Guide to Dyeing Sensory Materials

There are so many everyday household items that can be used for sensory play! What makes them more fun? Dyeing them your child’s favorite color, making holiday themed sensory materials, or making rainbow sensory materials. Through trial and error, I have tested out some different methods of dyeing sensory materials and here are the ways that I found to work best.

  1. Dyeing Dry Rice- Some methods say food coloring and vinegar. My favorite way to create vibrant colorful rice is to use some Crayola paint ( or any kids paint you have). I use about two cups of rice and 1 tbsp of paint each time and shook it up in a large ziplock bag. Then lie the rice out to dry on a paper towel. The above rice I used to create a Valentine’s Day themed sensory bin.

      2. Dyeing Dried Chickpeas- To make rainbow chickpeas, I used about 1 cup of chickpeas for each color. I have found that liquid watercolors work better than food coloring as they gave a more vibrant color. Add 1 cup of chickpeas to a large ziplock and about 5 squirts of liquid watercolor. Shake the bag to coat the chickpeas. Add more liquid watercolor if needed to coat the chickpeas. The awesome thing about chickpeas it that they dry really fast.

   

3. Dyeing Cooked Spaghetti- There are two ways to dye spaghetti, but I found this way to work best. Add quite a bit of food coloring to the boiling water that you are cooking your spaghetti in. As the spaghetti softens, you can add more food coloring to the pot as needed if the pasta isn’t colored enough. Strain the water and spaghetti. I usually give my spaghetti a rinse under cold water to, 1. cool it down, and 2. remove any excess food coloring. You now have a taste safe, colorful, sensory material!

4. Dyeing Dry Pasta- I like to dye my pasta using food coloring and vinegar. I use about 1 cup of pasta added to a bag with 1 tbsp of vinegar and 10 drops of food coloring. Mix and squish the pasta in the bag to coat it with the coloring solution. Once all the noodles are covered, you can take the pasta out to dry, or leave it for 5-10 min (mixing or shaking the bag once or twice) for the color to darken. Lay the pasta out on a lined cookie sheet to dry, usually this takes 10 hours or overnight. You can then add the pasta to a sensory bin, use it for arts and crafts or add some string to make necklaces.

5. Dyeing Light Colored Dry Beans (Ex. white navy beans, lima beans,etc.)- Measure a cup of beans into a tupperware container, add 15 drops of food coloring. Close the lid and shake them for 20 seconds until all the beans are coated. Dump them onto a paper towel lined cookie sheet and spread them out.  Let them dry for several hours. Once dry you can add them to a sensory bin for play!

 

**Please note that some of these sensory materials may present a choking hazard for young children.  Uncooked beans, chickpeas, pasta and rice if ingested, can cause discomfort.  Please provide constant supervision during sensory play.**

Have you heard of sensory play for kids? Sensory play can start as young as 3 months old. This type of play involves one or more of the 5 senses, and allows children to experience new sensations in a safe and fun environment. There are numerous benefits to sensory play. Some being that Sensory play:

  1. Develops fine and gross motor skills
  2. Does not have to be messy ( think sensory bags and bottles, treasure baskets with different textures)
  3. Enhances creativity and imagination
  4. Is a great way to teach children about different subjects
  5. Helps a child’s language and vocabulary ( e.g. Role model what the materials feel like, wet, squishy, dry)
  6. Promotes cooperative play

One very common tool is to use a sensory bin. A sensory bin is a box or bin, that you fill with some kind of texture (can be dry like beans or rice, or wet like cooked spaghetti or whipped cream). Throw in a couple of play toys or spoons and cups and voila you have a sensory bin.You can also theme your bins such as an ocean themed water bead bean, or a dinosaur bin filled with different dry materials like colored sand and rocks. Sensory bins are great for kids because they receive loads of tactile (touch) stimulation, and it encourages imaginative play.

One thing we like to do in winter is bring in our water table and set it up in the basement for sensory play.  I find keeping a couple different bins on hand to rotate every few weeks works best. It is very important to monitor your child while they play to ensure they aren’t putting materials in their mouth. If your child still likes to ‘taste’ things, try bins such cooked colored spaghetti, different colored jello with plastic animals, or sensory bags where the material is inside a double zip locked bag that is duct taped shut. ( Another blog post on mess free sensory play is coming soon!)

Here is a list I created of some sensory bin/table fillers:

One of my kids favorites is creating a colored water station, where they get to mix the colors. All I use is clear containers each with a different primary water color and a large under the bed clear plastic storage container to hold everything. Add a couple empty clear containers so they can watch the colors mix. Some times I add water droppers or syringes for them to transfer water with. This is also an activity you can do in the bathtub and definitely one of our favorites on warm summer days.

Another favorite is making soap foam as seen above! Then we usually add cars for a car wash or animals for a bath. Scoops and a whisk are fun too! Here’s how to make it:

-2 Tbsp of dish soap or bubble bath

-1/4 cup water

-a mixer

-food coloring
In a bowl, add 2 Tbsp of dish soap and 1/4 cup of water.  Add food coloring to the mix if desired.  Mix on the highest possible setting for 1-2 minutes.  Your foam should be able to form stiff peaks that hold their shape.  Scoop it out into your sensory bin and repeat as necessary!
Here is another one of my kids favorites. Bring the beach to your house, with this fun mold-able sand sensory bin! Here is what you will need:
  • 5 cups of play sand
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil or baby oil

Combine the ingredients in your sensory bin and mix well. Add some shovels and sand toys for extra fun!

There are so many possibilities for fun sensory bins! Stay tuned as I will be creating a blog post on Mess Free Sensory Play as well as How to Dye Sensory Materials.

 

One of local company, Chickweed & Clover’s, newest products is the Eucalyptus and Lime Mineral Soak. Chickweed and Clover creates handcrafted and herbalist formulated family products, right here in the Grande Prairie area. Over the years I have tried many of their products and absolutely love them. When the Eucalyptus and Lime Mineral Soak was available in stores (I picked mine up from Mint Pharmacy), I was just getting over the flu and had been diagnosed with tonsillitis as well. I could not wait to get home and have a relaxing bath!

Made with castor oil, the mineral soak is deeply nourishing, which my parched winter skin desperately needed the moisture. The eucalyptus essential oils have decongestant properties, which helped with my chills and stuffed nose. I also found the soak to be great for the aches I was experiencing from the flu. One note, don’t be like me and use 2 tsps. instead of the recommended 1 tsp per bath. I was a little over excited and battling so many things, I figured 2 tsps. wouldn’t hurt but did find this amount to be just a bit too moisturizing.

This mineral soak is safe for pregnancy and children over 1. It helps lock moisture into you skin and relieves stuffy noses. It also can be used for growing pains, which is exactly what my 3.5 year old needed that same week. She is loving her baths lately, which is a nice change from her thinking baths were evil. Her skin was starting to get dry and she was complaining of sore legs the one evening. Perfect timing for a Eucalyptus and Lime Mineral Soak bath! She came out with soft skin and soothed legs!

This is definitely a great family product that we will be keeping on hand at all times! Here is Chickweed and Clover’s new webpage that you can shop on https://www.chickweedandclover.com/ . Or their products are carried at the health food stores in town, Bold and Brassy Clothing Store and Mint Pharmacy.

Hello fellow Mommies,

Thank you for being patient while I familiarize myself with the Mommy Connections Website and store front. I have been very busy creating a fun, engaging and informative schedule for both Mom and Baby and Travelling Tots. I have also been collecting some amazing samples and discounts for the swag bags you will receive at the start of the session and can’t wait to share them with you. Class registration will open soon for a 6 week Mom and Baby and 6 week Travelling Tot session. If you would like to be contacted when registration opens, please send me an email to christinan@mommyconnections.ca

Stay tuned for an exciting contest!

Respectfully,

Christina Nelson

 

Fall classes are under way!

Mom and Tot have been busy visiting locations around town including Tender Tots at Crosslink Center and Home Depot.

Mom and Baby have been introduced to the programs at Babies Best Start as well as baby sign at My Smart Hands!

Next session start in November !

 

Check it out here

https://mailchi.mp/mommyconnections.ca/fall-newsletter

Fall schedules for Baby and Tot have been added!

Both classes are close to sell out so sign up now!

https://www.mommyconnections.ca/grande-prairie/store/products/mom-and-baby-sept-nov-2019/

https://www.mommyconnections.ca/grande-prairie/store/products/mom-and-tot-sept-nov-2019/

Have you RSVP to the picnic on August 24?

We are SOLD OUT for the free pizza spots but you can still come and enjoy our Twoonie Carnival!

Big shout out to Once Upon A Child Grande Prairie for sponsoring our GLITTER TATTOO TABLE .


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It’s that time again!

**FALL REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPENED!!**

Join us for our most popular session of the year! This means burnt oranges and brown, crisp air, fall leaves sweaters, apples and cinnamon and yup..HALLOWEEN !!

Find your mom squad (or dad squad – stay tuned) with us while learning from the best local experts in the field of EVERYTHING Baby!

Parenthood can be so very isolating but with us, you find like-minded parents and form those long-lasting relationships we sometime lose once starting a family.

Nothing but good times as you bond with baby and learn week after week through educational discussions and interactive play!

*Mom and Baby (0-8months)
*Travelling Tots (walking to 4 yrs)

https://www.mommyconnections.ca/grande-prairie/class-dates/

#mommyconnectionsgrandeprairie #fallregistration #autumn #findyourmomsquad #findyourdadsquad #getoutofthehouse #shoplocal #supportlocal #bossmom #entrepreneur #mompreneur #goodtimes #momandbaby #minimovers #travellingtots

Our Summer Picnic is ALMOST SOLD OUT!!! Don’t miss out.

Mommy Connections Picnic In The Park, Twoonie Carnival and LIVE Pie Auction-
Saturday August 24.
11:00am -2:00pm
at Little Ark Preschool Academy

The only catch is that you – and your guests – need to RSVP so that we have enough fun and freebies to go around. Please select the appropriate number of adults and children and click “add to cart”.

https://www.mommyconnections.ca/…/summer-picnic-in-the-park/

GIVING KIDS THE TOOLS TO SUCCEED

In some areas of Alberta, the need for backpacks filled with school supplies is as high as 8 in 10 students. Tools for School is committed to ensuring every child in the Alberta has access to the supplies necessary to reach their full academic potential.Together with community agencies, educational institutions, corporate supporters, the general public and the media we focus on one common goal—to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 whose families have limited resources.

If you or someone you know is in need, PLEASE reach out by private message to get registered for this program.

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