Excite and Explore

One mom, one toddler and a passion for learning and adventure.


Edible Summer Luau Sensory Bin

   The weather is beautiful and we felt like celebrating the start of summer with some sensory play. I recently saw this awesome post on Blog Me Mom with this amazing Edible Sand Recipe and knew we had to try it! I just want to take a minute to rave about this recipe, it is incredibly simple, smells amazing, and feel just like sand while at the same time being edible so it is perfect for little ones who like to put whatever they touch in their mouths. We whipped up a small batch in green and pink, which Gray loved helping to make.


   Then we put it away until after nap time, because he was getting a little worn out. While he was asleep I added some luau flowers, sea shells and a little plastic beach shovel and it was ready for play! I set it up on top of a plastic picnic table cover for easy clean up and when he woke up I put out the little bin.

He plucked up the shovel. My son has always been a bit reluctant with sensory play until he has had some time to poke and prod at the base material with a scoop or shovel, but once he is used to the idea he usually dives in. He had a great time scooping sand with the shovel and shells and just mixing it around in his hands, and I think in the future we will have to make a bugger version of this recipe for more play.



What To Do With A Water Table?

   As always we are always looking for fun new toddler activities to do, and this week I pulled out the water table and (after a good scrubbing with a magic eraser) it was ready for some time to shine! I went searching for some inspiration for some unexpected ways to play with our splash works and thanks to my fellow bloggers I was not disappointed! The weather is getting warmer, so here are some fun ways to cool down while making the most out of your water table!

1. Dinosaur Sensory Bin – Fantastic Fun and Learning

  I thought this was the coolest idea! Make a fun for kids dinosaur mini world right there in your water table!


2. Water Beads – Excite and Explore

Why not fill it up with these slippery little balls, a neat sensory experience for your little ones, my son loves this! I sounds odd but I myself find running my fingers through these to be so relaxing, I even had a dream that we filled a pool up with them and it was glorious! Keep in mind that they can be a choking hazard so keep them away from small children or those you worry will put them in their mouth. Always supervise when using water beads!


3. Colourful Foaming Water – Life With Moore Babies

Who didn’t love bubble baths as a kid? So why not bring the foam (and colourful to boot) to the water table!


4. Sensory Spring Water Table – The Pleasantest Thing

It is spring, the dandelions are plentiful, why not?!


5. Coloured Ice Play – Excite and Explore

It is getting warm out and it will get warmer! Cool down with some coloured ice play!


6. Beachcombing in the Water Table – My Nearest And Dearest



What a great way to bring the fun of the beach home with you!

7. Colour Sort Water Table – Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Want to squeeze in some learning while you are at play? Check this out!
I hope we have been able to help inspire you today, I know we will be having a lot of fun with our water table this summer, we would love to hear some more ideas or feedback, thanks for joining us at excite and explore!


Water Play At Home

We have been sick in our house, and it has been miserable, which is why this post has been delayed for so long. We have been excitedly waiting for the weather to get nice enough to set up the water table in the backyard, but unfortunately that time is still not here, so I went ahead and set up a water station in the kitchen. Toddlers seem to love water, any water, whether it is a muddy puddle in the yard, the water you left on the table last night that their little hands found their way into, or in the tub where they can splash around to their hearts content. And why not? Water play is great, it is so open ended, they can take it anywhere and it has so many variations that no session need be like the last! We have hardwood so I put down a drop sheet on the floor and covered it in towels (I imagine a tarp would be even better but I couldn’t find ours) so that he could splash around without to much water soaking through. I gathered some supplies from around the house.


   We used bowls and trays filled with water, funnels, measuring cups for scooping and pouring, spoons, tea bags to add some scent when mixed into the water, water beads in a bowl, paint brushes, a sponge, a turkey baster, and a muffin tin filled with water. I added food colouring to this one, an invitation to explore colour mixing. After this picture was taken I also added a spray bottle. I stripped him down to his diaper and since I knew I was probably going to get wet as well I took of my shirt and let him have at it. He went straight to the water beads. Water beads are a great item for sensory play, they start as these little tiny beads and after soaking in water for a couple days they turn into a much larger bead that is slippery and a bit squishy, for example, here is what they looked like before expansion.


   And here they are once Gray started scooping them up. Water beads are definitely something that needs to be monitored while young children are using them, they are small and easily a choking hazard, even thought they are non toxic.


    For added fun and discovery earlier in the day I had frozen a few things into ice to add to our water play, I froze a small plastic bug, some water beads, and a few dice for him to discover as the ice melted, they were much to big to fit in an ice cube tray so I froze them in small cups and ran the cups under hot water to loosen the ice chunk so I could remove it.


   Once we moved on to the muffin tin he discovered the different coloured water and boy was he excited! He took up one of the paint brushes and started painting the towels so I got him a piece of construction paper and he painted that with the coloured water.


   He then discovered the sponge, which he quickly learned would absorb the coloured water and left a really cool looking splatter, which he had a  lot of fun mixing colours into.


   The sponge ended up being the biggest hit of the play session, and once he discovered that if you squeezed it water would come out he squealed in delight and squeezed away, followed by a revelation that if you throw the sponge at the pan of water it makes a big splash. As I mentioned there is so much you can do with water play, and he spent an hour and half with just this small set up! I would love to hear about your water play ideas and what you like to do, thank you for joining us at excite and explore!