Four Fall Sensory Bags 

It’s definitely not fall here!  It’s been over 100° F for the last few weeks! Frankly, we don’t really get much of a fall in Las Vegas. My kids sure don’t experience the fall that I had growing up in Buffalo, New York!

As a child I remember picking apples, raking colorful leaves from the ground and jumping into the pile, and drinking homemade apple cider!  In Las Vegas we try to have fall by going to a pumpkin patch and farms.  With the excessive heat it makes it difficult to really enjoy the day. So I came up with these four easy sensory bags with the theme of fall in mind to allow my boys to experience fall with all of their senses. The best part is they do not require any special supplies, most likely these are items you have laying around the house!

For sight we had the colors of fall through out all of my bags. We had the sound of fall through my tissue paper leaf bag, it sounds like leaves crunching when you squish it in your hand! With every sensory bag project there’s always the sense of touch being included with different textures the children will feel from our squishier to our crunchier bags. Smell could and taste from the walnut sensory bag that we ate the contents of as we made it!

Shaving Cream Sensory Bag

For this bag I focused on the color red, however you can try a different color such as gold or orange to focus on. I filled the bag halfway with shaving cream then added red food coloring.   I squished the bag around to mix the food coloring and shaving cream together until it was evenly mixed. Then I added red glitter. This bag felt like a stress ball. My oldest child loves squishing it. He would not stop squishing it in fact this was his favorite!


Tissue Paper Fall Leaves Bag


For this bag I used half a bottle of orange hair gel that I got at the Dollar Tree. Then I added in brown, green, yellow, orange, and red tissue paper squares. You can also pick these up at the Dollar Tree. They are a huge time saver! Then I added gold glitter and strings of brown yarn. The brown yarn stuck together creating sort a viney-tree trunk effect. Once I closed up the bag and squished it and made the crunchy sound that leaves make in the fall as you walk across your yard.

Cotton Ball Bag

For this bag I again chose red as the main color. I think if I was going to do this project again I would do an orange or gold bag for the shaving cream and keep this one as my red bag. Red is so synonymous with fall. For this bag I added a full bottle of clear hair gel and I filled up the bag halfway with cotton balls. Then I added in some red Pom Poms and strands of red yarn.  Lastly,  a few drops of red food coloring to swirl as the children played with it.

Walnut and Burlap Bag 

This bag is made of used pieces of burlap that I cut into basic shapes like triangles and rectangles. Then I added in walnut halves from my pantry.  The main ingredient is steel cut oats. They look almost like sand. I gave it a nice grainy texture. With this one the children could see different shades of the same color: brown. My oldest son could tell me the different names of the shapes. My youngest son could feel the different textures from the more flimsy burlap to the very hard, curvy walnut halves.

My three-year-old and I put all of these and three bags together in about an hour one afternoon while my 20 month old slept. Both boys had a great time playing with them. In fact they’re still playing with them! One thing I like to do is use clear tape on the top of all of my sensory bags to make sure they stay shut. Another idea is taping them to a sliding glass door or a big window so the kids can look inside of them better and see all the different variations of colors.
I hope you and your children have as much fun as we did with this project. It’s a great project for kids three years old and younger.  Older kids can even make it for their younger siblings!

Galaxy Sensory Bottles

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At this month’s My Petite Picassos’ Playgroup we created projects under the theme of the galaxy. We made galaxy sensory bottles for the babies, paper craft rockets, and we did galaxy marbling papers to make valentines.


We made our galaxy bottles using cotton balls, watered down tempera paint, kabob skewers, and glitter.  I highly recommend if you do this activity you use a short water bottle otherwise you will be very busy for a long time creating your galaxy bottle!  I saw a few videos on YouTube on how to do this and the toddlers enjoyed putting the galaxy bottles together so much!

Basically it’s very simple, but time-consuming. Take your cotton balls one by one pulling them apart and placing them inside of your bottle. When you think you have a lot of cotton balls take your blue watered down paint mixture and pour a little bit over the cotton balls.  Then use the kebab skewers to mix the paint and the cotton together. The water will be absorbed by the cotton and the cotton balls will shrink up so you will probably want continue another layer or two of blue cotton before you move onto the next color.  I did my layers as blue on the bottom purple in the middle and pink on the top. As I moved up the bottle I continued putting in the cotton and adding my water. In between layers put a little bit of glitter not too much or you’ll get clumps!  We also tried doing this with food coloring and water and that turned out excellent as well as you can see from my friend’s bottle on the bottom of the page.  If you don’t have paint at your house but you have some food coloring you can do this craft easily.  My friend had a really good point that the bottles do get a little bit heavy with all of the water and so it is a good idea to keep them small even if you think a big bottle would be a stand out if you want a baby to hold it and left it with her hands and inspect it and it’s needs to stay small.

Like I said earlier the toddlers loved this craft! They were very engaged with ripping apart the cotton and pushing it through the bottles.  One of the moms made the comment that her son never does arts and crafts projects but he loved this craft.  They filled up even large bottles with cotton. You could see they were fully concentrating on the activity and they were immersed in the process.

Gyotaku Fish Printing Lesson Plan

As promised I am sharing a fully developed lesson plan with my readers who teach.  I am using basic art lesson components so you may add what you need to this lesson.

I have done this lesson many times over the years and the students really like it.  When they walk in I pretend something smells- “it smells like fish!”  Works every time to pull them in.  “It must be-because we are fish printing today!”

fullsizerender-4Gyotaku Fish Printing for 2nd-4th grade students.

3 -50 minute sessions


Art Resources:  teacher product and examples of work by Naoki Hayashi

Art Materials: 1 rubber Gyotaku fish per 2 students, 8”x11” sheets of white paper (1 per student), tempera paint,paper plates, large paintbrushes, oil pastels , glue, and white glitter.

National Art Standard Addressed in this Lesson:  Presenting (visual arts): Interpreting and sharing artistic work.

Objectives- Student will:

*become familar with the process of Gyotaku printing

*create a Gyotaku print.

*create a seascape to incorporate with the print.

*use several 2-D processes in one project.

Discipline Based Art Education: Art History and Art Production

Enduring Ideas: Humans and Nature, Life and Death, Life Cycles, Cultural Diversity.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Social Studies (can be used as part of Pacific Islander Month-May) and Science (life cycles, ocean)

Vocabulary: Gyotaku, printmaking, Japan, Pacific Ocean

.Procedure:
Day 1:
Student will view examples of Gyotaku fish prints (specifically by Naoki Hayashi).  Students will view the teacher’s exemplar and listen to the steps of the project. We will discuss how Naoki Hayashi has turned Gyotaku into an art form with his use of color and repetition.  Student will view a demonstration of the printing by the teacher and then will partner with a buddy to share paint, paint plates, fish, and paintbrushes.  Student will each print on white paper and store work for the next week. Day 2: Student will review vocabulary and art history.  Student will add ocean, sky and details to his/her fish with oil pastel. Day 3: Student will review art history and vocabulary.  Student will finish drawing his details with oil pastel.  Student will add glue where he intends to put glitter and glitter over the bucket with white glitter.  Student will store work in wire rack overnight to dry.

Rubric

Lesson Criteria- 10pts.

Criteria Excellent Great Good
Student created a Gytotaku print. -4 pts. Student created his own Gyotaku print using the appropriate amounts of paint and pressure to create an excellent impression of the fish.- 4pts. Student created his own Gyotaku print, but there are some spots of paint and parts of the fish that didn’t show up.-2.5 pts. Student did not create a successful Gyotaku print.-0 pts.
Student filled in his composition’s background with an  original oil pastel seascape. 5 pts. Student filled in  composition in oil pastel.  Student’s work is neat, balanced, and doesn’t cover up the print.  Student drew an original, realistic seascape.- 5 pts. Student filled in  composition in oil pastel.  Student needs to work on one of the following: neatness, balance, and/or not covering up the print.  Student drew an original,  realistic seascape.- 3 pts. Student filled in  composition in oil pastel.  Student needs to work on more than one of the following: neatness, balance, and/or not covering up the print.  Student drew a realistic seascape.-1 pt.
Student added touches of glitter to his composition.-2pts. Student added touches of glitter to his composition in order to enhance the appearance of the project.-2pts. Student’s work has too much glitter or a few glue drips/smudges.-1pt. Student did not attempt to be neat with the glitter and glue.  Student needs to work on choosing a place for the glitter in his composition and appropriate amounts of glue and glitter.-0pts.

 

 

 

Fall Sensory Bags-Pinterest DIY Tryout

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I saw this post on Fall Sensory Bags and tried it with My Petite Picassos Playgroup (ages 2-3) this week.  I used a Ziploc sandwich bag, hair gel from the Dollar Tree, red and yellow food dye, fake fall leaves, cinnamon sticks, and red and gold glitter. To seal them I used packaging tape.

I really like the fact the kiddos got to see the colorful leaves as we don’t have much of that here in Las Vegas.  Overall the activity went well.  I recommend only filling the bag 1/2 way with gel before adding your food coloring, glitter and fall items so it won’t be so full you can’t see through it.

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