Jan 26, 2015

LMNO Peas Sensory Bin

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If you have been reading House of Burke for sometime, you know that we host a Baby Book Club at our home every month. Book club play dates are incredibly fun and beneficial for little ones. Not only are they exploring and reading new books, but by doing activities and eating snacks based on the book, they are further solidifying concepts they learned while listening to the story. Book club play dates bring stories to life! Inspired by those meetings, we have partnered up with some of our favorite bloggers to bring you Book Club Play Dates, a monthly series that will showcase snacks, crafts, and activities based on some fantastic books. Below is the list of what we will be reading for 2015. Make sure to save the image and join us!

This month, our book was LMNO Peas by Keith Baker. This adorable alphabet book showcasing an assortment of peas embarking on different careers and hobbies. The illustrations are great, and the story introduces your little one to all sorts of different paths in life while simultaneously teaching them the alphabet. Our category this month was sensory, so I put together a simple and colorful sensory bin based on the book! The best part? This bin is taste safe and baby friendly! 

I used several cans of peas that were nearing there expiration date and some frozen peas that had seen better days! The difference in color between the canned peas and the frozen peas gave this bin a lot of depth. It also made me think twice about ever serving canned vegetables to my kids! I added our Imaginarium Letters, some utensils, and Kingston's adorable little friend to the mix and we were ready for our play date. 

The kiddos were immediately drawn to the colorful bin. They spent time squishing and scooping the letters. Bentley was anxious to get in on the fun too!

We called out letters for each of the kids to find and scoop up. K used his masher to squish the peas, and A used her spoon to scoop them. Both kids pretended to eat the peas and also pretended to feed them to baby B (who surprisingly didn't seem interested in tasting them!).

They spent quite some time touching the peas, flinging the peas, and exploring the bin. 

When the toddlers were done, baby Bentley dove right on in. Literally! 

He loved feeling the cold peas beneath his chubby fingers and toes. We showed him a variety of letters. "B" was the most important one of course! 

He loved it! One of the great things about book club play dates is that you can adapt the activities for everyone. Bentley enjoys reading LMNO Peas as much as K does! 

Head on over to my fellow Book Club Play Date bloggers pages to check out their snacks and activities! Use all of these to create your own Book Club Play Date at home!

Snack: LMNO Peas Soup from Still Playing School
Craft: Parachuting Peas Craft from Craftulate
Busy Bag: Counting Peas Busy Bag with Free Printable from And Next Comes L 

Stay tuned for next month's book club play date! We will be reading I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont. It is such a fun and colorful book! 

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Jan 23, 2015

Usborne Books that Promote Fine Motor Skills

Happy Fine Motor Fridays! This week, I am switching it up a bit and bringing you a book list. An Usborne book list to be precise! One of the great things about Usborne (and there are MANY) is that a lot of their books are interactive. All of their interactive books have one thing in common, they are fantastic for developing fine motor skills! Usborne Books & More has so much to offer. Each of the books below offers something exciting and educational while helping to promote fine motor skills and other important education skills for your little ones. 

There's a Mouse About the House! - This adorable interactive book features a little cardboard mouse with a cute rope tail that you move throughout the book. On each page there is a slot to slip the little mouse through. This helps promote fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as your little one is moving the mouse in and out of the different slots on each page. To get the mouse in the slot, your child will be forced to hold the mouse like a pencil which is great for developing pre-writing skills.  The story itself is really cute too!

A Squirrels Tale - This book is the exact same concept as There's a Mouse About the House, except with an adorable red squirrel! The story is equally cute and if you are a fan of TaMAtH, than you will be a huge fan of this one! 

Peek Inside Animal Homes - The Peek Inside series is one of our very favorites for babies and toddlers!! The pictures are absolutely gorgeous and the interactive parts inside are fantastic. As you read, your child can lift all sorts of different flaps to see what is underneath. There are cutout holes that your child can grasp to lift up some of the flaps. This helps develop their pincer grasp. This is a great lift the flap type book for beginners! 

Look Inside Our World  - The Look Inside series is a lift the flap series for older kids. There are SO many flaps filled with information. Flaps equal fine motor practice! There are some excellent titles in this series, all jam-packed with educational facts. 

See Inside How Things Work - The See Inside series is pretty identical to the Look Inside series. With tons of flaps, your little one will be able to get lots of fine motor practice in while learning about fantastic topics. This title How Things Work is a super fun look into different ordinary things and how they work. There are also tons of titles in this series!

Lift - the - Flap General Knowledge - The lift-the-flap series is similar to the above two series. Test your knowledge while developing fine motor skills! 

Slot-Together Castle with an Usborne Book - The slot together castle is beyond cool! It comes with all of the pieces to put together your very own castle. Working to slot together the small pieces is amazing for fine motor development! 

First Sticker Book Space - ALL of Usborne's sticker books promote fine motor skills; and they have tons of them! They have everything from "first" stickers books, to dolly dressing, to look and find sticker books and  more. All of the sticker books they have offer tons of learning, fine motor skill development, and fun! 

Under the Sea Jigsaw Book - Usborne has so many unique books. The jigsaw books are really cool collections of jigsaw puzzles embedded into each page of the book. Jigsaw puzzles are fantastic fine motor skill builders! 

200 Paper Planes to Fold & Fly - How cool is this book?! These books come with all different kinds of  patterned paper and the instructions to make several different paper airplanes. Folding and creating paper airplanes is a great way to utilize fine motor skills. 

Wind-Up Plane Book - The Wind-Up series is one of our very favorites!! They have planes, trains, pirate ships, race cars, tractors, etc. Winding up each of the vehicles and setting them on their tracks is certainly a fine motor workout! 

Build the Bones Whale - This awesome book and activity is incredibly educational! It comes with a book about whales, the largest animal on earth, as well as the pieces to create your own 3-D whale model. Putting together the whale is a phenomenal fine motor fete! 

Don't forget to check out all of the other awesome fine motor posts: 

Smashing ABC Moon Rocks from Stir the Wonder
Valentine Themed Button Snake from School Time Snippets
Crepe Paper Flower Cards from Powerful Mothering
Fine Motor Valentine’s Day Shirts for Kids from Lalymom
Groundhog Finger Puppet Craft from Still Playing School

Interested in purchasing one of the awesome books showcased above? Visit my USBORNE STORE to buy them, and take advantage of some great deals! Interested in hosting a party or joining my team, all of that information can be found there too! 

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5
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Jan 22, 2015

Conversation Heart Sensory Play for Baby

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For our final post in our Show Me the Love series with And Next Comes L and Still Playing School, I wanted to focus on simple Valentine's activities for babies. Some of my favorite activities to set up are sensory activities for baby. For a baby, EVERYTHING is a sensory activity! They are brand new and exploring the world all day every day. It is SO easy to set up simple sensory experiences for them to introduce them to new concepts, textures, sounds, smells, etc. I used Conversation Hearts to set up two quick and easy sensory activities for baby Bentley! (Please excuse the overwhelming amount of pictures. I can't help it. My baby is DELICIOUS!)
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Jan 20, 2015

Bubble Wrap Heart Prints

Simple paint projects have been a big favorite around here lately. When I ask Kingston if he wants to do an activity he says, "Yes. Paint!" So, when we did our Bubble Wrap Heart Breaking activity the other day, I knew exactly how I would reuse the hearts that we had smashed. Some red washable paint and scrap paper and we were in business!

Kingston used the hearts to make prints on a table full of paper.

I love how they came out, and he loved making the prints. The texture from the bubble wrap made them extra cute! We are going to use them as Valentine's for all of K's friends at our upcoming Valentine's Day party! 

Don't forget to head on over to And Next Comes L and Still Playing School to see what they were up to today!

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Jan 19, 2015

Building Hearts with Blocks

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience!) 

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! This week, we are pairing up with two of our very favorite bloggers, Devany of Still Playing School and Dyan of And Next Comes L for Show Me the Love (part 2!), a Valentine's series that will bring you 9 fun crafts and activities to do with your little ones over the next month. We ran this series last year too and it was so much fun. You can see my posts here, here, here, here, and here

To kick off the series, we attempted to build hearts using various blocks. 

Kingston has been on a total block kick lately, so I thought it would be incredibly fitting to attempt to put some hearts together. (I underestimated how incredibly hard this would be!!) I provided K with Lego Duplos in pink and red, bristle blocks (we are LOVING these ones lately), Mega Bloks, and red wooden blocks. We talked about how we could make hearts out of what was in front of us. Kingston was incredibly confident in his ability and went to work making various towers. However, I was stumped! We put various blocks together, and talked about the different shapes we would need to create hearts. 

We made something that somewhat resembled a heart with the bristle blocks, but K made the observation that it looked more like "Mickey ears". True story. It really did! 

We managed to build some decent hearts out of Duplos together! Kingston was being silly and hiding behind them. 

With the wooden blocks, we made several abstract heart shapes using circles, rectangles, and squares. This was a great activity for shape recognition. Learning how to build hearts out of unconventiona materials caused us to think outside of the box and explore shapes in a different way. 

The Mega Bloks proved to be pretty impossible for us to build hearts out of. K had a great time playing "Little Heartbreaker" and breaking the various hearts that we created. He is getting to be quite the little heartbreaker,,, did you see our fun Bubble Wrap Heart Breaking activity from the other day? 

This was a great activity for problem solving and critical thinking skills! Even Mama got to exercise some skills trying to help K create them. Have you ever tried to make unconventional shapes using blocks? Tell us about it in the comments!

Don't forget to check out the other fantastic posts for today over at Still Playing School and And Next Comes L! 

Scented Felt Hearts from And Next Comes L
Waterproof Sand Heart Sensory Play from Still Playing School

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