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One of the things I wanted to start doing this year was to have more intentional "school" time with the kids each week. I haven't quite mapped out a plan for our days yet, there are so many things I want to teach them, but I don't want to overcommit our days and wind up with cranky kids and a cranky mommy who didn't accomplish all of her goals. I'll be continuing to fine tune the details, but I know for sure that I want to do more tot trays with the kids. They're great for us, because I can prep them in advance, I can have one activity that the kids both do, or prep two trays with separate activities, and they're so easy to clean up afterwards!

Floam alien tot tray and small worldWe've had a package of Floam sitting around for awhile and today was the day to break it out! If you're looking for a recipe to make your own, check out this recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose.

We have a few sets of Imaginext toys that I found on Ebay last year, so I decided to work them in and set up a small world for the kids. Floam is great for playing with other toys because it's so low mess, I wouldn't want play dough in all of the nooks and crannies of some of these toys, but floam is much cleaner!

Floam alien tot tray and small worldMost of the time when we play with a sensory material, I have the children use small animal toys or manipulatives that are specifically for sensory play, so they were really excited to combine their normal toys with the floam today. I think it really helped to energize the play time and it sparked some new ideas for playing with old toys!

Floam alien tot tray and small world

Floam alien tot tray and small worldAfter they had exhausted a bit of their energy and seemed to be in a more focused mood, I broke out the tot tray I had prepared, and we set about creating our own aliens!

Floam alien tot tray and small world

Floam alien tot tray and small worldAurora was really in to the project and made several different alien friends, Gray made one, and then decided to decorate himself with the floam instead, here's his super hero mask. :)

Floam alien tot tray and small worldThey were back and forth between the two activities all afternoon, making aliens at the tot tray station, then bringing them to play in the small world on the table. This was definitely a good way to keep them entertained, and I worked in all sorts of language skills with Gray, talking about the colors and texture of the floam. Aurora is working on her letters, she can identify most of them, so now we're focusing on beginning spelling, what words start with which letters, so today of course, A was for alien!

For more sensational sensory ideas, check out my Pinterest board devoted to exploring the senses! Follow Brigette @ Life Lesson Plans's board Kids: Sensory & Small World Bins on Pinterest.


from Life Lesson Plans and The Gossamer Girl

Brigette was born and raised in Nebraska, but ever since her husband joined the Air Force, she has traveled around the world with him and their two young kids. First living in Hawaii, and then in Germany, their family has soaked up all sorts of cultural experiences that she loves to weave in to her writing. She and the kids are now back home and are rediscovering their roots. Recently, Brigette started writing a personal blog called The Gossamer Girl where she shares lifestyle stories about h ...

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