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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Find It

Yesterday we made silly putty.  My son spent over an hour playing with it and hiding things in it - they were "sleeping".

(please excuse the obnoxiously loud dishwasher in the background)
 Being full present during play.

Today, I had a fun invitation planned.  Thera-putty is something I used a lot when I taught children with autism.  This is homemade silly putty (not as firm), but for a little toddler, its a great activity for strengthening the hands and fingers.  It promotes dexterity, grip strength, and overall motor skills (all important things for writing).   My son LOVES the "Find It" page in his Highlights High Fave Magazines, so I knew this activity would be a hit.

  1. Take pictures of objects you would like to hide.  Mine were random, but there are endless options to make this activity very educational - colored gems for color recognition, letters or numbers, shapes for shape recognition, letters of the child's name, letters of spelling words (for older children), or even something focusing on the interest of the child - like animals or transportation items.
  2. Print out the pictures and laminate the pages (optional)
  3. Hide the objects in the silly putty (or thera-putty is you have some)
  4. Set up the invitation and have FUN!
 The Invitation

 Finding objects

 Then, he got his gems and started doing his own thing. :)

 "Im making a Christmas Tree"



  1. great idea! i love you ladies!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I love your projects and philosophies. I do have a general question that I haven't really seen addressed anywhere (although I haven't looked super hard). And it relates to being fully present during play. How do you handle this without going crazy from boredom? Ok, that sounds bad, but really. As a SAHM to a 2 year old, I often find myself drifting away when he's absorbed in play, either because I want to get something done or (admittedly) because I kinda get bored talking about the same puzzle/truck/etc over and over (and maybe want to read a book that doesn't have pictures and contains more than 8 words on the page). So, are you fully present ALL the time throughout the day? How do you keep yourselves engaged? TIA! (And, really, I don't mean this as a criticism of what you're doing... I'm just wondering how to fix ME so I can stay interested more often!)

  3. @Stacy - I think for most adults, being fully present during play is pretty difficult. Some parents even find it tedious....so you are not alone. For me, though, I love it. I love listening to how his mind works and where he takes his play and his creativity, etc etc. I think a lot of it is just in my nature, though. I am pretty present during the day - all day....BUT, my son does play alone very well, too. If I set up an invitation or project, Im definitely fully present. There are also times, however, when he just starts playing with his airplanes and I let him be. I might go in the kitchen and unload the dishwasher or something like that. I get most of my "me time" when he naps or after he goes to bed at night (his bed time is 7:30, so I have tons of time after he goes down). We are actually hoping that our blog HELPS parents learn to enjoy play time with their children. These are very special years and one day they wont even want us around anymore. Have you tried any of our activities? My advice would be to not pressure yourself to be the ideal playmate ALL the time. Relax and enjoy the time you spend playing with him, and give him as much of yourself as you can. Just think of all the good things you are instilling when he knows you are fully present - confidence, self-worth, empowerment, etc. He will feel valued and respected, it will do wonders for the parent/child connection, and it will actually HELP him learn to play more independently. Hope this helps. - AK

    1. I know this is an old post, but I REALLY appreciate this comment. I have been reading your blog for a while now and tonight I was starting to get a little teary about how hard it can be for me to be "fully present" while my children are playing... I often find myself falling into the habit of jumping up to do something else once I see they are busy on their own. I'm hoping that this blog will help me to slow down and take some time each day to play with them, FULLY PRESENT! I really like your advice about not pressuring myself to be the ideal playmate all the time and to give as much of myself as I can. I know I'm not like you, and I don't have to be, but I do know I can give more. Tomorrow, we will start with silly putty :) Thank you!

  4. Where do I get "gems" and other materials for a light table?

  5. How much silly putty does one need to make a blob that size? Or, what type of theraputty should I get? (I'm guessing a one pound blob would suffice?)

  6. Do you have a recipe for the homemade silly putty? Thanks!


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