Keeping Her Busy: Sand & Jello

Dirt, sand and puppy dog tails are things that my little girl goes wild for!

Lily loves our dog Bentley and lately she has been getting a little too rough with him. That dog gives Lily great exercise running by around the couches and kitchen island. Sadly, Lily just doesn’t understand that Bentley is trying to get away from her! When she is able to some how corner Bentley she clamps her hands on his hair…and when he tries to flee Lily ends up with wads of his hair in her hand. Poor dog! The concept of “being gentle” is completely lost to my child. I’m sure Bentley hopes that she learns that concept soon!

playingdirtBesides having a field day with our dog’s tail she has grown very fond over my planters in the backyard. One planter was awaiting some new herbs when Lily decided that it was her new sand box. At first I tried to tell her “no” and explain it was momma’s, but I felt I was wasting my breath. I mean who cares if she digs in dirt right? What’s the harm in letting her explore when. Well her exploration has gotten a tad out of hand and I have a huge mess.

playwithdirt2At first Lily liked to take a shovel and transfer soil to a sand pail. She would dump the pail back into the planter and start the soil transfer again…and again! Lily grew tired of this and that’s when she started pouring soil on the pavers. Feeling frisky she began flinging the soil. One day she brazenly walked up in front of me and dumped soil over Bentley’s white fur. That poor dog! I realized that this child needed a sandbox where she could dig and pour her little toddler heart out. Dig and pour sand, not black dirt!

{And yes if you are a regular reader my horrible black thumb striked again, killed my two basil plants & my cilantro and my other plants & herbs are barely alive. Good thing those awesome herbs at Lowe’s are cheap and easy to plant. (Read here for explanation!)}

I was all set on making my own sandbox for her when yesterday my mom showed up with a huge green frog sandbox and a few bags of white play sand. LOVE my mom!!! Today I let Lily go to town in her new box. Lily stayed on the outside feeling the sand and moving it around with some cheap sand toys I purchased at Target.

playingwithdirt3Then she started to scoop out the sand and empty it on to the pavers. Surprise! I tried to tell her and show her where she needed to keep the sand….but this kid continued to scoop and pour her sand outside of the frog box.

I decided to put her in the box and see what she would do. I was nervous because typically Lily has a texture issue with objects rubbing against her feet. I started to make a game out of burying my hands and then her feet under the sand and then popping them out. She thought I was so silly.

This sand box is wonderful. I can sit in a chair under an umbrella and watch her delight in this new play. The weather has been gorgeous lately in Tampa, so relaxing in a chair outside while she stays busy in the sandbox is a nice little break during the day!

playingwithdirt4Even sitting in the box she started to pour the sand out of the box. She even stood up and started to kick sand out like a dog does to cover up their potty spot.

playingwithdirt5As we made our way inside Lily stopped at her original sandbox and continued her “soil dump”! I need to break out the leaf blower for a speedy cleanup.

Now if you live anywhere in the U.S. that isn’t experiencing this Florida warmth you can still let your kids have fun with sand…just place a sand box in the garage! Garages are meant to get dirty anyways, right?! And FYI Mike and I would LOVE to live somewhere where Lily could experience snow…one day…you never know! If you live in a warmer climate you can still give your kid a sand box without the expense of purchasing a frog box (thanks again mom). Head to Target or Walmart and purchase a big Tupperware container used to store clothes under a bed. I think Target sells options under $20! While you’re at Target in their outdoor toy isle they sell tons of super cheap sand toys…I’m talking $1 shovels! Or break some cups and bowls out of your pantry for free!!! Or you can get a baby pool and poor sand in that. I purchased one a while back for $8 from Babies-R-Us.

After Lily woke up from her nap I was super excited for playtime. Why??? Because I had a huge bowl of Jell-O waiting for her to play in. Yes I said play in! Using two small boxes, I made Jell-O and poured it into a foil casserole baking dish. Before placing it into the fridge to set, I dropped objects inside. Objects included (most found at the dollar section at Target) a $1 bead necklace cut in pieces, fake coins, colored foam pieces cut in tiny parts and in different shapes (like hearts!), colored pipe cleaners twisted into random shapes. I topped the Jell-O with mini marshmallows just for fun.

Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!The point of this activity is to have fun at sensory play. Digging through the Jell-O feeling the different objects & textures.

Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!I pointed out each object, explained the color and shape to her. Take that learning part out of it and just watching Lily going wild made my afternoon.

Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!This is a messy activity so we took it outdoors and I laid a bed sheet under. After we were done I tossed the foil container in the trash and wrapped the bed sheet up & popped it in the washer! There were a few pavers that had some leftover Jell-O and I just sprayed it down with the hose. If you are experiencing cold weather you could easily let your kid go crazy in the bathtub or walk-in shower with this Jell-O activity. Upside is that your kid is in the perfect location to get washed off after all the fun. I had a towel standing by that I wrapped Lily in to carry her to the tub. Where ever you carry out this fun activity enjoy it…I did. Plus this was the first time she had Jell-O!

Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!

Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!

 
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  1. […] Jell-O Dig Remember to check out the first round of activities here! […]

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