I wish I could remember where I first saw this idea on Facebook, because I'd love to give them mad props...but I can't...UGH. #mombrain #toomanytabs
A week or so ago I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a quick video of a youngster practicing writing words, from a flash card, onto a green plate with salt on it. When I saw it, I thought "...what a great idea!" and then realized it would be hard to do that at our home because we a) have white plates, bowls, etc. and 2) our kiddos are still working on getting the letters down. But I figured I'd wait until the hubs came home and he'd be able to help me with it.
I always wonder, when Josh comes home at the end of a workday, and I tell him I have a random question for him. It's usually always totally random and I give him no context for it. This occasion was no different. He walked in and I asked "Is salt or sugar more expensive?" How is he supposed to answer? I think he said it depends on if it's pink Himalayan sea salt and your garden variety sugar. Which was my cue to back up and tell him what I wanted to do.
He was super helpful in the fact that he asked if I wanted sticky hands and ants all over the house. Salt won.
The next part was easy and simple. I added 1 cup of table salt into a small sandwich bag, added 10-15 drops of food coloring, made sure all the air was out of the bag, sealed, and started mixing. We now have pink and purple salt and two very excited toddlers. Also, this takes care of the white plate, bowl, etc. problem!
The twins were so excited and couldn't wait to play with their new "sand." Of course, we were showing them how they could write letters in the sand, except now they weren't sure how to write certain letters and we had paper everywhere, each page with a different letter on them. Then I realized we had some index cards hidden away and with my handy, dandy pink and purple Crayola markers made each girl a set of flash cards. Pink alphabet letters to go with the pink and purple alphabet letters to go with the purple. Not one to toot my own horn, but I pretty much won at being a mom that night.
The girls have asked every day since then, multiple times a day, to play with their sand. Not only does it keep them occupied, but it's helping them continue to learn (which I LOVE!) and they don't realize it. I do admit, I've been starting to stress about how I'm going to keep their growing minds occupied this summer when pre-school isn't an option and am so glad they are loving this!
The girls mostly ask to play before and after meal time, which has been a huge relief when trying to get things either on the table, cleared off the table, or packed up ready to head out the door. Have I mentioned how much I'm loving how much they love this?
Lucky us, we do have an 18 month old that I haven't made any sand for. Let's face it. She'd try to eat it or throw it everywhere and I'm just not in the mood to clean up that mess. So here's a bonus for those of you still reading and have a school age kiddo plus one who is younger.
While the twins are playing with their sand, we've found that these little cork board pot holders work great with stickers - more so that she can put the stickers on and pull them off. It keeps her entertained while the girls are practicing their alphabet letters.
The biggest things I've noticed is this keeps us all around the dinner table a little bit longer; we're more engaged with each other and having fun. In the end, isn't that what it's all about?