Monday, July 22, 2013

Sensory Play - Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

Playing is a kid's job! It is our job as their parents to make sure that they are good at it! Fun play experiences don't require that you dump a ton of money into toys. Some of the most fun things to do don't require a lot more than a good imagination. I love play products that are:
- Inexpensive
- Versatile
- Not complicated for me or the kiddos

Sure, I'm all in for Pinterest-style bake, mix and create type of activities. But, sometimes, the best fun is the kind you have when you are required to use your imagination playing with pretty ambiguous materials. With that, I introduce you to my new friend, Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

In my Mother Goose Time curriculum, Wes and I had a blast making these cool cactus plants. Making them wasn't incredibly complex. In actuality, they were pretty basic skills. But, for a budding mind, BUILDING, in any form - hard or easy, is extremely rewarding.

Wes loved the cactus activity so much, I quickly googled cornstarch pellets and found out that the cactus materials were very similar to biodegradable packing peanuts. I found a huge bag at Office Depot for about $11. And, when I say HUGE bag, it's about half my size and bigger than Wes. 

Packing Peanuts are extremely versatile! Since I purchased a GINORMOUS bag, we have played with them in many different ways. We use them to build most of the time. Wes absolutely loves to create things with them! Simply supply a pile of packing peanuts and a moistened paper towel (you can put it in a bowl) and let your kid go to town! Of course, you probably will need to model how to do it a few times, but Wes was really quick to pick it up and do it independently!



"I'm building Momma!"

Starting another creation

"Look Momma at what I make!"

"It's squishy!"
I am not quite sure what Wes created above, but he sure was proud of it. I think he said it was an octopus, not sure.

You could easily paint your creations, too! Simply create, dry and paint! These are also very easy to add to paper art - you can glue to a painting or drawing as clouds, boats or as Wes likes, SUBMARINES! Really, you can use them in so many ways!

Additionally, these little peanuts are a fun addition to a water based sensory bin. Or if you aren't sensory bin believers, just toss them in the water table outside. As you can imagine, they start to dissolve in the water. But, when they start to dissolve, they get gooey and smooshy. You know, if you have boys, anything SLIMEY is a good thing to play with! Heck, you can create something, like a snowman and let it dissolve in the water! So cool!

And, if you have time to kill at the doctor's office, local eatery, etc. bring some of these suckers with you in a bag. You can use a baby wipe or stick a wet paper towel in another snack bag for them to moisten the peanuts with. I don't know about you, but keeping a variety of activities keeps my kids pretty content when forced to wait!

Of course, if you have little ones that still like to try eating things, I'd skip it for now! They are biodegradable, but I'm not sure how they would do in little ones tummies!

I hope you try them out! Split a bag with a friend! Super cheap but super duper versatile for your little explorers. ENJOY!

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