I think it’s safe to assume that most home daycare or home school providers often struggle with including all the little ones in the play activities. And by little ones, I mean toddlers and babies. It is a tough task to plan a sensory, science, art, small-motor activity that is safe AND inviting for the tall and the small.
Well, today I’ve got one for you. Not only is it easy, super fun and inexpensive, it gets your toys cleaned while the smalls play and learn! Win!
I started by gathering a bin of locking blocks like duplo. I also collected some plastic people the smalls may like to use as occupants in their bubbly buildings. I made soap suds by pouring dish soap into my pasta pot, running water, and skimming off the foam that collects at the top. Be careful not scoop any water when you skim off the foam as it gets very wet on your table if you do! I covered my table with a plastic table cloth and just poured bowls full of suds directly onto the table top. You can provide a tea towel for the laps of the smalls who are worried about getting wet, but honestly, we didn’t really need them.
I placed all these materials out on the table and invited the smalls to come and play. I gave them no instructions, as I wanted this to be an open-ended play activity. I had children ages 1 year to 9 years at the table.
The baby couldn’t believe his luck when he was invited up to be with the “big” kids! He explored the bubbles with his chubby fingers and managed to put together a few blocks, even though the bubbles made them a bit slippery. Such great fine motor practice for him!
The preschoolers built towers and great giant floods of bubbles…The kindergartener built a castle complete with knights and princesses…My 9-year-old build a cavernous building to fill up with suds……and then blow them on her mama!
The oldest one ventured further into her bubble exploration and discovered that when she rubbed the bubbles quickly back and forth on the table, the bubbles became smaller and more like shaving cream. This fascinated her and gave us the chance to discuss air pockets and what happens when you compact them into a smaller space…
When the smalls were finished their play time, we gathered the toys into the washtub and filled it with water. I rinsed the toys and drained them, then poured them out onto a bath towel to dry. And now my blocks and little people are freshly cleaned! I also used a bath towel to wipe the suds off the table. It took only minutes.
This really is a simple and easy, yet very rewarding activity.
Go on now, and give it a try!
Thanks for stopping by,
~Arlee, Small Potatoes