Have you ever stood in the wet sand and enjoyed squishing the sand between your toes? How about the time you held bubble wrap in your hand and couldn’t resist popping at least one or two bubbles before you were done.
It’s important to allow our children to experience the same pleasure and fun. The problem for all parents is that young children can’t always experience those feelings because of safety issues. We simply can’t give them certain things to play with. That’s when squishy base is a safer alternative. Squishy bags allow small children to experience the fun of “squishing” gel in their hands as well as exploring small objects and other items with their sense of touch.
Benefits for children and adults:
- It allows safe play with a variety of objects
- It is a great tool for kiddos who don’t like to get their hands dirty
- It is great entertainment for adults and children.
- It utilizes fine motor skills by moving small objects inside the bag.
- It meets a goal on the pediatrician activity questionnaire.
This activity provides an opportunity to meet a goal on the pediatrician activity questionnaire. The doctor or his assistant may ask: “Does your child jab at something inside a bag or bottle?”
My Sweet Pea didn’t jab at the discovery bottle debuted last week but she has jabbed at the beads in the squishy bag. This activity shows up on both the 10 month and 12 month questionnaire so if you have a 10 month old don’t be alarmed if you have not seen them attempting to jab at something yet.
- Bottle of clear hair gel
- food coloring
- Ziploc bag (I used a quart size freezer bag because the plastic is a little thicker)
Since we are close to Valentine’s Day I decided to make a valentine themed squishy bag. We used items that were heart shaped, red, pink, or silver.
First, put all the hair gel into the bag. Then add one or two drops of food coloring. I used two drops and it was pretty dark. Next, add the beads, sequins, buttons and other objects. Close the the top of the Ziploc bag and make sure there is no air in the bag. Finally, seal with a strip of duct tape across the top. I also added duct tape around each side to prevent leaks and make it more secure for little fingers.
As I finished the first one I discovered that there was a little bit of hair gel left in the bottom of the bottle. I didn’t want to waste it. I grabbed a snack size baggie, added the hair gel, beads, and sequins. I left out the food coloring on this one. I am going to use this as a “travel” squishy bag. It is the perfect size to throw in the diaper bag as a quiet activity for restaurants, airplanes and the doctor’s office.
Again, I made these while Sweet Pea was napping. When she woke up we were ready to explore a new experience! She laughed and pressed her hand into the squishy gel!
Hope you have as much fun making these as we did! I would recommend supervision for younger children. We would love to hear about your experience!
Stay tuned next week for another learning activity!