Jul 30, 2014

Sand Sensory Bin Challenge

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!) 

For this months Sensory Bin Challenge, we were giving the task of providing our child with a bin of sand and seeing what child-led fun they would have. Kingston loves sand (as does Mama!) and we play with it just about every day. Since we already had sand in our Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center, the setup for this simple sensory play was literally NONE. I simply cleared out the scattered sand toys that were on that side of the table, and let K explore. 

He immediately went to find his shovel and began scooping and pouring the sand out. This is the first thing he always does when he plays in the sand. He loves the calming play of scooping up the sand and watching it stream back out onto the table.

After a little while, he added a rake. He used it to push the sand and make designs.

Then he seemed to have a light bulb idea and asked to get his "mammals" (animals). He quickly went to work dumping the entire clump of animals out into the sand. I couldn't have planned this better myself, because were are focusing on animals for our current toddler homeschool unit. So, I was psyched that he independently thought they would be a great addition to his play.

Once the animals were in the table, he worked on burying them in the sand!

Together we built houses for them, and he engaged in some pretend play in the sand.

Make sure you check back every month for more sensory bin challenges, and don't forget to go see what other child-led fun and learning happened when my fellow bloggers set out their bins! 

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

Jul 29, 2014

Baby Book Club: The Little Blue Truck

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!) 

It's that time of month again! Baby Book Club time! This month we read Little Blue Truck and Little Blue Truck Leads the Way. Kingston absolutely loves these books, so we knew when we compiled our book list that we wanted to share them with our friends. We had 6 little friends at book club today, and we all gathered around to read our stories. 

Continue reading >>

Jul 27, 2014

Bird Zip Line

(This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting us!) 

We were so excited to get the chance to review 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! from the awesome ladies over at Kids Activities Blog! When I first got the book, K and I sat down and paged through it. There were so many activities that initially caught my eye that I wanted to bookmark every page! Kingston, also, wanted to constantly look through the book at all of the colorful and fun things to do. 

When it came time for bird week, I picked up our book and began to thumb through it wondering if there were any bird themed activities. Right away, I flipped to the Bird Zip Line and I was sold. This was the PERFECT activity to complete our bird unit!

To make our bird for our zip line, I drew a freehand bird and cut it out for K to color. He colored the bird in different shades of blue, and then we added some cute googly eyes to complete it.

It was a beautiful morning, so we grabbed the two chairs from our favorite table and headed out to the deck. I strung the bird up and tied the zip line to the two chairs. 

Kingston's bird looked really adorable attached to the zip line, and I was so happy with how easy this activity was to put together!

K didn't know what we were doing at first, and kept saying, "I sit. I sit."

After I showed him how the bird could fly back and forth on the zip line, he was hooked. This was the perfect height for him, and the zip line was long enough to provide toddler friendly fun without any frustration. 

He zoomed the bird back and forth for awhile clapping and laughing as he went.

Here he's yelling "TWEET TWEET!"

Kingston LOVED this activity, and it will just be the first in many that we do from 101 Kids Activities!

Interested in purchasing a copy of 101 Kids Activities for your family? You can purchase this awesome book by clicking on any of the 101 Kids Activities links! You won't want to miss having this great book on your shelves. 

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

Jul 26, 2014

Bird Seed Sensory Small World

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!) 

We have played with a lot of sensory mediums in the past, but never bird seed. I knew that we had to explore this different bin filler this week for sure. I put together this simple sensory small world using bird seed, a small wooden bird house some sweet faux birds that we picked up at Hobby Lobby, and a birds nest with eggs. When we were at the store, I gave Kingston the choice between these birds or the Safari Ltd Backyard Birds TOOB. He was immediately drawn to the realistic nature of these birds and the fact that their bodies had silky feathers attached to them! 

The bin took minutes to set up, and was very inviting! We took it out to the deck to play and simultaneously listen to the birds making noises in the trees around us <---  a live soundtrack if you will! He couldn't wait to dive right in and went right for the birds nest to examine the eggs inside.

He was really excited to pick up the birds and see what they were all about.

He patted their feathers and said "tweet tweet!" I was so happy to see how excited he was by the contents of the bin.

He loved the little house, and gave it a good peek inside. When he had established that there were no birds inside, he was ready to move on to the next task!

Bird seed is so much fun to dig in, scoop, and pour. As he began exploring the birdseed, he realized that the nest made the perfect receptacle to fill up!

He used his shovel to scoop up the bird seed and put it inside of the nest.

We talked about the different parts of the birds. He pointed out their different facial features and their wings. We stroked their feathers and also talked about their different colors.

Once K was comfortable exploring the bird seed, the fun really started. He dug right in with his hands. We talked about the texture of the bird seed which felt surprisingly silky to the touch. 

He took handfuls of the bird seed and flung them around in the bin. He seemed to love the texture and the noise that the seed made. The birds in the trees outside really started tweeting away at this point which K thought was great. It was almost as if they knew we were making a mess with something they wanted to eat!

He worked his fine motor skills picking up the bits of seed, putting them in a small yellow cup I provided him, and dumping them out. He practiced scooping and pouring for quite a while.

Oh those chubby toddler hands are delicious aren't they?! I can't get enough of them!

Then he got the idea to put the bird seed inside of the bird house. Brilliant right? Another fine motor workout! He pinched finger-fulls of bird seed and dropped them into the small hole, then he wildly shook them out all over the deck. Of course he loved every moment of this!

Then he grabbed one of the little birds and started "feeding" him. He put the little bird's beak to the food and "nom nom nom". Too cute!

Seriously with this face?! (Please forgive the onslaught of photos. Clearly I can't handle his cuteness!)

When he was done exploring the bin, he thought he should take the birds for a practice fly. He said, "He fly! A bird fly!" Then he started zooming the bird around the deck and tossing it here and there. I loved watching his imagination take off. He was so into this bin! Throughout the rest of the day, he kept coming back to it to scoop some more seed or engage in more pretend play with the birds. We will definitely be playing with bird seed again in the future.

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