Our friends at Little Buffalo on Hertel Ave. had just opened their doors when COVID hit! Like many local businesses, they’ve shifted their business model from in-person play to at-home activities. To help with at home activities, the team at Little Buffalo has created Summer Camp at Home kits that you can purchase and pick up.
In this post, we’re sharing information about their Toddler Sensory Camp bin that they are offering. It’s perfect for children ages 1 to 5. For $95 you can purchase the Toddler Sensory Camp kit that comes with ALL the supplies you’d need to do each of the daily activities listed below. You can reserve your kit by clicking this link and completing the form. Their kits are available on a first come, first serve basis and they do sell out, so if you something you know your child will love, be sure to get your order in!
Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page because they release new kit themes regularly!
Day 1 – Build a Wood Bead or Noodle Necklace
Beading helps children develop fine motor skills and mathematical concepts! To do this activity:
- Get a small bowl or a dish to dump your beads and noodles in so they don’t roll away.
- Use a cord to measure the approximate length you’ll need for a specific person’s wrist or neck.
- Cut the cord to the desired length keeping in mind to add about 4 extra inches to allow for tying.
- Begin to lay out a design or pattern the length of the cut cord.
- Tie one end of cord into a knot leaving about 2 inches hanging.
- Begin lacing your design.
- When completed, tie another knot at the finished end leaving two inched hanging.
- Enjoy wearing your unique jewelry!
Depending on your child’s age, you could also use this activity to teach counting by having your child count out beads as you put them in the bowl or by counting the number of beads you use on each piece of jewelry. The kit will include wooden beads, dyed dry noodles, faux leather/suede cord, and twine.
DAY 2 – Create a Sensory/Calming Bottle
Calming bottles are great for mesmerizing children! They can help calm their breathing and self-regulate themselves and their emotions.
Not only will your child enjoy making their bottle, but you can keep it on hand and use it when a child needs to reset. For example, if your child is struggling with a behavior, give them their calming bottle, have them flip it over and ask them to watch the pieces settle. Normally by the time the pieces have settled, most children are able to reset their behavior and try again.
To build your calming bottle:
- Cover a large flat surface with a placemat or newspaper.
- Unscrew bottle cap and carefully pour bag of water beads into bottle.
- Fill the bottle about ½ way up with room temperature water.
- Slowly pour the glue into the bottle. Add the bag of glitter, sequins, and foil pieces.
- Use the wooden stirring stick to mix all the materials well. Fill the rest of the bottle with water almost to the very top.
- ADULTS ONLY -Drizzle super glue onto the thread of the bottle cap and tighten the lid onto the bottle. Let the glue dry completely.
- Give your bottle a shake and watch everything dance around!
Your kit will include everything to make your own sensory/calming bottle to play with. Includes 13.6 oz bottle, recipe and instructions, water beads, glitter, and other accessories. You can continue teaching your child about feelings, managing emotions and behavior with these books from Amazon!
DAY 3 – Playdough Bakery
Playdough is a popular activity for children of all ages but it can entertain toddlers for hours! It’s also a sensory activity that helps build fine motor skills, pre-writing skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity.
Little Buffalo’s kit will include everything your need to help your child become a playdough baker including homemade scent free and dye free playdough, cookie cutters, rolling pin, silicone cupcake liners, candles, pretend sprinkles and accessories. (Contact them if there are allergy concerns and they will create a substitute activity.) To use what comes in the kit:
- Cover a large flat surface with a placemat or tray.
- Open playdough, tools and accessories and lay in front of you. For very young children, introduce just the playdough first and allow the child to explore the texture. Show them how to roll with the wooden dowel, squeeze, poke etc.
- Explore the tools to make cupcakes, cookies and other bakery treats. Use pom poms and buttons to decorate your goodies. Add candles and have a pretend party!!
- To store playdough, place in a Ziploc bag or airtight container and enjoy again!
When you’re done being a baker, you can use your playdough again to work on learning letters with these free alphabet printable mats!
DAY 4 – Chalk Paint
This activity helps mathematical concepts, decision making and planning skills, and promotes creativity. The kit will include everything you need to make your own driveway art. Here’s how to use it:
- Lay materials out in front of you. You will need a bowl, spoon, and 1/2 cup of water.
- Add entire bag of cornstarch and ½ cup of water to bowl and stir until cornstarch is completely dissolved and mixture feels smooth without lumps.
- Pour equal parts of the mixture into 5 of the 6 compartments of the muffin tin.
- Use the protective gloves when adding the food coloring. Cut of tip of pipette and squirt food coloring into one compartment for each color. Use the pipette to stir the color.
- You should now have blue, red, green, yellow, and white chalk paint. Use the 6th compartment to create a color of your own by sucking up colors from the pipette and mixing them together! Red and Yellow = Orange, Blue and Red =Purple
- Use the paint, brushes and stencils to decorate your driveway and sidewalk! (It washes off with hose or rain!)
If you have more than one child, you could set up an “art show” and give prizes for the most creative design, the most colorful design or things like that.
Includes a muffin tin artist palette to separate colors, recipe and ingredients to make chalk paint, multiple foam brushes and plastic stencils to be creative with.
DAY 5 – Farm Sensory Bin
This sensory activity helps expand vocabulary and language skills, promotes fine motor skills and meets sensory needs for small children. To use this activity:
- Open base items (oats, corn, and beans) and pour into the bin creating a landscape that looks like a farm.
2. Add in accessories and animals, placing them across your landscape. As you’re adding in the animals ask your children what animals they are and what sound they make! If you have older children, you could teach them about each animals job on the farm.
3. Begin sensory play, feeling the textures of each base, use the shovel to dig and mix, bury and find animals and objects and be sure to spark conversation about the experience.
Your kit will include everything you need to create a farm play world like farm animals, a fence, peg people, oats, corn, dried beans, greenery, mini shovel and other accessories to design a landscape. It also includes a large reusable bin so you store this activity and use it again!
Continue the farm theme by reading some of these great books from Amazon!