Tag Archives: sensory experience

Ridiculously Fun Colourful Bubble Foam

Colourful Bubble Foam | Mama Papa Bubba

Oh my word… I’m so glad we finally got around to trying this!  I pinned the idea over a year ago and I knew it was going to be fun, but I had no idea just how much Miss G would love it and how much play it would bring about (just wait until we get to those pictures!)  

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For our bubble foam, we used an eco-friendly dish soap (only because that’s what we use in our house – I’m sure the regularly variety would probably make even better, ‘stronger’ foam) and an assortment of gel and liquid food colouring (both worked well – we just used a little less of the gel because of its strength and a little more of the liquid).

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While Amanda of Dirt and Boogers put both her blender and food processor to use when making her foam, we got out our supplies, and decided to try using our Kitchen Aid mixer instead.  I wanted to make a lot of foam, and I figured its big bowl would allow us to do so in fewer batches, and I figured that it would be able to whip the foam just as well as, if not better, than a food processor or blender (I also think a hand blender would work well too!)

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To make our foam, Miss G added 2 tablespoons of dish washing liquid, 2/3 a cup of warm water, and 2 drops of gel food colouring (or 4 or 5 of liquid) to the machine’s bowl.  Then we fired up the mixer on its highest speed, and let it whip the mixture into foam for 2 solid minutes.  The result was this thick, luxurious foam that formed soft peaks when a spoon was lifted out of it.

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We continued the process with 4 other colours of Gracen’s choosing, working quickly so that the foam would maintain its thick texture.

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After completing all of the colours in about 10 minutes or so, you can see that the purple foam we made first was starting to ‘air up’, but Grae didn’t mind one bit.  She was just thrilled that it was time to dive in finally!

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While I did consider bringing some items to use while playing in the bin (I thought maybe cups to hold foamy drinks or cars to put through a foamy carwash), I ended up skipping that part and I’m glad I did.  Sometimes less is more, and in this case, the foam was plenty of fun on its own.  Gracen immediately started swirling the colours together which made me wonder if next time we should try just 3 colours – red, blue, and yellow – to see how well a little colour mixing experiment would turn out.  Either way, swirling the rainbow colours together was brilliant fun.

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With her hands and arms absolutely covered in foam, the clapping began…  And goodness gracious, did she ever find flying foam hilarious!

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Next up, this silly slippery hands position took form…

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And before long, a certain someone’s head was in the bin!

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She popped up with hair full of foam, and I knew exactly what was happening next.

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Please tell me I’m not the only one whose kid strips off their clothes and jumps into their sensory bins in order to get the full effect…

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And who am I to deny this sort of crazy, messy, foamy fun really?

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Fully covered in bubbles, Miss G told me that they felt ‘so soft and cozy on her bare skin’ and I don’t doubt it for a minute!  At this point I was sort of glad we’d used eco-friendly soap as her skin can sometimes be quite sensitive, which led me to wonder if the same sort of results could be reached with a baby shampoo, bath wash, or bubble bath instead?  Another experiment for another day, I guess. ☺  The good news is that this foam didn’t irritate her skin in the least, and they lasted for a ridiculously long time.

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One thing I hadn’t thought of when we put together this sensory activity was the possibility of bubbles… And boy, oh boy, were there ever bubbles!  Big, giant, huge ones that formed in the space between her two legs and between her arms and her body each time she’d stand up.  (It’s hard to see, but there’s a giant one coming from in between her shins in this photo.)

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Without a doubt, this has been one of our most fun and engaging sensory activities in a long time, and for a little bit of dish soap, some water, and some food colouring, I’d say that’s pretty amazing! 

Colourful Bubble Foam

  • 2 tablespoons of dish soap
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • 2 drops of gel food colouring (or 4 – 5 of liquid food colouring)

Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Using a kitchen mixer or a handheld mixer, mix the ingredients on the highest setting for 2 minutes (or until the foam forms stiff peaks).  Repeat with as many colours as desired.

Enjoy!

 

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Pretend Popsicle Play

Pretend Popsicle Play With Gelatine Pops | Mama Papa BubbaKnowing Grae’s love of popsicles, my mom sent her home from the Okanagan with a couple of new popsicle mould sets the other day.  While I knew she’d be excited, what I wasn’t expecting was for two new popsicle moulds to keep her happily playing in her rear-facing car seat for at least 1/2 of our 7 hour drive home.  She was so engaged with them that Brad actually said, “Well I know what we need to bring on the plane to Kuwait.” (If you’re travelling through Germany in August and see a woman with popsicle mould parts clumsily falling out of her purse, that’ll be me.)

IMG 8103When we got home and I started thinking about fun play opportunities for the week, I thought it would be fun to try to set up a popsicle-themed pretend play station.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was making the pretend pops out of ice, but I wanted something a little different.  Enter gelatine. With a fun texture that can be jiggled, squished, and crumbled, I knew it would be a hit.  

To make the pops quite sturdy, I mixed up 3 packets of Knox unflavoured gelatine with 3/4 of a cup of boiling water, then added 3/4 of a cup of cool water once the gelatine had been dissolved.  I popped a few drops of liquid food colouring into each of my popsicle cups, poured the gelatine mixture in, mixed it up, and put the faux popsicles in the refrigerator over night. 

IMG 8105This morning while we were preparing breakfast together, Miss G immediately noticed the rainbow coloured popsicles in the fridge and asked if they were for playing with.  Let me tell you, this girl doesn’t miss a thing.  She patiently waited until after our morning outing, lunchtime, and her nap, and I had this little set up ready ready for her when she woke up.

IMG 8112She was delighted to see it and immediately asked, “Are these just for playing, Mama? Or are they for eating?”  With the fact that they were for playing with cleared up, she began naming the flavours – my favourite of which was tomato soup (the red one).  Then she began doling out the treats in bowls with spoons, as she often likes her popsicles.

IMG 8113Next up, all of the popsicles went back into their moulds and got put into her pretend freezer.  Then she took them out, one by one (with the help of a spoon and some serious shaking) as though she were filling customer orders.

IMG 8116For the customers who preferred to eat their frozen treats from a bowl rather than a stick, she happily crumbled the popsicles up.  As you do.

IMG 8119There was lots of play with the popsicles in their smushed up state…

IMG 8123Then she moved onto making rainbow pops.  Because I mean, who wants only one flavour when you can have several, right?

IMG 8127And then there was soup. Oh, was there ever.  Soup stirred so enthusiastically that bits flew out of the bowl and landed in various spots around our living room. 

IMG 8132I’d say pretend popsicles were a hit, wouldn’t you?  A colourful, messy, joyful hit.

♥ 

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Ooblek Dough

Oobleck Dough | Mama Papa BubbaHave you every come home from a shopping trip with surprise item in your bags?  That’s exactly what happened with this hair gel…  I do not use hair gel. Brad does not use hair gel.  No one in our house uses hair gel.  Yet after returning home from a grocery shopping trip with Miss G a few weeks ago, there it was in one of our bags.  My immediate thought was, ‘Crap!  Did we accidentally steal this?!’  I checked the bill and nope, we’d paid for it.  How it got through the checkout and into our bags, I have no idea.  

IMG 9880Anyways, knowing that we wouldn’t be using it in our hair anytime soon, I decided we’d use it for some sort of play.  And when nothing brilliant had come to mind in a few week’s time, I decided that we’d mix it with cornstarch.  Because cornstarch mixed with any sort of liquid = cool, right?

IMG 9889It took some serious mixing to bring the ingredients together first, then it took some serious kneading to smooth it out and soften it up.  The result, however, was quite lovely.  Pillowy soft and lightweight, this dough behaves a lot like ooblek does.  When handled gently and moved slowly, it’s stretchy and elastic, and when handled more abruptly, it breaks off in chunks.

IMG 9892Gracen wanted to play with it immediately, so together we collected some bowls, silicon moulds, and plastic utensils and brought everything outside to play with.

IMG 9893She began exploring her new dough  by sinking her hands into it, squishing it between her fingers, and poking holes into it…

IMG 9907Then it was time to fill all of the containers with “oatmeal”.

IMG 9909With a good breakfast in our tummies, it was time for dessert. ☺  The dough rolls into balls really nicely, so Miss G turned our ball collection into cupcakes with cherries on top.

IMG 9930When we were done with our first round of dessert, Gracen shouted, “Cookies next!” and took off into the house running.  She returned with a tray of creative table goodies – buttons, pony beads, straw pieces, gems, and sparkly pompoms.  I was put in charge of forming the cookies and she was in charge of decorating.

IMG 9919To show that we had eaten the cookies all up, Miss G crumbled them all into a bowl.  

IMG 9922The cool part was that as soon as she was done, the crumbles had already started melting together to form one mass. 

This was such a fun new dough to explore and play with.  One thing we did notice is that after being played with for an hour, it had dried quite a bit.  It definitely can be played with again, but this is not the type of dough you’ll want to leave out for very long when not in use.

Oobleck Dough

  • 1 cup hair gel
  • 1/2 cup water
  • food colouring (optional)
  • 2 cups corn starch

Mix the wet ingredients together.  Add in the cornstarch and mix really well.  Once the dough comes together in a mass, knead until smooth and soft.  

Play!

♥ 

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Sparkly Foam Sensory Tray

Sparkly Foam Sensory TrayDo you ever set up an activity that you think will be a total hit and it just kind of flops?  Or if it doesn’t flop, it just doesn’t take off the way you thought it would?  That was the case with this sensory tray.

IMG 6230After a Sunday morning adventure and a good afternoon nap, we decided to hit the backyard.  Brad and I wanted to get some yard work done, so I decided to set up a sensory station for Grae to explore in between searching for rocks, running around, and helping with the yard work.

IMG 6231I kept it very simple and  filled a tray with raspberry-scented shaving foam, sprinkled glitter on top of it, and set out a warm bucket of water with a hand towel.

IMG 6234Grae dove in.

IMG 6235She definitely had fun mixing up the different colours of glitter and squishing the foam between her fingers…

IMG 6241And she even thought it was funny that it stuck to her hands at first, but after a while, the fact that she couldn’t properly clean the foam off of her hands and arms, even with the bucket of water and towel, started to bother her.

IMG 6238She decided to gather some sandbox tools and played for a while longer, but the activity never really took off the way I thought it would.  In the end, there was a giant tray of semi-played with foam just left there and she was done.

IMG 6244If anything, this was a great way to get messy. ☺

I guess all activities can’t be a total hit, can they?

♥ 

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Ice Cream Shop {Using Ice Cream Dough}

Ice Cream Shop with Ice Cream DoughAfter making a few batches of ice cream dough this afternoon, Gracen and I set up a simple little ice cream shop in the living room.  We used an old wooden apple crate for her table top and made sure the floor was protected with a large bath towel.

IMG 5074Then we went around the house to collect a few other items.  First up – ice cream cones.  Yes, the real ones…  We had them on hand from her 2nd birthday party and they’d never be used otherwise, so may as well use them for some fun pretend play, right?

IMG 5075Of course, for customers not partial to cones, you need to have a bowl option.  These silicon baking cups did the job perfectly.

IMG 5076Next, we gathered up some spoons and an ice cream scoop…

IMG 5073As well as some buttons, beads, and straw pieces for candies and candy sprinkles. 

IMG 5082And with that, our little ice cream shop owner got to work.

IMG 5093IMG 5091There was plenty of scooping, touching, smelling, and exploring to be done.

IMG 5084Of course the ice cream treats rolled out of the shop one after another too.  A hazelnut ice cream cone for Papa…

IMG 5099And a strawberry ice cream cup {with extra candy sprinkles!} for Mama.

IMG 5088This was such a simple set-up, but I can already tell that she’s going to get hours of fun out of it.  Of course, it’s more than just fun…  This little ice cream shop incorporates pretend play, a sensory experience, and creativity too.

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♥ 

To see our other ice cream shop using play dough, click here.

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