Soap Foam Dough {Pop! Squirt! Splash! Book Launch}

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015 2 Comments so far
We have created a new favorite sensory dough recipe: soap foam dough! This soap foam dough quickly became a favorite of my youngest son's. It is moldable like play dough, but snaps cleanly like silly putty. It is super simple to make, uses only two ingredients (or three if you want colored dough), and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It uses ingredients you likely already have on hand, requires no cooking, and is easy to clean up since it just melts when water is added to it. Intrigued yet? I know you are. 

Soap foam dough - easy two ingredient sensory dough recipe for kids using soap foam from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

This soap foam dough is just one of the beautiful activities you can find in the brand new book Pop! Squirt! Splash!, but to give you a little taste of what you will find in the book, I will show you how to make this beautiful dough.

To make soap foam dough, you will need:


To make soap foam dough, combine the foaming hand soap with the liquid watercolors in a bowl. I actually make my own foaming hand soap with castile soap. Slowly add the cornstarch. Mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. You may need to sprinkle up to 1/2 tbsp more cornstarch into the dough. It should not be sticky and the dough should snap in half when you put pressure on the ball of dough.

My three year old wanted to make red, purple, and green dough. Isn't it lovely?

Soap foam dough - easy two ingredient sensory dough recipe for kids using soap foam from And Next Comes L

Soap foam dough recipe for kids from And Next Comes L

But what is really neat about soap foam dough is that it snaps cleanly like silly putty.

Soap foam dough recipe for kids from And Next Comes L

Since soap foam dough can snap in half like it does, it makes it the perfect sensory dough for exploring fractions. Or for stacking.

Sensory play idea for kids: soap foam dough recipe from And Next Comes L

Sensory play idea for kids: soap foam dough recipe from And Next Comes L

The dough looks even more pretty when the different colors are combined. The end result is a beautiful marbled dough.

Sensory play idea for kids: soap foam dough recipe from And Next Comes L

Sensory play idea for kids: soap foam dough recipe from And Next Comes L

Sensory play idea for kids: soap foam dough recipe from And Next Comes L

This dough cleans up really easily since it is made with soap, but before cleaning up, why not turn the soap foam dough into some colorful, messy oobleck. Simply add some water to the soap foam dough until it has an oobleck like texture (usually it's a 1:1 ratio of water and cornstarch).

Messy sensory activity for kids with oobleck from And Next Comes L

Love this activity? Well, you can find it and many more wonderful hands-on activities for kids in the brand new book Pop! Squirt! Splash! Hands-on Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, & Bubbles!

Pop! Squirt! Splash! available as print, kindle, or eBook from And Next Comes L

Soap foam dough - easy two ingredient sensory dough recipe for kids using soap foam from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

Mix & Match Creature Blocks

By on Monday, July 27, 2015 Be the first to comment!
After cutting up oodles of pool noodles for our trampoline, I was left with little chunks of pool noodle blocks. On their own, the little pool noodle blocks make a great quiet time activity for kids, but I decided to spice them up to make them more interesting for my boys. So I came up with these DIY mix and match creature blocks. They're easy to make and are tons of fun to create with!

Homemade mix and match creature blocks made from pool noodles are a perfect quiet time activity for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

To make these mix and match creature blocks, I used:


Simply draw some heads, bodies, and legs on different pool noodle blocks. Line up the blocks while drawing the body parts so that the necks match with the head and/or the legs line up correctly with the start of the legs on the bodies. Be creative! Draw all sorts of different creatures.

DIY pool noodle craft: mix and match creature blocks for kids from And Next Comes L

And the more ridiculous and silly the better. A robo-horse anyone?

Homemade mix and match creature blocks made from pool noodles are a perfect quiet time activity for kids from And Next Comes L

My oldest has really been into Pokemon, mainly Pikachu, lately so I had to create some Pikachu body parts.

Quiet time activity for kids with DIY pool noodle blocks from And Next Comes L

These DIY creature blocks sparked hours of creativity and giggles. And many wacky creatures were made.

DIY pool noodle craft: mix and match creature blocks for kids from And Next Comes L

Quiet time activity for kids with DIY pool noodle blocks from And Next Comes L

Quiet time activity for kids with DIY pool noodle blocks from And Next Comes L

One thing to note, the permanent marker may rub off over time as the kids play. No worries. Just redraw the creatures or make some new ones!

Love this activity? Well, why not transform your Magna-Tiles into DIY creature puzzles. Don't worry, it's not permanent!

Homemade mix and match creature blocks made from pool noodles are a perfect quiet time activity for kids from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

Pool Noodle Trampoline Safety Hack

By on Friday, July 24, 2015 2 Comments so far
We recently borrowed a trampoline from my brother-in-law. My husband has been wanting to get a trampoline for the kids for awhile, but I have been resistant simply because the kids are still so young. But I knew that a trampoline would be perfect for my oldest who jumps on everything constantly due to his proprioceptive and vestibular sensory seeking needs. So last weekend, my husband spent hours setting up the trampoline and just recently I did a quick dollar store hack to make the trampoline safer for the kids.

1 simple hack to make your trampoline safer for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

While setting up the trampoline, I opened what was supposed to be a sealed plastic container holding all of the springs. Instead, I found about two inches of water in the bottom of the container. That means a majority of the springs were rusty. We cleaned off the rust as best we could with some CLR, but we definitely needed to add some extra protection. I certainly didn't want the kids to possibly scrape their limbs on rusty springs.

Then my husband reminded me of this simple trampoline safety hack using pool noodles. I remember seeing it all over Pinterest before and I'm not sure who came up with this genius idea, but it is brilliant. Simply brilliant.

It was time for me to begin operation: pool noodle protection.

Simple trampoline safety hack: use pool noodles to cover springs from And Next Comes L

I headed to the dollar store to stock up on pool noodles. I ended up spending $20 on 10 pool noodles to do this safety hack. I then used an utility knife to cut the pool noodles to the appropriate length. Then I made a slit on one side so that the pool noodles could slide right over the springs. My kids helped out by putting all the pool noodles on the springs. They even arranged the pool noodles into a colorful pattern.

Once all the springs were covered, we pulled the mats back over top and secured the mats to the frame of the trampoline. Double protection, no exposed springs, and yet, such a super easy and inexpensive hack!

**And as always, please supervise your children on the trampoline at all times.**

Simple trampoline safety hack: use pool noodles to cover springs from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

Tally Marks Math on the Light Table

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015 2 Comments so far
We haven't been playing on the light table as frequently lately, but I recently found translucent cocktail stirrers at the dollar store so, of course, we had to try them out. I knew immediately that they would work perfect for working on tally marks counting. So we tried it out. This light table activity is such a colorful and simple way to work on tally marks.

Elementary math for kids: tally marks on the light table from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

The only thing we used for this light table activity was translucent cocktail stirrers, similar to these wavy versions. I have been waiting for these to show up at my dollar store and was thrilled when they finally did. I've only been waiting like two years for them to appear!

For this activity, I simply called out a number and five year old J counted out the correct number of stirrers. We could have used dice or light table number manipulatives as well, but me picking random numbers worked just fine.

Elementary math for kids: tally marks on the light table from And Next Comes L

Elementary math for kids: tally marks on the light table from And Next Comes L

Aren't they the most beautiful tally marks ever?

Elementary math for kids: tally marks on the light table from And Next Comes L

Want some more fun ways to work on tally marks counting? Try these ideas out:


Tally marks on the light table: elementary math activity for kids from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

Dinosaur Sensory Soup {Water Sensory Play}

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Be the first to comment!
Sometimes we do activities like this dinosaur soup water sensory activity and I forget to blog about them until a much later date. Thank goodness, I Instagrammed a photo of it when it was underway to capture some of the delightful stories that my three year old told while playing with this bin because otherwise, I might have forgotten some of the hilarious bits too. Anyway, if you have never tried a sensory soup before, then you are going to get hooked on them. I love them simply because they require no preparation and they are so engaging. My kids happily play with sensory soups like this one for hours and sometimes days. This dinosaur themed one falls under the "played with for days" category. It also spawned into Dino-Basketball sensory soup. Lots of fun and perfect for a hot summer day!


Dinosaur sensory soup water play activity for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

How to Self-Publish a Book {eBook + Workbook}

By on Friday, July 17, 2015 2 Comments so far
I like to set crazy goals for myself. One goal that I set earlier this year was to write and publish one book per month for 2015. This month will be an exception because I will be publishing not one, but two, books! But you'll have to wait until the end of the month for the second one. It's going to be awesome. Meanwhile, I also helped format and prepare a friend's book just last week. Anyway, while I've been busy working on said new awesome book, my friends who I am collaborating with encouraged me to write a book or blog post about how to actually self-publish a book or eBook. So that is how this eBook and workbook How to Self-Publish a Book was born.

It was also born out of pure determination to push myself to do a three-day challenge. My goal during these three days was to write this particular eBook, from start to finish. I knew I could do it because I have written an eBook in a day before. Now, I did actually manage to design, write, and edit the entire book in those three days. The launching and promoting of the book, not so much. So here I am two or three days later, finally announcing this book: How to Self-Publish a Book.

A helpful guide and printable workbook for learning how to self-publish a book or eBook from And Next Comes L

And.

It.

Is.

Awesome.

But I am biased because frankly, I think that everything that I do is awesome. 

And now you can be awesome too because you can finally write that book you've always dreamed about writing! I'll hold your hand through the entire process and share my book-making wisdom.

How to Self-Publish a Book

This eBook and workbook is for you if:

  • You want to write a book
  • You want to write a book, but don't know where to begin
  • You want to self-publish an eBook or Kindle or print book or even a combination of the three
  • You like to be highly organized and plan everything
  • You want tips on how to design and format your book
  • You want tips on how to promote your book
  • You want tips on how to launch your book
  • You want tips on how to sell your book and make some money

What You Get in This eBook + Workbook

The really cool thing about this book is that you can print off the entire thing (it's only 35 pages long - I promise it's thorough!) and fill in the spaces as you go. I will literally help you plan out your entire book from start to finish. From the planning stage to the designing stage. From the writing stage to the launching stage. I even show you how to create 3D book mock-ups (like mine at the top of this post) because they make your book look official.


A helpful guide and printable workbook for learning how to self-publish a book or eBook from And Next Comes L

How to Purchase Your Copy of this eBook + Workbook

How to Self-Publish a Book is an eBook, which means you are purchasing a PDF copy of the book. That means you can read the book on any computer or mobile device or even print off a copy! Please note that there are no returns or refunds due to the digital nature of these products.


Add to Cart

A helpful guide and printable workbook for learning how to self-publish a book or eBook from And Next Comes L
Continue reading >>

Musical Imitation Game {An Oral Motor, Turn-Taking Game for Kids}

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015 Be the first to comment!
I'm constantly on the search for new and simple ways to fulfill my oldest's son's need to chew and mouth objects. Well, this musical imitation game is a perfect oral motor activity for fulfilling the sensory input that he seeks. This game also explores musical concepts and helps with social skills such as turn-taking and listening skills. So yes, this game is ideal for kids with autism and/or sensory processing disorder, but it can definitely be played with any child.

A simple oral motor activity for kids that teaches social skills and musical concepts. Great for kids with autism and/or sensory processing disorder! from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

HOW TO PLAY THE MUSICAL IMITATION ORAL MOTOR GAME

To play the musical imitation game, the only thing you'll need is:

  • A harmonica, whistle, recorder, or any other similar wind instrument that you might have on hand - you'll need one instrument per person

The game is really simple. The first person plays a rhythmical pattern on the instrument. Then the other person repeats (imitates) the original pattern on their instrument. The patterns can be simple or complex and include sounds of different dynamics (louds and softs) or different lengths of time (short or long notes).


TARGET SKILLS OF THIS ORAL MOTOR ACTIVITY

This game is great for social skills learning as it focuses on listening and turn-taking. Furthermore, this game addresses musical concepts such as ear training, dynamics (louds and softs), note values (short and long notes can represent quarter notes, half notes, etc.), rhythm, and pitch (high or low notes can be played depending on what instruments are used).

But mostly importantly, this game provides lots of oral motor input, which my son needs.

Need more oral motor activity ideas? You'll want to download this free printable list of 24 oral motor activities.

Continue reading >>