Tag Archives: Try Something New Thursday

Repurposed for Fun: Bowling with Cups

Last week, I wanted to try a new game for Try Something New Thursday. I grabbed a stack of cups that were leftover from our last party and a medium sized ball. I made a pyramid with the cups, and we were ready to bowl. 

Buddy was excited as soon as he saw the bowling game. He initially tried to throw the ball at the cups. Then I showed him how to roll the ball. Buddy tried to roll it right next to the cups, but I told him you have to go far for bowling. He thought that was really funny, and he now says “go far!” all the time. It didn’t take long, though, for him to understand how to bowl.

Buddy and I took turns bowling. We didn’t keep score; we just tried to knock down as many cups as we could. It was a lot of fun showing him how to take turns to play a game. If we didn’t knock down all of the cups, Buddy kicked over the rest of them. That was a lot of fun too. 

We played for about 15 minutes, then Buddy took a break. He decided to put his trains in a cup and pour them into a box. (Buddy still loves pouring!) Once all the trains were in the box, we got back to bowling.

We both had a lot of fun! I’m happy to have an easy game we can play with a family, and I’m sure we will play it again soon.

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Cornstarch and Water Sensory Play

This week, I wanted to try a new sensory activity for Try Something New Thursday. I first saw the idea of playing with cornstarch and water at Fun at Home with Kids. I knew this activity would be messy, but I was willing to deal with the mess to have a little fun.

I mixed some cornstarch and water in a glass pan. I didn’t measure what I put in. I started with a little water, and I kept adding until it was just slightly runny. It was a great slimy texture that was somewhat solid and somewhat liquid.

I started by giving Buddy the pan while he was still in his highchair. It was less messy in this setup, but it was hard for Buddy to actually play while strapped into the seat. I decided to embrace the mess, so I grabbed a towel and moved the activity to the kitchen floor.

cornstarch and water

Buddy was a little timid at first, but he was definitely interested in feeling the mixture. It didn’t take long before he was digging in with both hands.

cornstarch and water 3cornstarch and water 2

It was a huge mess, but it was worth it. Buddy had a great time playing with the cornstarch mixture. He loved spattering it around the towel. Eventually he pulled the pan and set it in his lap, so he could get easier access to the good stuff.

cornstarch and water 4

Originally, I thought about doing this activity in the bathtub. I decided against it because I knew I needed to clean my kitchen floor and do a load of laundry today anyway. However, I might do it in a tub next time, because Buddy definitely needed a bath after our play time was done. We both had a good time, though, so the mess was worth it.

Pom Pom Play

I’ve been wanting to do something with pom poms for awhile. Since today is Try Something New Thursday, it was the perfect time to try playing with pom poms for the first time.

Buddy loves putting things in and pulling them out of containers. I’ve seen a lot of different variations of poms and containers on Pinterest, and I decided to use a snack cup to hold the poms. We have only tried to use this cup with an actual snack once, which wasn’t very successful. I liked the idea of reintroducing this cup as a toy, since it isn’t being used at all right now. Maybe later, Buddy will be more interested in using it to hold snacks once he’s used to it.

I took a couple of handfuls of poms and put them in a pile on the floor. Then, I handed Buddy the cup. He immediately started putting the poms into the cup. He started by putting one pom in at a time, but eventually got so excited that he started using both hands to shove handfuls of poms in the cup.

Pom Pom play 2

I didn’t think ahead of time about whether or not all of the poms would fit in the container. Luckily, they did, although it took some effort on Buddy’s part for the last two to go in.

Mom, this one won't go in!

Mom, this one won’t go in!

Once all of the pom poms were in the container, Buddy wasn’t sure what to do. He shook the cup to try to get them out, but they stayed in. He put his hand in, but he couldn’t get many out. I let him use his problem solving skills for awhile, but eventually I took the cup and poured out the poms. Then Buddy started over putting the poms back in the cup.

Pom pom play 4

After the second time the cup was full, Buddy decided to make up his own pom pom game. He took poms and lined them up on the bookshelf. Then he knocked them down. He kept doing this over and over for quite a while.

Pom pom play 5

This activity was a huge hit, and we will be doing this again soon! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy idea to keep a little one entertained.

Crawling Obstacle Course

For this week’s Try Something New Thursday, I made a crawling obstacle course for Buddy. The other day I saw him crawl up and over the seat of his ride on airplane, so I thought he’d be up for some crawling challenges.

I pushed back the coffee table in our living room to make some room, and then I made a pile of couch cushions and pillows. I wanted Buddy to have some motivation to crawl through the course, so I added a few balls and a stuffed toy. Balls are Buddy’s favorite toy, and I knew he’d be excited to see some new ones.

crawling obstacle course 2

Buddy wasn’t sure what to do at first, although he spotted the balls right away. (“Ba!”) He started with the pillows, but he wasn’t sure how to get over them.

crawling obstacle course 3Buddy struggled for quite a while. Eventually, I lifted him onto the couch cushions. Once he was there, he could get one of the balls. It didn’t take long for him to knock it out of his reach.

Crawling obstacle course 4

The obstacle course was much more difficult than I thought for him. Buddy struggles with gross motor skills, and he’s not quite ready for climbing. He liked the idea of crawling on the pillows, but when he was completely surrounded by pillows, it was frustrating for him. I eventually put the couch cushions back, and cleared a spot in the middle of the floor for play surrounded by a perimeter of pillows. Once the pillows were on the outside of the area, Buddy was more interested in crawling on them. He went back and forth between playing with the balls and crawling on the pillows for a long time.

Crawling obstacle course 5

Crawling obstacle course 6

Even though this activity didn’t go as expected, I’m really glad Buddy had a chance to work on his gross motor skills in a new setting. If you have any tips for working on motor skills, please share in the comments!

Rice Sensory Bin

Today, for Try Something New Thursday, I put together a rice sensory bin for Buddy. I’ve been wanting to try sensory bins for a long time, but I’ve been too busy with school work to have time to put one together.

I bought a extra large bag of rice and a big bin to put it in. Then I threw in some measuring cups, a slotted spoon, an empty container of baby food, a bowl, and a plastic cup (left over from our ice boat activity). I thought Buddy would like to scoop and play with the rice, and I knew he’d want to shake it up in the container with the lid. (He loves anything that makes noise.)

Buddy is checking out everything in the bin.

Buddy checking out everything in the bin.

Buddy was very interested in the rice bin, but he wanted to take the items out of the bin to examine them closer. He realized the rice made a noise when he shook the bowl, but unfortunately that meant rice went all over the floor. My sweet little boy tried to pick up the rice and put it back into the bowl (and he was somewhat successful), but he quickly realized it was too much to pick up. I knew before we started that it would make a big mess, but I underestimated how quickly the rice would be everywhere!

rice sensory bin 2

Buddy loved playing with this cup.

Buddy had lots of fun, even though the majority of his play was on the kitchen floor and not actually in the bin. Eventually, he decided to push the bin around and then explore the kitchen. (He never gets to play on the floor of the kitchen, and I think he was excited to crawl around in a new setting.)

rice sensory bin 3

Even though this activity was a big mess, it only took a few minutes to clean up. I definitely will try it again, but next time I’ll try some different materials in the rice.