FUN, EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY FOR KIDS

Frozen Jell-O Digging Excavation

As mommys we are all looking for new ways to entertain our kids, my blog has lots of activities for getting and about but sometimes we get stuck at home for whatever reason and are looking for things to keep us busy around the house as well. I was sent this fun activity by education.com a parent resource website with loads of fun for you to do with your kids! Find many more  by clicking HERE

We did the Jello Excavation with some neighborhood friends ages 3 and 9 months, and of course Dexter is 2 and everyone loved it. I replaced the non flavored, clear gelatin with blueberry Jell-O just for fun, it was a little messier and stickier but the teething babies loved it. We also used plastic monkeys instead of dinosaurs and it was just as fun. We did it at the pool and it was perfect, you can do it at home as well on a rainy day or fun in the bathtub!

Dinosaur Excavation

Unearth your kid’s inner paleontologist with this fantastic twist on traditional dinosaur excavations! While traditional paleontologists uncover fossils, your dino detective will dig up his own toy dinosaurs, encouraging his sense of curiosity and providing plenty of sensory fun along the way. In addition to being simple and hands-on, this activity is also a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. Take your kid outside and unearth some prehistoric fun in this “cool” sensory activity.

What You Need:

  • Toy dinosaurs (at least 10)
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Water
  • Microwave and microwave-safe container (or stovetop and pot)
  • Cooking spray or a paper towel and a small container of oil
  • Small cups
  • Excavation tools (a blunt nail file and a metal spoon)
  • Large, shallow container

What You Do:

  1. Have your kid gather up a bunch of his small toy dinosaurs.
  2. Encourage him to pick out 10 of his favorites and line them up in a row.
  3. Ask him point to the different dinosaurs as he counts up to 10 and back down to 1. 
  4. Grease the inside of the cups with an oil-soaked paper towel or cooking spray.
  5. Have your child put a dinosaur in each cup.
  6. Prepare the unflavored gelatin according to the package.
  7. Pour the liquid gelatin over the dinosaurs inside the cups.
  8. Place the cups in the fridge, and let them set for about four hours.
  9. After the geletin is set, move the cups from the fridge to the freezer. Leave them in the freezer overnight.
  10. Take the cups out of the freezer when you’re ready to excavate. Slide the frozen gelatin out of the cups and into a large, shallow container. Place your excavation tools inside.
  11. As the gelatin thaws, it will have a squishy texture and your kid will likely enjoy playing with it. The large sensory container should be able to hold most of the “ice chunks” as the dinosaurs are excavated out of their icy confines.

Go Further:

  • Use different types of liquid. “What happens if we use seltzer water instead of regular water?”
  • Talk about the various textures of the gelatin as it thaws. What is it like when it’s frozen? What about what happens as it thaws out? What happens when you squeeze it?
  • Experiment with temperature. What happens when you set the gelatin ice block in a bucket of warm water?

Have fun digging and playing! Make sure to get more ideas to have fun and learn with your children HERE

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Little Helpers

VOLUNTEERING WITH MEALS ON WHEELS

We recently got the opportunity to partner with the fantastic Dallas based organization Wee Volunteer an establishment dedicated to creating volunteer opportunities for children. I love this organization, getting involved is a great way to start teaching your kids to serve their community. Wee Volunteer offers many ways to give back, but one activity you can do with toddlers is their Meals on Big Wheels drop off  program. Dexter and I along with many other mommy groups participated in this last week, if you are wondering if this is the right way for you to give back here is a little about my experience, what to expect, and a few tips to know:

THE PROCESS:

About 10 moms and 15 kids between the ages of 2 and 8 met at 10:00 am at the VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) of Dallas where we collected all of the prepacked coolers of food we would be dropping off.

We loaded up the party bus and headed to our first destination wich was an elderly living apartment complex in Oak Cliff.

Each mom was given two names, and apt #s of people who were expecting meals. Most of the recipients were older and disabled so we were also given a phone number to call and let them know we would be dropping their food off in a couple of minutes.

We located each apartment, knocked on the door and happily gave each person a hot and cold meal, one for now, one for later.

Even though Dexter is very young he had so much fun handing everyone their food, and the residents were thrilled to get a delivery from a tiny visitor.

After each mom dropped off their two packages we loaded back on the bus, grabbed a snack that we had each brought for ourselves, and headed to our next and final location another similar complex.

We repeated the process once again, hopped back on the bus, ate more snacks and drinks, by this time we were all pretty pooped and it was nap time!!! Dexter definitely got a good nap after our outing.

SOME TIPS AND THINGS TO KNOW:

It costs $12 person to participate in the Meals on Big Wheels program, this pays for the cost of the bus. Each family is asked to make/bring placemats to hand out upon delivery.

This is the perfect volunteer activity for a 4-8 year olds based on my observation, the program says 2yrs and up are appropriate age to volunteer. I would say if your child is 2 you be the judge on wether they can handle it or not, some two year olds are easier than others.

Keep in mind their will be some walking and carrying things, so you will want to bring disposable bags, wear comfortable and cool clothes and shoes, and possibly even bring a very small umbrella stroller if think your child might need it…(I carried Dex a lot, but he tends to be uncooperative some times).

Bring your lunch or snacks. Everyone brought a lunchbox with goodies to refuel in between visits and this was the key to happiness and quiet it seemed.

The Wee Volunteer Meals on Big Wheels program is a fun and easy way to get your child started on a path of volunteering. All of the kids I met had done this several times anhd loved it, they were all wonderfully well behaved children who loved to give back. This is a great example to show Dexter as he grows and learns. I also got a chance to meet new friends which is important for us full time moms to grow our network of other Dallas mamas!

Check out Wee Volunteer for other ideas and opportunities.

See you out there,

Noelle and Dexter

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