjoy a spontaneous game of pretend Castle play.

Pretend Playhouse Castle Tent
Pretend playhouse castle tent.


Incorporate child size spatial elements to give your child a sense of security. A special place all their own is comforting and encourages imaginative play. Children learn by mimicking adults. Give them the necessary tools to explore. In a tent like this, the child becomes "big" which helps give their confidence a boost in contrast to the daily reminders of their diminutive size in oversized spaces and furniture designed for adults.

Castle Rug for Kids Room

Castle Rug for Kids Room.






A plush, comfortable rug like this one makes a good place for creative play. The rug is tactile, thick, and soft. The visual sense is explored in the elemental colors and shapes that connect to form a castle. 

When decorating your child's room, think of the five senses and add items that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and sensitive to their sensory abilities.



Recommended Reading:



The Knight and the Dragon (Paperstar Book)*


Pirate Pretend Play



Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Fun In The Sun - 6 Tips For Creating A Mud Kitchen For Your Kids


Kids love mud! And as dirty as they may get, it’s time to advocate messy play so they can learn new skills the fun way. The fastest and easiest way to encourage your kids to get outdoors is to build them a mud kitchen.They'll be tripping over each other to get outside

Building your own mud kitchen is a creative, cost-effective way of enabling messy play for your kids while saving money on an expensive play kitchen

You can build your mud kitchen in your own way, and in the end, your kids will have the perfect environment in which to get their hands dirty anytime.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.


Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash


Six tips to create your own mud kitchen


  1. Use What You’ve Got

Poke around your garage and see what you can recycle to save money on your mud kitchen. You can use wood, recycled pallets, and old timber for the construction. Old cookware and bakeware, utensils, and decorations can also be used to finish out the kitchen,

Remember, the idea is to ignite your child’s imagination, so your DIY mud kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a brand-new toy kitchen set. 


  1. Stove Tops Add to The Fun

While it’s great to leave some things up to the imagination, it’s a good idea to make your play kitchen resemble a real kitchen by creating a stove top. You can paint the burners on a piece of timber or wood, and you can even add broken or thrifted appliances to your outdoor kitchen to enhance its appearance. You can also use good, old cardboard to create a play stove.


  1. Bake Mud Cakes

The fun part of having a mud kitchen is that your kids get to play with mud and get as dirty as they want. All you need to make mud cakes is some sand or soil and water. You can use old cookware and bake ware to contain them and shape them like cakes and cupcakes.

Parents can get involved by showing kids how to create funky-shaped cookies with cookie cutters and molds or add colored pasta to the mud for added texture. This kind of sensory play is an important part of childhood development, but above all, it’s a whole lot of fun.


Pistachio Pudding Play Dough


  1. Set the Table

A mud kitchen is a fun way to teach your child table manners. Guide your preschoolers through setting a table and laying out the dishes. Show them the way to arrange cutlery and allow your children to bring some garden leaves to create napkins for a rustic table setting.


  1. Add a Sink

Since you’ve introduced messy play to your preschoolers with colored pasta and mud cakes, it’s a good idea to take care of the cleanup. The most logical way to do this is to add a sink to your mud kitchen! To create your sink, use a silver or grey bucket and fill it with water or a big flower put with the bottom plugged works nicely too.

Add a hose in the bucket so that there’s an accessible faucet. This is a great way to teach children how to clean up after themselves. Add some dish washing liquid and a sponge so you can wash all the cookware the kids used before bringing it back into the house!


How to Make your own Dish Washing Soap


  1. Dress For The Occasion

Every chef needs a chef’s hat and apron, so make sure to get these for your child. They will love it! Plus, the apron will offer some protection from mud splatter while playing. Rubber boots are a good idea too. Preschool age kids and toddlers love to wear galoshes!


How to Make your own Chef Hat

 

Have fun with your kiddos and their mud kitchen. You may want to wear some rubber boots yourself! Encourage your children to enjoy free and imaginative play, and you can bet they’ll learn tons of kitchen tricks in the process. Pretend play is the best way to learn!


Recommended Reading:

Pretend Play and Play Date Ideas from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos

Fun Books about Galoshes from Amazon




10 Fall Play Date Ideas

Keep Busy with Fun, Fall Play Date Ideas

It is fall, y'all. Fall is our favorite season of the year. No matter the season, we make time to get outside and play every day. Are you stuck inside? Bored? Get out and try some of these Fall Play Date Ideas. Enjoy!

Fall Play Date Ideas
Fall play date ideas don't have to be fancy... Just play!
The Voice of Play is an education and advocacy initiative of the non-profit membership association, IPEMA, formed to educate and promote the benefits of children’s free outdoor play and playgrounds. They encourage the scientifically proven physical, social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of play.

Outdoor play is free! Once a week, we visit a different local park and have unstructured play dates with a local homeschool group.

We are fortunate in that we have been able to live our dream life on a beautifully wooded, five-acre property. Everyday, we go for a walk, visit the fish and ducks on our pond, take a paddle boat ride, check out the creatures of the creek, and just play in the yard.

The best part about fall, of course, is the changing leaves. What fun to scoop some up and let them flow through the air! Rake up a pile and jump. It is simple. It is sensory. And, it couldn't be more fun if it cost money.

We wanted to share some pictures of how we play at home. For more fall play date ideas, keep scrolling down.

Fall leaf play.
Little ones enjoy the sensory aspect of leaves. They crunch, they crumble, and crack.

She made the leaves disappear!
What happens when you put a leaf on a slide? Play = Preschool Science.
Go on a hike to collect leaves for a science project.
Hide and seek is always a hit.
Climbing trees is cool too.
Monkey see. Monkey do.
I dub the Sir Fall.
Raking leaves is good exercise.

Leaves = Happy Kid.
We need to build a tree house.



*This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. All words and opinions are my own.  #YearRoundPlay 




ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products. *We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Chitika, Google Adsense, Sverve, Izea, and Social Spark ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Rainbow Fish Theme Sensory Fishing Activity and Craft for Preschoolers

Make a Rainbow Fish to the Rescue Sensory Pretend Play Fishing Activity for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Looking for fun, fishing activities? These aquarium crafts (fish in a bag) and make believe hoola hoop fishing ponds are perfect activities to try after reading one of the Rainbow Fish stories.

Rainbow Fish is a fun story about a school of sparkly scale fish who won't allow a little fish without the sparkle to play, similar to the story of Rudolph and the Reindeer Games. This is a great story to teach about inclusion and kindness. What theme for preschool could be more fun than Rainbow Fish?



Rainbow Fish Aquarium with Ziploc Bag craft for kids


Sharpies and Ziploc Baggie for Aquarium craft project for kids.



To Make Baggie Aquarium, You will need: 


Ziploc Baggies
Sharpie Markers
Blue Hair Gel
Blue Shampoo
Foamies




Fill the aquarium with foam fish or make a dino terrarium.


Fill the aquarium with foam fish or make a dino terrarium.


Color an underwater scene on the bag. As an alternative, you can cut out fishy shapes and insert them to slosh around in the goo. Fill bag with about 1/4 C. of gel for a sparkly, ocean effect. For bubbles add a small squirt of shampoo. (Little ones loved squishing and watching the bubbles appear.) Tightly zip bag and tape to window or mirror. Squish away your stress!


Ziploc Baggie Aquarium for Rainbow Fish Play


Gel is sparkly, add a little blue shampoo for fishy bubbles.




Kids Pretend Fishing Game Activity for Preschoolers and Toddlers for Rainbow Fish Theme





Creative Play Element Fishing Activity: Pretend a Hoola-hoop is a fish pond.



Companion Games and Activities for Rainbow Fish:


Rainbow Fish to the Rescue is a perfect story compliment.
Then using a sparkly piece of foam, I cut out a scale and taped 
it to "its" shirt for Tag.

It took the little one a few minutes to catch on to the game of
tag. (Some didn't want anything to do with the scale.) But it is
so much fun watching as they learn the game and start running
after each other.

Tip:  Miss Lora preferred the gel to the shampoo. It is thicker
and looks more like real ocean water but the little ones loved
the bubbles. 

Moral:  It's not about making the perfect craft, it is 
all about the process and the fun of experimenting!

We like to add a creative play element.

  • Hoola-hoop Pond
  • Pool Noodle Fish (Cut-up)
  • Pail for the Catch
  • Squiggly Pole to pretend 


Make Believe Fishing Activity for Kids


Cut a scale from sparkly foam and tape to shirts.


Best Rainbow Fish Ever


I adore this beautiful clay and sequin rainbow fish craft activity from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots.





sequin rainbow fish crafty activity clay from sun hats and wellie boots



Sequin and Clay Rainbow Fish Craft Activity.




Recommended Reading:





Rainbow Fish to the Rescue*

Sensory Play with Gummy Worms Game


Take a Field Trip to the Manatee Viewing Center in Florida













ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


How to make homemade Play Dough Recipe Ideas (Edible) and Pistachio Experiment

Ever wonder how to make play dough at home

We love to play with squishy dough. It is great for sensory play, especially when it has a scent. This recipe for how to make homemade play dough (Play-doh) is scented and edible, but not very tasty. Enjoy?


how to make scented homemade play dough easy recipe ideas for kids
Scented Play Dough for a true Sensory experience.

How to make play dough at home and 12 Fun Things to do with Play Dough

Looking for fun things to Make at Home?

Maybe you need an easy recipe for how to make dough or you're wondering how do I make play dough at home? How to make clay dough for older kids Here are fun clay and dough recipes to make at home with kids of all ages.

How to make play dough recipe:                                                         

2 c. corn starch, 1 c. salt, 1 1/2 c. boiling water, 2 tbs. cream of tartar, 2 tbs  oil (vegetable oil to keep it edible or baby oil to make it fun and a pleasant scent) Mix all ingredients together, then add a couple drops of your favorite food coloring. You can also separate into individual baggies, add a different drop of food color to each bag, and knead to mix. Let the kids do this for extra sensory play! You can make it without cream of tar tar too; the oil will fill the void it just might not stay fresh as long :)
 Sensory Guest Post from Krissy Sherman Bonning, Mama of 3, and Blogger  at B.Inspired, Mama!  (Connecting moms with kid-friendly arts & crafts, easy recipes, and preschool learning fun.) Hop over to Krissy's blog and check out all of the cool  fun from a Mommy with a Master's degree in Art Education.


I found an exciting feature on her blog, she accepts Submissions from other bloggers! Get your fun ideas posted and earn yourself some much deserved recognition.


How to make play dough at home and other fun sensory activities for things to do
Fun things to do with Playdough at home.
My kids’ go-to sensory activity is definitely play dough.  The ways you can play with it are endless.  And adding unusual objects and art supplies to it make it even more fun.  Here are some of our favorites:
  1. Stencils – Use them to place on the play dough and trace around, press into the play dough to make impressions, and for imaginative play, too. 
  2. Recycled Bottles – Next time you drink something out of a plastic bottle, check out the bottom.  It will probably make a really cool flower-like impression in play dough.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
  3. Cardboard Boxes – Play dough details can turn boxes into buildings and even an entire city.  (from Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds)
  4. Muffin Cups – Silicone muffin cups are perfect for making pretend cupcakes and muffins for an impromptu Birthday party or picnic.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
  5. Fake Flowers – Plant them in play dough to make a beautiful flower garden for imaginative gardening fun. (from The Imagination Tree)
  6. Animals – Green play dough makes the perfect jungle for little animal friends. (from Picklebums)
  7. Googly Eyes – Bright your play dough to life and make silly monsters with lots of googly eyes. (from Pink and Green Mama)
  8. Candy Molds – Use chocolate play dough to make pretend candies and fun shapes with candy molds.  (from Learning 4 Kids)
  9. Laminated Play Dough Mats – Laminate images and learning worksheets for kids to add play dough details, letters, and snakes to.  (from Planet of the Apels)
  10. Alphabet Cookie Cutters – Make play dough fun a learning opportunity by adding letter cookie cutters.  (from No Time for Flash Cards)
  11. Glitter – Add lots of glitter to turn play dough into a glistening glob for galaxy fun.  (from Poppytalk)
  12. Trucks & Cars – Play dough makes fun hills for driving over and tires on toy vehicles make awesome impressions.  (from B-Inspired Mama)
Do your kids like playing with play dough? Have you ever used anything unusual to make it more fun?




Recommended Reading:

Fun-tastic Clay Critters to Make

Modeling Clay Animals

Sensory Play Dough Recipe


What are the Benefits of Outdoor Play?

Playing Outside Improves Mood


This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Have you noticed a change in your children when they're playing outside? Sure, they may complain that they're tired or that it's too hot or even that they're bored. However, outdoor play benefits kids in many ways. Once children have built the coping and social skills needed to interact in an outside play environment, the benefits of outdoor play far outweigh their complaints! What are the benefits to outdoor play? Keep reading to learn some tips on how to keep your kids happy outdoors.


What are the Benefits of Outdoor Play?
What are the benefits of outdoor play?


Be Prepared. 

When you take your kids to an outdoor play space or local park, be sure to be prepared. Bring a cooler with bottles of water for hydration, cool, healthy snacks like carrots and cucumbers, and go ahead and throw in a treat for when they've depleted all of their energy. 

You may also want to bring a change of clothes, a non-toxic bug repellent, a blanket for resting, hats or sunglasses to shade them from the sun, and a first aid kit. Whatever you can do to insure the happiness of your children and counteract any excuses they may have for not wanting to play, only increases your chances for success.

If you're forgetful and always seem to forget the essentials, keep a park preparedness kit in your car. We never leave the house without folding chairs, a vinyl table cloth, and an umbrella packed in the trunk. If you leave a mini cooler in the trunk, it's always waiting there to be filled. You can simply stop at any convenience or grocery store along the way.


Benefits of Playing Outside


Best Places for Outdoor Play

No matter where you choose to incorporate outdoor play, it's beneficial to your child. Simply being outdoors in the sunshine can boost your child's immune system because the sun gives us vitamin D which is essential to health and happiness. Dr. Clare McCarthy shares some benefits of outdoor play over at Harvard Health. Even if you have a tiny yard, be sure to create a space for your child to get in some daily outdoor play. If they like to color or finger paint, set up a table for crafting outdoors.


Water is the most fun element of sensory play.

A well designed play structure will keep your kids busy for an hour or two. You may not be familiar with the brand name Landscape Structures, but I'll bet you've seen one or two. These playground structures aren't just for swinging and sliding, they're set up with all kinds of ways to get kids moving and to encourage sensory play.





When you give children the freedom to play and discover on their own, they build self-confidence to explore more things on their own. They want to see what else they can discover without mom or dad. So, sit back and relax while the kids explore the outdoor environment and find new ways to have fun.


Hello, over there! This megaphone encourages interaction with others.


Landscape Structures playgrounds are designed to welcome children of all ages and abilities. This play equipment has all kinds of sensory elements and play activities that encourage kids to work together making it easier for them to socialize with others. These playgrounds also encourage exercise, but don't worry, your kids will have so much fun playing on the equipment they won't even know they're exercising!


Sneaky playground equipment encourages exercise.

Sensory play aids in the learning process. Children who play outdoors have more access to sensory elements as the five senses are involved in nearly every aspect of outdoor play. They hear other children laughing, birds chirping, and bugs buzzing. They feel the wind on their face and the grass on their feet. They can even taste the outdoors when berry picking or licking their salty lips.


Practicing on the bars builds upper body strength and self-confidence. 

These poles encourage learning to balance.

What will you do when it's raining? Rain is the best sensory activity! Grab an umbrella and some rain boots and slosh through some puddles with your kiddos! Reach up to the sky and savor the raindrops as they splash on your face. Show your children that rain is fun, don't discourage it. Rain even smells good! These days, most parks use rubber mulch. If storms do force you to stay inside for awhile, don't worry about the playground being wet. Be a good parent and take the first trip down the slide to dry it off for those finicky little ones.

Encourage social interaction with other kids, but don't force it. Kids are smart, they know what you're trying to do. If they're moody, they'll fight you every step of the way. Also, simply knowing that you want them to interact with other kids can make the feel self-conscious. They may feel too shy to talk to another child when they know that you're anxious for it to happen. Pretend to keep busy reading a book or returning a text. Don't get too caught up though, those little eyes are always watching you. Sometimes, they want you to watch them and know that you're proud of them. Always be ready with a thumb's up!

A simple way to encourage socialization is to point out a favorite character on another child's clothing. "Hey, look he's wearing a dinosaur shirt. Don't you love it!" Your child may not respond, that's okay. Don't push them. You've given them something to talk about. You've made a connection with another child. Sit back and watch what happens. Socializing may start out awkward. If you have a backward child, trying to force it will certainly backfire. Learn to be happy with a nod or a smile. The rest will come with time.


Playing Outside Improves Mood
Outdoor play improves mood.


Some benefits of outdoor play.
Sleepy kids!


As an exhausted parent, one of the best benefits of getting in a lot of outdoor play time with the kids is that you'll get to enjoy some down time when the kids take naps. Even if they are past nap taking, they'll probably stay quiet for the car ride home! Be careful not to let little ones get too over tired. Often, an over tied preschooler will have trouble sleeping through the night. They need just enough exertion for a good night's sleep. And no one wants an over tired toddler...


Recommended:

More Ways to Play from Kids Creative Chaos

Rainy Day Boredom Busters

Learn more about Landscape Structures Playgrounds

Follow Landscape Structures on Facebook.

Keep up with our fun activities and travels on Instagram.