Although Elise knows her alphabet (mostly), I want to condition myself to start emphasizing the sounds of the letters correctly. After all, an alphabet is just a code; the use of an alphabet is what makes a language.
And truth be told, I can whip out my Southern-drawl-plus-New-York-speed accent in a heartbeat and no one here in Seattle can understand what I’m saying. Yep, it’s definitely me that needs some practice!
On a seemingly unrelated topic, I finally organized all my cookie cutters and lo-and-behold, after sorting and storing all of those, I found something for Elise to craft with. Who can beat a recycled shadow box door hanging? If you don’t have copious amounts of cookie cutters, you can use a blueberry or strawberry container!
Click on “Read More” to swim with us in our shadow box sea!
We were reading one of Elise’s books about sea life and she kept noting the words that began with “s.” Some of her favorites: sea horse, seaweed, and starfish.
I’m going to mention the book but it’s out of print now. It’s part of Brimax’s “Look and Learn About” Series: Animals in the Ocean. You can find them on eBay or through used book sellers (really inexpensive) and you should look for them. They are great reference and learning books for kids from 3 to 5. Elise has a couple and LOVES them.
Now, I’ve been wanting to buy those little, plastic figurines sold at all the craft and toy stores – you know, the ones in tubes? They are cheap, Chinese crap, but they are great if you want to build a diorama or have a themed sensory box. And, Safari Ltd (the company who makes them) cites that they are Phthalate and lead free and they state to exceed global safety requirements.
What’s stopping me you ask? Well, Safari Ltd also states that they are for 3 years and up.
~insert sad face here~
But you might say, “Sarah, you don’t have to follow ALL recommendations for toys.”
And you’re right. And I don’t.
But for something made of plastic and is small enough that it could possibly go in her mouth? Yep, I’m going to follow the recommendations. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that we thought Pthalates were just A-okay. In fact, there are a ton of schools across the country that are still using facilities, toys and learning resources that do contain them because they haven’t all been phased out of use.
After chewing on that awhile, I talked myself right on out of getting them. She’ll have enough time in her childhood to play with them, so I’m not considering it too much of a loss.
Anyway, because of the above, I gave Elise paper, some clip art from Microsoft Word, and some crayons. It’s not as “Pinnable,” but it’s a great learning activity. :)
Anyone can make one of these simple shadow boxes and all ages of kids seem to love them. Oh, and you can even add another element that would be super fun and also good for some fine motor skill practice: you could have your child glue sand to the bottom of their sea, just like there is in an ocean.
I was too lazy to go into the storage bin on the back deck to retrieve some play sand. Before you say, “tsk, tsk, Sarah,” just know that it was like 60 mile an hour winds and pouring down rain out there…
And, I had just blow dried my hair.
We just used some basket filler we had on hand and Elise took to calling it her ‘pweetend’ sand in no time.
- a recycled cookie cutter retail box (with plastic cover) repurposed for a shadow box. Oh and I just thought of this: you could use a pint-sized blueberry container or even a bigger strawberry container (the plastic ones) and make a smaller shadow box. I think I just started planning our next one!
- a piece of blue paper (ours came with the cookie cutter box but construction paper or paper your child(ren) color in different hues of blue would be awesome)
- clip art (I am including a free printable of the ones I used, but feel free to search out others – be cognizant of copyright; all images used here were from Microsoft Word, except the seaweed which I drew)
- glue stick
- basket filler (or sand)
- a ribbon (which was a late addition to this project after she finished it)
Thanks, Google for making that little change.
I should just eat more pies so that we can keep doing those… My trainer would be so proud! Haha
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