Paper Mache Dinosaur Cave

Dinosaur Paper Mache Cave Small World Play by Crayon Box Chronicles

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Junior Paleontologists, let’s venture deep into the Mesozoic Era, the ‘Age of Reptiles,’ with ferocious dinosaurs and a rough, rock-like paper mache cave and tunnels. Our dinosaur diorama explores the wild, prehistoric terrain of sensory materials and homemade goopy glue. We’re building a dinosaur cave using recycled jars and lids, coffee cans, and our easy-to-make paper mache glue for kids.  Open your reptilian, ‘terrible lizard’ imaginations and join us for dino-mite discoveries. Continue reading

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Best Small World Sensory Play Activities of 2013

Best Of 2013 Small World & Sensory Play Activities from Crayon Box Chronicles

Welcome to 2014 friends! It’s been a great year! Although we haven’t reached our one year blogiversary yet, there has been so much growth and excitement! Whether you’re just joining us or you’ve been with us throughout the year, we are so grateful.  Life is busy and we appreciate you taking the time to stop by and visit, comment, and share your experiences.  After a month off, we’re back with a fresh blog design and a new direction! I hope you like it! Continue reading

Native American Small World – Teepee & Drum Craft

Native American Small World Play w/ DIY Teepee & Drum Craft

Today’s Native American small world focuses on different tribes, color symbolism, and general beliefs. We’re part Seminole, so this will also be an introduction to part of our heritage for Little C. We even took our indoor small world outdoors to our rock garden! Our sensory materials include water beads, sand, rocks, moss, plus a homemade drum craft and hand painted teepee made from sticks. Continue reading

Arctic Small World @ Crayon Box Chronicles

Arctic Snow Dough Small World

Arctic Small World with Recycled Materials by Crayon Box Chronicles

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Brrr, its cold in our Arctic small world today! Let’s venture up to The Arctic Circle at the North Pole and explore creative messy play with homemade snow dough and a vowel lesson! Snow dough is so fun— it molds, crumbles, and sparkles.  After spotting this fun snow dough recipe at The Imagination Tree, I was ready to dig in! I’m trying to use homemade doughs for all our small worlds now, so this was just perfect!  Pop over to get her awesome recipe!

Our arctic animals include a polar bear, arctic rabbit, arctic fox, huskies, caribou, harp seal, beluga whale, walrus, Eskimo and musher.  Today’s small world engages sensory muscles, imagination, and teaches your child about science, geography, animals, and vowel recognition and sounds.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Let’s dive right into the snowy fun!  Here’s the breakdown — large container, recycled plastic containers, marbles , snow dough recipe, paper, sticky letters, toothpicks, blue tempura paint, and Arctic Toob Animals. Total cost = $7.  We had all the supplies, except the cornstarch and baby oil for the snow dough.  We used all our corn starch last week when we made our scented play clay.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Here’s a look at the pre-arctic landscape made from Happy Baby Organic Puffs containers, wipes box, and Costco Organic Animal Cracker Tub, and the top of a juice bottle with the cap (not pictured here).  This small world is very simple to set up provided you collect containers, lol!

snow dough

So fluffy and sparkly! It almost looks edible — it’s NOT EDIBLE, even without the glitter. After making 3 batches of the snow dough, we needed to tint one blue for the ocean.  I thought I could use food coloring, but sadly I was mistaken. Apparently powdered tempura paint works best, but seeing as how I didn’t have any, I tried an experiment — regular tempera paint — it worked!

Now, if you’re planning ahead, powder paint uses less and doesn’t dry out as fast, but I’m happy with the coloring.  Just keep adding a little at a time, then really mix well to meet desired coloring. I noticed that the back of a spoon works well, mushing it down, then swirling it around.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

So pretty right? Now, let’s get messy and explore The Arctic Circle in the North Pole. Watch out for those icy snow marble balls, the super-slick snow tunnel, floating ice caps, blue dough ocean, and vowel flags! A, E, I, O, U and sometime Y — its vowel learning time! Orca and whale are swimming in the big blue dough ocean! The flags are really simple to make — cut out blue flags, adhere foam letters, and hot glue to a tooth pick. Next, I pierced them through the plastic with my Brad Piercing Tool — prefect fit! I love this tool! Surprisingly, I use for a lot of projects.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Mr. Eskimo treks through the think and icy snow to find shelter.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Harper seal is riding the ice caps! Watch out for Orca, he’s a predator!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Caribou is taking a rest on the top of the ice! The snow sparkles so bright!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

The arctic Rabbit is sure having fun — snow ball wrestling match! I think the snow is winning??

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

The snow fox is exploring the tunnel in the Arctic Circle.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Look out below animals, it’s a swirling, whirling, snow-ball funnel! With all the shifting ice in the Arctic, be careful and watch out for falling snow marble balls!  C loves to put things inside of things, down things, through things — you name it! This is a 64 oz. juice container cut off at the top.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Here is a closer look inside the whirling, twirling snow-ball funnel!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Rabbit and Polar Bear are exploring together! Watch out for that shifting ice, it’s getting warmer in the Arctic Circle.

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Walrus!!! Look at those teeth — so big!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Snow dough molds to your hand, then crumbles apart! It’s so soft and has such a pleasant aroma — great for sensory play too! C really enjoyed it! He kept running around the house saying, “Arctic Rabbit, you’re so cute!” and ” snow dough, snow dough — yeah!”

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Weeee … through the tunnel we go!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

We added some measuring cups for extra fun! C began smashing all the snow balls. He kept singing the vowel song all day too!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

What a great sensory experience — messy and fun! I’d recommend doing this outside if possible — it can get messy, but it’s definitely worth it!  For more sensory bin play, check out Mini-Beach Sand Dough Bin and Rainforest Sensory Bin.

To store snow dough:  Simply seal it an air-tight zip lock bag in a cool, dry place.  Ours last about 6 mounth, but double-check the bag periodically.  We re-use of dough for other projects. Another fun option is adding colors!

Arctic Snow Dough Small World by Crayon Box Chronicles

Best Of 2013 Small World & Sensory Play Activities from Crayon Box Chronicles

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Farm Small World with Barn Craft

Farm Small World with Barn Craft by Crayon Box Chronicles

Cock-a-doodle-doo, moo moo, baa baa, meow! Come explore our farm small world and recycled barn popsicle stick craft. Our inexpensive small world today is a fun sensory activity full of varying textures and imaginative play.  It takes a little more love and time than our past worlds Short on time? Skip the details and go for the barn and cardboard containers of sensory items.  It’s all made from recycled cereal boxes and popsicle sticks. The kids can get involved with the preset-up by assisting with the production of the Big Red Barn and fence!  Continue reading