Monday, January 16, 2017

Snowflake Balance Game

If there's one craft supply that I like to hoard the most, it's quite possibly seasonal foam shapes. I have bunnies, hearts, Christmas ones, snowflakes, snowmen, and so many more. They're so versatile, which is why I like to keep a healthy supply of them around my house! Ha!

For instance, we like to play this snowflake gross motor balance activity as a quick way to burn off energy and work on different skills. It's simple and my kids love it!

Easy snowflake gross motor balance activity for kids from And Next Comes L

Easy Snowflake Balance Game for Kids

We have done lots of seasonal variations of this game in the past. So often, in fact, that every time K sees me grab a set of foam shapes, he's like: "Can I jump or walk across those?!"

But here's the thing...you can easily transform this simple gross motor activity into a superb learning activity to target sight words, math skills, and so much more! You can read more about those variations over on CBC Parents.


Easy snowflake gross motor balance activity for kids from And Next Comes L
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fun Ways to Play with Snow Indoors

Snow is something that we get a lot of. And usually for six months of the year. However, this winter was a bit unusual in that we didn't get any snow in November of December until Christmas.

Regardless of when the inevitable snow arrives, January is always full of extreme cold warning days. Days where it is simply too cold to head outdoors because skin will freeze in minutes. On those days, we like to bring the snow indoors for a little fun and learning. 

Here are 7 fun ways to play and learn with snow indoors.

7 fun ways for kids to play and learn with snow indoors from And Next Comes L

Simple Ways for Kids to Play & Learn with Snow Indoors

From science and art to sensory play and fine motor, this list of seven ways to play and learn with snow indoors is loads of fun for kids of any age! So go scoop up a big container full of snow and get ready to try these activities with your kids! 


7 fun ways for kids to play and learn with snow indoors from And Next Comes L
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Sensory Bin

Living in Saskatchewan, it was crazy to believe that we had no snow throughout November and December, up until Christmas Day. That's so unusual for us! 

So since winter wouldn't come to us, we had to get a bit creative and find some suitable snow alternatives during that time. This simple winter sensory bin for kids was one of those easy ways that we explored winter through sensory play, without real snow.

Not only is this sensory bin quick and easy to set up, it's a great way to target fine motor skills.

Easy winter sensory bin for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Simple Winter Sensory Bin Idea for Kids

This winter sensory bin is so simple! It is what I like to call a dump and play sensory bin. Simply dump all of the materials into a large plastic container and start playing. No extra set up is required! Here's what we used:


Winter sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

I always like to set the fine motor tools outside of the sensory bin for the kids.

Winter sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

The scissor tong things have been a favorite for my kids for years! So it is no surprise that my youngest K went straight for them. He wanted to scoop up all of the "snowballs."

Working on fine motor skills with a winter sensory bin for kids from And Next Comes L

And he liked to use them to chomp the snowmen's heads. Also, unrelated, but check out those eyelashes on K!

Working on fine motor skills with a winter sensory bin for kids from And Next Comes L

He also liked to pick up the different snowflakes with the scissor tongs. However, it wasn't long before he ditched the fine motor tools for some bigger tactile sensory exploration.

Working on fine motor skills with a winter sensory bin for kids from And Next Comes L

He would pick up armfuls of snowballs and drop them to let it snow!

Playing with a simple winter themed sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Playing with a simple winter themed sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Other Ideas You'll Love



Easy winter sensory bin for kids from And Next Comes L
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Sunday, January 08, 2017

Balloon Snowman

If you have kids just begging you to let them build a snowman, but the weather just isn't cooperating (i.e., it's too freaking cold to go outside!), then you have to try this adorable balloon snowman indoor activity for kids

Indoor snowman making activity for kids using balloons from And Next Comes L

Fun Indoor Winter Activity for Kids: Build a Balloon Snowman!

It's amazing how much fun my kids had building a balloon snowman indoors, but I think my favorite part was watching them try to decorate it with a real toque (that's a winter hat for you non-Canadian folks reading this). Seriously so much fun and EASY!

As for the actual crafting and building of the snowman, it is so open-ended. The kids can get as creative as they want making their snowman. Like maybe they want to build a rainbow snowman or a green snowman! Or maybe even a two-headed snowman?? The possibilities are endless!


Indoor snowman making activity for kids using balloons from And Next Comes L
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Monday, January 02, 2017

DIY Pokemon Stress Balls

These DIY Pokemon stress balls have been a vision of mine for a long long time. Armed with excess balloons after my kids' birthdays back in September, I finally got around to trying out my idea. And, if I do say so myself, they are just as cute as I first imagined them to be!

So if you have a Pokemon fan in your house, then they're going to love this simple Pokemon craft for kids.

Easy DIY Pokemon inspired stress balls for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Pokemon Craft for Kids: Make DIY Pokemon Stress Balls

These DIY Pokemon inspired stress balls are so simple to make and any Pokemon obsessed kid will love making their own stress balls inspired by their favorite characters. Here's what you'll need:

  • Balloons
  • Funnel
  • Something to fill the balloons with: rice, baking soda, epsom salt, aloe vera gel, flour, play dough, or anything else you'd like to try!
  • Permanent markers
Slip the end of the balloon onto the end of a funnel. Slowly pour in your material of choice until the balloon is full. Then tie the ballloon. Next, take your trusty old Sharpies and get drawing!

Making a Pikachu stress ball was a must considering he is J's favorite Pokemon character of all! The other ones that I made where chosen simply based on what colored balloons I had on hand. So we made four Pokemon stress balls altogether. There was Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. We filled ours with baking soda.

Cute Pokemon stress balls for kids to make from And Next Comes L

Cute Pokemon stress balls for kids to make from And Next Comes L

Totally cute, right? Especially Pikachu! Like seriously, look at that little squishy face of his.

Pikachu stress balls would be a cute Pokemon craft for kids from And Next Comes L


These DIY stress balls are perfect for squishing and squeezing as a hand fidget, like below, but they also make great homemade toys for promoting imaginative play. My boys especially loved making these stress balls their "buddy Pokemon" by placing them on their shoulder and walking around with them.

Pikachu stress balls would be a cute Pokemon craft for kids from And Next Comes L


Other Pokemon Ideas You'll Love




Easy DIY Pokemon inspired stress balls for kids from And Next Comes L
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Confetti Drop {New Year's Eve Activity for Kids}

I'm not a big New Year's Eve person, mostly because I find it nearly impossible to keep my eyes open until midnight! This year, however, we have a wedding to attend so maybe, just maybe, I will stay up to ring in the new year. We'll see!

To celebrate New Year's Eve with the kids, we like to do this confetti drop as a substitute for the ball drop. My kids just love it because it's slightly messy and can be done over and over again.

This DIY confetti drop for kids is a perfect sensory friendly New Year's Eve activity for kids with autism or sensory issues because it's not filled with the sights and sounds that most New Year's activities for kids are. Plus, it's a great way to use up leftover gift wrap, tissue paper, ribbons, etc. from Christmas! Or try filling it with balloons instead!

Make an easy DIY confetti drop as a New Year's Eve activity for the kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Celebrate New Year's Eve with an Easy DIY Confetti Drop for Kids

To make your own confetti drop, you'll need:

  • Drawstring garbage bag
  • Tape
  • Tissue paper, ripped into small pieces - As an alternative, you could use the ripped gift wrap, ribbons, and bows from Christmas or blow up a bunch of balloons instead!
For our confetti drop, we reused some tissue paper from Christmas presents. The kids and I ripped the tissue paper into smaller pieces, which is a great way to work on fine motor skills with kids, especially kids who are particularly destructive.

Fill the garbage bag with the ripped pieces of tissue paper. Tie the bag closed. Then hang the bag upside down from the ceiling. Secure the bag to the ceiling with some tape.

How to make an easy confetti drop for New Year's Eve from And Next Comes L

My kids trying jumping to untie the bag, but it was slightly out of reach. So, since my husband is on holidays, he had the special job of untying the bag while I snapped photos. It's nice to have an extra set of hands for activities like this. Once the bag is untied, the bag may need a small shake to get the confetti dropping.

Easy New Year's Eve activity for kids: make a confetti drop from And Next Comes L

And the kids had an absolute blast. Hence, the sheer amount of photos coming your way below. The smiles on their faces were priceless as the confetti showered them.

How to make an easy confetti drop for New Year's Eve from And Next Comes L

How to make an easy confetti drop for New Year's Eve from And Next Comes L

Easy New Year's Eve activity for kids: make a confetti drop from And Next Comes L

Easy New Year's Eve activity for kids: make a confetti drop from And Next Comes L

Easy New Year's Eve activity for kids: make a confetti drop from And Next Comes L

Easy New Year's Eve activity for kids: make a confetti drop from And Next Comes L

Once all the confetti falls out, load up the bag again to do it all over again! My kids were even excited to refill the bag with confetti that's how much fun they had with this activity!

Other Ideas You'll Love




Make an easy DIY confetti drop as a New Year's Eve activity for the kids from And Next Comes L
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8 Gross Motor Activities for Kids Using an Exercise Ball

We just went through an intense cold snap here in Saskatchewan, where temperatures hovered close to -40C. Yet, we had no snow. Regardless, it was simply too cold to head outdoors, which means we have to find creative ways to blow off excess energy. Because, goodness knows, my boys have tons of extra energy!

So here are 8 gross motor activities for kids using an exercise ball

Most of the activities double up as therapeutic ideas to provide proprioceptive and vestibular sensory input for kids with autism or sensory issues, which is kind of a must at our house. Bonus, right?

8 gross motor activities for kids using an exercise ball - perfect indoor boredom busters for kids to blow off excess energy from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

8 Gross Motor Activities for Kids Using an Exercise Ball

So whether you want a little occupational therapy type inspiration for your sensory kiddos or just need a quick way to burn off excess energy, then all you need to do is grab an exercise ball and try out one of these simple gross motor activities. You might need a few extra materials here or there, but all of the ideas use items that you likely have kicking around the house anyway. How easy is that?


8 gross motor activities for kids using an exercise ball - perfect indoor boredom busters for kids to blow off excess energy from And Next Comes L
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