Today I have asked Blayne from House of Burke to guest post for me.  I enjoy her blog so much and she thinks of the best activities for her little guy, Kingston.  I felt like those of you with babies and toddlers would really enjoy meeting her and discovering her amazing blog!  

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be guest posting here at Fun At Home With Kids! I am Blayne, mama to baby Kingston and writer of House of Burke. I currently write about activities geared toward the baby-toddler set, with a big focus on sensory play! Today I'd like to share with you our most recent sensory activity, our Planting a Rainbow Sensory Board!

As readers of Fun At Home With Kids, I am sure that you have all seen Asia's amazing sensory boards (you can find them here and here) that she has constructed for her little ones! I wanted to try my hand at creating a board of our own. My little guy is really into sensory activities. My mother, Kingston's Glam*Ma, has an old purple journal with a faux flower on it that he is obsessed with. He is constantly grabbing and reaching for it. This was my initial inspiration. I wanted to recreate this on a big enough scale that K could really get into exploring it. At the same time, I wanted to add a further learning aspect to it so we could utilize it in the future as well. Kingston loves to read and loves colors, so I chose to use Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert in the design. With these two items as my inspiration, I put together this fun board!

For this project you will need: faux flowers in all the colors of the rainbow (I got these at the Dollar Tree!), a glue gun, markers, and a foam core board. 

First, I decapitated the flowers. Sad I know, but they were put to good use! I pulled each bloom off and sorted them into color coded piles on the board. I started with red and made my way through the rainbow,  arranging as I worked. When I was happy with the layout, I glued the flowers down. This can be a little tricky because of some of the stems, but don't be afraid to be a little glue happy! The glue gun is most definitely your friend. After, using inspiration from Planting A Rainbow, I wrote excerpts from the book underneath the  corresponding color. Here is the finished board: 

The effect of all rainbow colors together on the board was really fun. I was really excited to show it to Kingston. Before I let him loose on the board, we snuggled in to read the book together. He liked all of the vibrant colors in the story and had fun turning all of the rainbow pages. Then I let him explore the book on his own. 

After, I pulled out the board. Immediately, he started clapping his hands and reaching for it. Yup, I was a happy mama! He even practiced his new crawling techniques to try to get to it. 

He immediately went for the blue hydrangeas first. He felt the texture of the petals and the stem, and then surveyed the rest of the board. He was so excited that he couldn't figure out which flower he wanted to explore next. I read the board aloud to him and helped him maneuver around it so that he could experience each one. I pointed at each color and told him the name several times. 

He was really interested in the green leaves. He kept running his little fingers up and down the spiny stem and lifting up the corners. It was interesting to see that the color he was most drawn to did not belong to one of the flowers. 

After he poked around at things for awhile, he decided to engage in a gross motor activity. He lifted up the entire board and hid under it. Then, he would drop it down and peek out at me. I would say "boo!" and he would laugh hysterically. K loves making his own games up. He is always hiding under something or trying to lift something over his head! He let out some great giggles during this one.

When he tired of that game, he dropped the board down and started pushing it with his toes. I thought that it would be fun for him to explore the flowers with his feet. I took off his socks and sat him in the middle of the board. He immediately started wiggling his toes in the petals and clapping. He loved the feeling of the flowers tickling his feet! K would wiggle his toes and then reach down to touch something with his hands.

Kingston really enjoyed exploring his sensory board. This will be great to have on hand to pull out every once in awhile to spice things up! It will also work later on when he is learning his colors. For an older child, it would be fun to have them label the different flowers as they do in the book. If you enjoyed this activity, please feel free to come and visit us at the House of Burke. We have all kinds of great sensory activities and craft projects for you to try with your little one! We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. We are honored to have been able to guest post today. Thanks for reading!

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

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