“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh. “There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.” ~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
The cold and flu season is upon us and in full force. Everyday, one of the smalls falls prey to the germ. This means a lot of stuffed noses and tired kids who don’t quite feel like themselves.
While reading through some of the blogs I follow, I came upon a fantastic post from Growing A Jeweled Rose. She has created a soothing, therapeutic eucalyptus scented rice, and it’s genius. I found the eucalyptus essential oil at our local pharmacy for about $5 (Canadian) and followed her instructions on making the rice. Then I got to thinking about what I could put in the rice bowl for the smalls to play with.
We adults like a good theme, don’t we? I started thinking of all the things associated with being sick and getting better, and how I could incorporate them into a sensory play bin. I decided on empty vitamin and throat lozenge bottles, pill cups, and a few of the doctor tools from our play kit.When it was finished, and I showed it to another adult, the first thing she said was, “Ya, it smells great, but what will the kids DO with it?”
Isn’t that the beauty of sensory play and children? You can give them materials and then sit back and watch to see what they will DO with them.
The smalls did not disappoint. I documented each and every bit of the exploration of this bowl with my camera. The photos illustrate exactly what the smalls DID with this bowl…
There was scooping and ladling into the little cups with the tiny mirror as a “spoon”…And pouring from one container to another… There was exploration with the different tools to see which ones could be used as a scoop to transfer rice to the vitamin bottles…Small motor skills were given a real work-out trying to open the flip-top lids…Tests were performed to see which tools would fit inside the cups and bottles…This was just one little 2 year-old with a stuffed nose. She played there for an hour. A 2 year-old played for an hour with something an adult had no idea what to DO with. Fantastic.
My own 6 yr old, who is constantly fighting a battle with his sinuses got up this morning and I suggested he play in the Get Better Bowl. He was happy to oblige, and I got out my camera to document what he would do.
He removed all the objects from the bowl that he deemed superfluous and got to work. He stuck two pill cups together and tipped rice from one to the other…He buried vitamin bottles and pushed them through the rice to fill them…When that didn’t get the result he wanted, he just used his hands…The focus and concentration were palpable. He was so proud of himself once he had filled it to the top.
“Some medicine for you, Mama!”
Once I had taken my “medicine,” he got back to playing. And you know what came next, of course…the big pour!He filled and dumped and filled and dumped, every once in a while, stopping to check his teeth in the tiny mirror!When he tried using the scissor tongs, he exclaimed, “Look what I can do, Mama!!”
There are so many possibilities to discover when we give children the chance. By providing familiar materials in an unexpected environment, children will stretch their brains to explore the situation. They don’t look at it and wonder what it could be used for. They find out.
And the answer to the question you’re asking is yes…they both were breathing better after their play sessions with the bowl! 20 minutes into their play, both of their noses started to run. And run. And run some more. Keep some tissues close by.
It’s time for the Weekly Kids Co-op, so if you’ve got an idea to share, click the link below to add your post to the growing list of fabulous kid-friendly ideas. If you’re not a blogger, you can still play at the Co-op! Click the view button below and enjoy all the blogs that are participating. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes