The Marshmallow Sensory Tub

&^%$ing winter. Seriously. It’s cool though, I can SEE the finish line. We had a crazy weekend where it was tantalizingly close to 50 degrees outside and everyone wore capris and walked around the village acting all jovial and excited. Even I went to the playground with the boy, thinking it would be packed…only to find my hopes dashed.

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We couldn’t even open the gate :(

Truth is, the real determination will be when the crocuses start peeking through my front garden bed. That’s when we will KNOW. For now, we have 20 degree overcast weather, the vestiges of snow on the ground haunting us from a week ago (OMG almost 2 feet in my neighborhood) and a weather forecast predicting we will get even more in the next two days. Sigh. But I am not giving up on a good time. I take being a SAHM very seriously, and that means it is time to get creative and start making plans. Let’s start with my FABULOUS new sensory table…

OK, to begin, I ADORE Tinkerlab’s sensory table with wheat berries. I think it is amazing. But um…wheat berries are expensive. And we eat them. So, I thought, maybe good old rice? But we didn’t have enough to fill the container I had in mind. (FYI, I have big plans to make a sensory table–check out this one from Apartment Therapy. Drool.) So I fished around in the cabinets and remembered how I went hog-wild over the holidays making rice crispy treats…and thought, “MARSHMALLOWS”.

Yes folks. It is a marshmallow sensory table. Be excited.

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Primary components beyond marshmallows and a bin: scooping items, mixed cups and coffee filters, wooden spoon etc. Best laid plan was the small enclosed tupperware contained with colorful plastic straws cut into 1/3s to give him something to try and open on his own. Also curious to see what his plans are for the straws once he figures out how to liberate them…

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Then I added an empty egg carton. Because…they are awesome places to hide popsicle sticks and cookie cutters. :D

So he started out with the wooden spoon, banging and flinging marshmallows. Ok. Sort of expected that.

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What I did not expect was his interest in the tupperware full of cut up straws to be so high. HE HAD TO GET IT OPEN. There was serious commitment on his part. We had a sweet little moment, when, in his frustration to find a little lip he could use to pry off the top, he threw the thing into my lap and indicated I was to open it for him. No, buddy, that isn’t how this works… Slowly, I turned the bowl on it’s side so he could see the the lid actually HAD a little lip he could use, and I gently got it started for him. He caught on fast. Grabbed the lid, pried it off and squealed like a piggy when all the straws fell out, which occupied him for the better part of ten minutes. I call that a win in ToddlerLand. The marshmallows? He seemed more interested in lining them up on my skirt than anything else today. He was also very excited by the egg carton, and al the little ‘surprises’ I hid inside (2 cookie cutters, three tongue depressors and a baby bottle top). I am going to put a lid on the bin and reintroduce it on Thursday again to see if he tries anything else. All in all, this was a 45 minute activity that was the perfect provocation after his mid morning nap and snack.

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