Recently, I have come up with some new fun for Determined Diva (age 1) and Little Hurricane (age 2)! Specifically, I wanted to create a few taste-safe sensory activities for toddlers. The Diva is at the stage where almost everything goes into her mouth, and Hurricane’s first reaction to most sensory activities is, “I eat it?” The first thing I came up with was using whipped cream or whipped topping. I’ve used shaving cream with kids for over 10 years, and I’ve always like whipped cream as an alternative for the little ones.
2 sensory activities for toddlers that use cool whip!
We used this one ingredient for two different edible toddler sensory activities! For our first play time, I simple put a tub of Cool Whip in the water table. Since Diva was wearing a pretty dress, I made sure to cover her up with one of Engineer’s old shirts. Sure enough, she dived right into the fun! Diva and Hurricane used spoons and potato mashers in the Cool Whip, as well as their fingers. They looked, touched, tasted, and smelled as they played! I added a touch of lime Jell-O powder to the whipped topping to heighten the scent, and I’m sure it changed the taste a little bit. Either way, both the kids took a few tastes, so I’m glad it wasn’t shaving cream! 🙂
After about half an hour, Little Hurricane asked that water be added to the Cool Whip. I was happy to oblige, especially since I knew it would extend the kiddos’ play times. The water changed the texture of the sensory play, and it also added a different sound aspect (with the splashing and pouring).
The following day, I tried something a little different with the Cool Whip. Again, I mixed some Jell-O powder into the whipped topping, as it provides a stronger scent and changes the color. I went with lime in one batch and mango in the other. Once I had the Jell-O all mixed in, I spooned the mixtures into ice cube trays. Then into the freezer they went! I only used the ice cube trays because I wanted handheld pieces. Next time, I think I’ll just put each batch into its own container. It was a little annoying to remove the frozen Cool Whip from the trays!
Since the weather was nuts that day, I placed the frozen Cool Whip into a large pan on the floor in the kitchen. Little Hurricane was sweet and attempted to lay down a plastic tablecloth underneath the pan. At first, the kiddos just grabbed the icy Cool Whip and held a piece in their hands. Hurricane exclaimed, “It’s cold!” with a big smile on his face. Diva, of course, taste tested her cube. Based on her facial expression, she does NOT care for mango! 🙂
After holding it and tasting it, Diva and Hurricane just had fun moving the pieces around in the pan for a while. Then they decided to take the pieces and put them into clean ice cube trays. Then they dumped the pieces back out of the ice cube trays. This transferring back and forth went on for a while, until the cubes began melting a little bit. Then they took to swirling the pieces around and putting their feet into the pan. Diva even decided to just get into the pan at one point!
I had fun playing with the frozen Cool-Whip with them! It felt a bit like ice cream, although it melted much slower. It had a creamy texture to it, of course, and it was certainly cold! The Jell-O added a slightly gummy feeling once it was more melted. The kiddos played with the frozen Cool Whip cubes for about half an hour, then I wiped them both down, and we were onto something else. After about an hour, Little Hurricane and I revisited the thawing cubes. It still had a creamy texture, but the thawing process brought the gelatinous feel to the forefront. Little Hurricane LOVED this version of the cubes! He had so much fun squishing it and putting his arms into the mixture, then wiping my arms up and down with it! 🙂
This one ingredient led to hours of fun with two different sensory activities for toddlers who still mouth things. Based on Little Hurricane’s requests for more of the “funny ice”, I’ll be repeating these activities! Have you ever done something like this with the little ones? Any sensory activities for toddlers that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about how it went for you!
For more ideas for the littlest ones, please stop by my Baby and Toddler Pinterest board.
Hands-On Preschool Materials
It is imperative that we keep our classrooms stocked with materials that will give our students the hands-on learning experiences that they love (and need!). There are a few specific things that I always keep on-hand in my classroom. Check them out in the list below.
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- Safety scissors
- Dramatic play items
- Math manipulatives
- Dry erase markers
- Sensory items
- Play dough
- Craft supplies
- Playground balls
- Music and movement tools
- Books, books, and more books!
When it comes to preschool, this list is really just skims the surface of the wide variety of materials that can be used. The best thing about this age group is that they learn the most while playing. So, whether they’re playing on the playground, building with blocks, or creating a masterpiece, rest assured that the children are learning so many important skills, all while having fun!
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
For some other resources that appeal to that sweet tooth, click on the images below!
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