Wednesday, June 26, 2013

6 Sensory Activities for Canada Day

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We have been busy celebrating Canada Day all week.  The boys have made Canadian flag crafts, played with some Canadian peg dolls, and read a bunch of books about Canada.  So, of course, we had to complete our Canada Day celebrations with some sensory activities.  Six different ones, to be exact.

6 sensory activities for kids to celebrate Canada Day from And Next Comes L

Canada Day Sensory Bin for Kids

Do you remember me mentioning that J and I made some red colored rice?  Well, it was in preparation for this Canada Day sensory bin.  To make this Canada Day bin, I used red rice, white rice, and some fake red maple leaves from Michaels.  I arranged the materials so that it looked like the Canadian flag.  And obviously I did a good job because J recognized it right away, happily exclaiming, "Mom!  It's a Canada flag!"

Canada Day Sensory Bin from And Next Comes L

J has a habit of throwing colored rice around like it's confetti.  He usually shouts "Happy birthday" while doing so.  Not sure why or when this habit started, but I know better than to do rice play inside the house.  We now do it outside.  And as I expected, he did eventually throw all the rice into the air and onto the grass.  So Happy Birthday, Canada!

Checking out a Canada Day sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Checking out a Canada Day sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Close up of the Canada Day sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Canadian Flag Light Table Activity for Kids

The boys have really been enjoying the light box lately, which makes me wish that I had some time to make a much larger light table.  One day I will.  Honestly.  In the meantime, the boys have to share the tiny light box that we do own.  And I have to hope and pray that they can play longer than three minutes before K is either flicking the light box off and on or standing on top of it, which usually upsets J.  Luckily, K had no interest in participating in this activity, so J had it all to himself.

Celebrate Canada Day with this light table (or light box) idea from And Next Comes L

In an empty wipe container, I placed one red maple leaf, some plastic red rubies, some clear glass beads, and a mini flag.  

Materials used for Canada Day light box (or light table) activity from And Next Comes L

As I had hoped, J was inspired by the flag to create his very own Canadian flag (more or less) on the light box.

Creating a Canadian flag on the light box (or light table) from And Next Comes L

Celebrate Canada Day with this light table (or light box) idea from And Next Comes L

Maple Scented Canada Day Texture Dough

When I think of Canada, I think of maple syrup.  So I made a fresh batch of play dough (I only ever use the Imagination Tree's no-cook playdough recipe).  However, to make it distinctly Canadian, I added a tablespoon or so of maple syrup to the hot water before mixing it together.  You could probably substitute maple extract.  I also added an abundance of red glitter and some red glitter gravel that I found at the dollar store.  Voila!  A wonderful textured play dough with a subtle hint of maple.  Mmmm...Pair it with some maple leaf cookie cutters for some extra Canada Day fun.

Canadian Flag Felt Board Play

If you've been following the blog for awhile, you'll have noticed that I have a bit of a felt obsession, mostly in the form of quiet books.  However, we love our felt board play too.  We've played with monsters, dinosaurs, owls, and flowers, just to name a few.  So I just had to make a Canadian flag for the boys to assemble on the felt board.

The set was pretty simple to make.  It uses one piece of 9" x 12" uncut white felt, two 4" wide pieces of red felt, and a maple leaf cut from red felt.

J started to assemble the flag, but was slightly confused about how to layer the pieces at first.

Canadian Flag Sensory Bottle for Kids

I put together this sensory bottle, but neither of my boys cared for it.  I could see it being better for young toddlers and infants.

In a round plastic tube, I layered some red glitter gravel (red rice would work as a substitute), some white rice, and some more red glitter gravel.  I also made a maple leaf out of a sparkly pipe cleaner.  I tried my best to center it among the white rice while I was layering the materials.  Then I glued the lid down with hot glue.

Maple Syrup Glitter Paint for Kids

I thought it would be fun to try and paint using maple syrup.  However, maple syrup is expensive and I didn't want to be wasteful, so instead I created a very small batch of maple syrup glitter paint.  As is my usual fashion, I didn't measure, so the measurements below are approximate.
Maple Syrup Glitter Paint Recipe
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp water (or more if paint is still too thick)
  • white glitter (use as much or as little as you want)
Mix all the ingredients together until it's a nice, smooth paint consistency with a shiny, sparkly, sticky texture.  It should also smell amazing!

To try out the paint, I cut out two maple leaves from red construction paper.  Then I gave the boys a cotton swab to use as a paint brush.  They also tried a little finger painting, but didn't really care for the sticky texture.

I was really shocked that K showed way more interest in this activity.  He LOVED it!  He usually doesn't enjoy painting for very long, but he spent a long time on this project.

K was fascinating by the drip painting technique.
You can get a good idea of the paint consistency in this picture.
The paint dries into a puffy and sparkly white paste.  It looked really neat when dry!

Maple syrup painted maple leaves.

Other Ideas You'll Love

Canadian Peg Dolls

Canada Day Science & Sensory Play

12 Books About Canada