Glitter Sensory Bottles

Toddler_Sensory_Bottle

If you have been around A Step in the Journey for a while you know that I love sensory play. Anything from finger painting to rice buckets to play dough, we do it all around here. A little while back we did a sensory bottle filled with rice and hidden treasures. It was a hit, so I thought I’d try something similar. Sensory bottles are wonderful for toddlers, big kids, and even adults. These magical glitter bottles are designed to help soothe, relax, and calm down a over excited, anxious, upset or stressed child (or even adult for that matter). They are perfect to place in the spot you send your child to “cool off!” And are also fun to play with while waiting on lunch or in the car. 

It’s a simple activity and completely customizable. The three supplies you will definitely need are color or clear glue, warm water, and a clear bottle. The custom part can be what color/type of glue you use (Elmer’s makes all kinds…we used pink and purple glitter glue) and what you choose to put in your sensory bottle. I used sequins, but you could also use small beads, legos, or buttons.

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First, you will need to rinse our your bottle. 

Next, Fill your bottle about a 1/4 of the way filled with the glitter glue. (If you items that you wish to float are heavier than sequins you might want to add a little extra glue to slow their fall.).

Then, fill the rest of the bottle (almost) full with warm water. Now, SHAKE! Like a lot. You will need to break up the glue and get it to mix completely into the water. The kids really got a kick out of this step!   

Once the glue is all broken up add in your sequins, legos, buttons, beads, etc. Whatever you chose! If a little water spills out that is okay. After adding your items, if you still have space in your bottle, add a little more warm water. 

Dry off the rim and hot or super glue the top on. 

Voila!

Glitter_bottle

Your kiddos can know shake up their sensory bottle and watch the items and glitter fall! The items will fall in about 15 seconds to start with, but as time passes and the water and glue become more dissolved in one anther the fall of the items will slow down to about 30-45 seconds. The glitter will take much longer to fall to the bottom. Ours takes about 10 minutes. 

As I mentioned before. These are really great when you child is upset or having to “cool off.” Sprout will take his with him to the steps and shake it up. As he watches the sequins and then glitter fall he calms down. It also gives me a chance to calm down before I go over to talk to him. Win! Win! 

Check out my I Spy learning bottle if you are looking for more sensory bottle ideas!

Other sensory play ideas are these rice bins and mess free painting!

 

Lucky Charms St. Patrick’s Day Treat

st_patrick_treats

Repost from March 2014

III was sweet enough to run to the grocery store the other day on his way home from work. I feel like maybe it was raining and I didn’t want to get out with Chickadee, but it easily could have also been because I was still in my pajamas (some days are just like that!). Cereal was on the list and much to my surprise he came home with Lucky Charms! One of my favorites even at 29 years old. I used to buy these every March for my students and they would graph all the different marshmallow shapes that ended up in their baggie. 

Last night I decided to make Rice Krispie Lucky Charm Treats. 

photo 1 (6)

It’s your basic Rice Krispie Treat recipe, only using Lucky Charms in place of the rice krispies. If you don’t have the recipe on hand, let me jot it down for you!

Lucky Charm Treats
Yields 12
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups of Lucky Charms
  2. 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  3. 3 tsp of butter
Instructions
  1. 1. Melt butter in pot
  2. 2. Stir in marshmallows over medium/low heat & stir until melted (spray your spatchula with cooking spray to prevent stickiness!)
  3. 3. Once melted remove from heat and add in your Lucky Charms
  4. 4. Pour into greased dish
  5. 5. Enjoy!
Adapted from Original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
Adapted from Original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

And there you have it!

lucky_charms_rice_krispie_treats

I may or may not have eaten one for breakfast :O It is cereal, right? Oh, and I would be amiss if I didn’t show you my adorable “sous chef!”

photo (24)

And here she is last year, sporting this cute Rainbow necklace (a great fine motor skill craft!)

Before you go, here are a few more RAINBOW treats for you to check out as we get closer to Saint Patrick’s Day!

Garlic Knots (shhhh…from biscuits)

garlic knots from canned biscuits

I may have mentioned before, but every Friday night around here is Pizza and a Movie Night! It is a tradition we started a few months back (once the big kids could come close to sitting through a movie) and it is one we all look forward to each week. Sometimes we order pizza, sometimes we pick up a frozen pizza on sale at Publix, and lots of time we make the pizza using this simple. clean. pizza dough recipe.  After visiting a local restaurant with DELICIOUS garlic knots I decided these would occasionally be a great addition to our Friday night indulgence. I had some leftover biscuits in the fridge and they worked perfectly for garlic knot dough. They are seriously delish.

You simply pop open your biscuits and cut them in half. Chickadee helped me some with this and used her Curious Chef knives. These are great if your toddler/child wants to help out in the kitchen. They are sharp enough to chop biscuits, fruits, peppers, etc. but shouldn’t cut anything they aren’t suppose to!

Curious chef knives

Then roll out each half and tie them in a knot.

Garlic Knot Rolls

How to tie a garlic knot

Finally, mix up the topping and brush about 2/3 of it onto the garlic knots before placing in the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Garlic Knot Topping Mix

Brush on the remaining topping after you pull them out. Enjoy warm with marinara sauce.

Garlic Knot Recipe using biscuits

 

Garlic Knots from Canned Biscuits
Yields 16
Simple. Delicious. Garlic Knots from canned biscuits
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can of Annie's Homegrown biscuits (8 count)
  2. 1/3 cup of butter, melted
  3. 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  5. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  6. 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a small bowl mix together melted butter, parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, parsley and salt
  3. Open biscuits and cut each circle in half.
  4. Roll each half into a "snake" (as my toddler says) about 5-6in long
  5. Then tie each snake in a knot
  6. Place knots on a baking sheet, then brush each knot with the butter mixture, saving about 1/3 to use after baking
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until browned
  8. Brush with remaining butter mixture and serve immediately (we prefer with marinara sauce)
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
garlic knot recipe

Holiday Rice Krispie Treats

Holiday Rice Krispie Treat Ideas

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone has a fantastic day, month, year full of LOVE. We’ve been talking about love a lot in our house, mostly how we others, especially those we love (brother/sister battles going on!). Love is kind folks. “And a new command I give you. Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another!” John 13:34

One nice thing you could do for those you love is whip them up some Rice Krispie Treats! We have a friend with an egg allergy and so when planning to take them dinner last week, I knew these would be a perfect & safe dessert. It’s your basic Rice Krispie treats with a whole lot of extra goodness.

Holiday Rice Krispie Treats
Yields 24
A fun holiday spin on a classic dessert!
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons of butter
  2. 1 bag of large puff marshmallows
  3. 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  4. 1 drop of food coloring
  5. 10-15 candy melts
  6. 30 M&Ms
  7. Sprinkles (assorted)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in marshmallows and stir constantly until melted.
  3. Mix in 1-2 drops of food coloring and mix to reach desired color
  4. Mix M&Ms with Rice Krispies
  5. Remove melted marshmallows from heat and mix in Rice Krispies/M&Ms
  6. Continue mixing until well combined
  7. Pour into greased 9x13 pyrex and press flat (parchment paper is good for this!)
  8. Allow to cool
  9. In a microwave safe bowl melt candy melts according to package directions
  10. Drizzle over top of cooled Rice Krispie treats and add sprinkles
Notes
  1. These can be customized for any occasion! Just mix up the food coloring, candy melts & sprinkles to match the holiday you are celebrating.
Adapted from Kellog's Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from Kellog's Rice Krispie Treats
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Valentine Rice Krispie Treats

I found my candy melts at Hobby Lobby, however you can also purchase them on Amazon. Target usually has great holiday sprinkles in their $1.00 section, and I also found some at Aldi this year. Last, I love this collection of food coloring. They have pretty much any color you would need.

Not feeling Rice Krispies? Check out these Lucky Charm treats I made for St. Patrick’s Day!

st_patrick_treats

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Valentine Activity for Toddlers | Fine Motor Skill Practice

Valentine Decorations

Decorating for Valentines Day is usually brief, but I like to do it anyway. We have a few banners up around the house and this one might be my favorite. Some of the banners I use year after year like this Valentine bunting from forever ago.

Valentine Bunting

Other decorations I have had the kids help me make. This Valentine activity was dual purpose. Not only was it a great fine motor skill activity for Chickadee and Sprout, it also added a little LOVE to our breakfast nook! It was really quite simple.

All you will need is some colored paper, toddler scissors, a pen, hole punch and string.

First I cut each piece of paper into 1/4ths. Then I folded the 1/4th in half and drew half a heart starting and ending on the fold. 

how to cut folded heart

Chickadee was my first helper. She is 4 and cutting with scissors is great find motor skill practice for her. So she cut out all of the hearts. 

toddler scissor practice

After she cut the hearts out, Sprout (2.5 years old) went to town with the hole punch. A hold punch is so much fun for kids and really great for strengthening their hand muscles. 

Fine Motor Skill Practice

Last, I taped them onto string and hung them up in the breakfast nook. The Happy Valentines Bunting in the middle is from Target’s dollar section. It was $3 and is glittery so Chickadee especially loves it. However, you could easily make that yourself too. 

Valentine Toddler Activity

Just like the number sense activity I posted last week, this is a great activity for toddlers of many different ages. You could also make a template for your older child and they could trace the heart outline before cutting. 

So, do you decorate for Valentine’s Day? We will probably leave the hearts up for all of February and then change things our to Spring and Easter once March arrives. I sure hope March brings the sun and a little warmer temperatures!