Glowing water bead increased attention & coordination

Playing in the dark is so much fun with a UV light & some glowing water beads.
A few people have mention before that these type of activities would be great for kids who have a fear of the dark, it may help them be at ease in the dark and come to enjoy it.
You can make water beads UV reactive by getting some clear, yellow or light coloured water beads in their dehydrated form & soaking them over night in glow water (highlighter ink infused water). It's pretty simple. Get some highlighters, a uv light & you can do lots of fun things. Check out my Glow tab above for some more ideas.

The best part about glowing UV play is that no matter how messy it gets, and no matter how many glowing artifacts get scrambled across the floor the UV light picks them up. They're so easy to see, so you wont be finding hidden water beads crushed into the carpet for the following week lol.
This was a simple activity that I set out in the hope that Dimples could practise a steady hand, patience, perseverance, focus & bilateral coordination. I had some clear cups of different sizes, different shape tweezers and small spoons in a tray with glowing water beads, a UV light and a ice tray. It did look very inviting, as expected.

This was a fun, bright activity where Dimples got some good practise in bilateral coordination. By setting out the cups on one side, the tweezers/cups on the other and by giving him the spoon to one particular hand he got some good practise in using both hands steadily and reaching across the body slowly, coordinating his reach and movements to carefully spoon the water beads into the cups or across the ice tray.

Scooping with spoons is something simple but also very complex with glow in the dark water beads as they slip and slide unless you have a steady hand and they're quite difficult to scoop up unless you manoeuvre the spoon around or trap them against a edge or corner.
Not only do you need to focus your visual coordination in the dark but the water beads are slimy little suckers and they bounce and skim away at any movement so you need to work hard at task to succeed. Handling them must be with a slow stead scoop and its serious business, otherwise they bounce and scatter in all different directions.
You get the drift.
Lots of fun that helps develop concentration, focus, coordination and fine motor skills.

The ice tray worked really well, the more he filled up an ice cube - the more it glowed. Dimples experimented with scooping, pouring and tweezing (which was extremely difficult) water beads into the sections if the ice tray one at a time. The tweezers weren't really a success, it was way too difficult to secure a water bead, most likely they hit a sharp edge and crushed but if you had some of those plastic kids play tweezers that are semi-rounded on the end it would work well and provide a great fine motor task to master.

Dimples then poured them all out and try again!
Pouring from different size clear cups and back, experimenting with the volume and size of cups. 
Experimenting with the angle of the ice tray while pouring water beads from it and watching each section.  Filling cups up with the small spoon and the large with the opposite hand, leaning across the body and keeping a slow steady focus. It all looks so fun but Dimples was working on some very important tasks as he played.

Learning Concepts:
Bilateral Coordination
Focused attention
Patience and slow, steady movements
Fine motor skills
Volume & Size
Sensory Play

Ideas for Extension:
Make water beads into Glowing Dragon Eggs
Make a small world with them for some pretend/Imaginative play
Add some glowing spaghetti for more of a messy sensory experience.
Add some measuring cups & funnels for a math approach
or some PVC pipes to experiment with transference
If your brave do it in a tub of glow water

Happy Adventures

Mirrors, Eucalyptus Cloud Dough & Smurf Pretend Play

Play ideas using mirrors have been popping up every where
It gives play such an interesting visual, brightens the surface, gives the objects another dimension and reflect the child and what they're doing. I thought to myself, if I think this looks cool and interesting as an adult imagine how intrigued a child must be. 
This was Dimples first play using a mirrored surface.

I mixed up some green eucalyptus cloud dough, Dimples is still fighting off one of winters last flu's so it was nice to take it outdoors in the sun and breathe in the fresh smell.
I crushed some green chalk, mixed it with a few cups of flour and added a few splashes of oil & a dash or eucalyptus oil, until it was the right consistency of cloud dough. It smelt nice and felt smooth & on the mirror it looked inviting. 

Even the smallest of specks were reflected.
It looked very visually inviting.
Using some silicon moulds and jelly cups Dimples build some 'stands' or pedestals for each of the smurfs and he noticed how it doubled, making a symmetrical image reflecting underneath. 
He was focused on seeing the reflections of his hands also, and what he was doing with his fingers.

Interesting stuff, Dimples moulded and shaped smurf huts, and made a tunnel. He buried some smurfs and explored the concept of the mirror, peeking peering and moving everything and himself around as he played.
The dog and miss cherub found it all very interesting aswell. 

Little Miss Cherub observing everything from my lap, was keen to put her fingers into the cloud dough, she mainly swiped it from one side to the other and inspected her hands in the reflection. Dimples allowed her one cup cake mould only and one handful of dough (which got swished around and off the side in less than one minute) however it was a nice act of kindness on his behalf. 

The cloud dough can be shaped, moulded, flattened and crumbled in
Many ways. It works great compacted into small jelly cups in particular. 
Remember that you can store it by putting it in a zip lock bag and saving it for another day. 
I think there are endless ways to play with mirrors and it gives such an interesting dimension to the objects.

Learning concepts;
Mixing and moulding
Sensory Play
Symmetry & reflections
Observation & visual attention
Creativity & Imagination
Ideas for Extension;
Loose Parts on Mirrors
Happy Adventures


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