A versatile and stimulating sensory resource glitter can also be very soothing and that’s why it should be a staple of your arts and crafts activities and always available in your setting.
Have you ever watched children playing and having fun with glitter? They’re so in love with the glitter that they are completely absorbed. Their eyes twinkle as they are fascinated by the shimmering glitter They are enthralled and curious to see how their play transforms into creativity.
Glitter does not only give delight to children, it can also aid in calming down an over-stimulated or upset child, when there is nothing else to do anything. Working in the early years for 20 years, i have learnt that glitter is a must-have accessory for crafting and art and also as a part of play with sensory elements.
In this piece I will concentrate on playing with glitter, and how it contributes to the development of children in a holistic way. It isn’t just about children’s development holistically, but it can be a very beneficial part of the sensory play and offers a variety of play and learning opportunities.
Glitter play can open up a variety of options for children’s sensory play, the same way as a child plays with water. Children like to experiment with their toys, and they become extremely concentrated when they pour, filtering the water, and passing it through different size bottles and tubes playing with floating, sinking, and so on. As with playing with sand play offers a wide range of therapeutic experiences. It aids concentration, improves fine motor skills, and adds to language acquisition and social abilities.
I employ glitter throughout my art and craft classes and it’s always there for the children to use any time in our kindergarten. Children are always attracted by glitter. Even as babies they get engrossed and their attention is drawn to glittery or shiny objects or toys.
As children grow up their play expands and they have to play. Using glitter gives children lots of opportunities to explore. It enhances their expansion in social, intellectual, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Here are some examples:
Mark making for toddlers and preschoolers.
Give them activities to do, for example, paint with glitter. This kind of activity can help strengthen hands, fingers and wrists. The children must be able to move their fingers on their own, as well as use a pincer grip (the pincer grip uses the thumb and finger). The next step is strengthening the wrists as well as their thumbs. They then need to learn to rest the wrists on the table and to be capable of moving their hands freely.
Here are a few activities that supports mark making. I’ve picked some activities which are enjoyable and have a direct effect on acquiring and mentally interpreting information from the senses as well as control.
Homemade glitter paint
The glitter paint so great for pre-schoolers in our younger years than ordinary paint. Here’s how to make DIY glitter paint. You’ll need:
1 cup of flour.
1 cup up to 3 cups of water.
1 cup of salt.
Food colours you like.
Combine all of the components in the large bowl, excluding the colors. Put the mix into the squeeze bottles. You can then add a different shade to each bottle and shake the mixture thoroughly. Once the mixture is well-mixed, distribute it to your children to use it on the paper. After the paint has dried it is the salt present in the paint will give the glitter effect.
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Paint Christmas the stars, trees, snow balls – just let your child’s imagination take over. The paint can be used for all occasions and events in our pre-school.
The painting of fir cones and leaves using glitter glue
Utilizing natural materials can be fun and will have the added bonus of helping the children understand nature. They will be able to recognize various types of trees. You’ll need:
Collection of different types of fir cones, leaves, and other leaves.
Have children mix glitter with the transparent glue. Paint the leaves, or colour the leaves and fir cones. String the leaves together with the string, and make a leaf bunting.
Scooping with glitter pebbles
This game helps youngsters to improve their hand-eye coordination. It is necessary to:
Two same size bowls.
Sand made of gold or silver (or pebbles)
Set the sand into one bowl. The child is required to transfer the sand, by using the spoon, to another bowl. This activity helps a child to concentrate and be focused through the transfer of the shiny sand from one bowl to the next bowl. Children will benefit with improved eye coordination and focus, and will increase the strength of the thumb, finger and wrist muscles.
Within a dish, blend sand and glitter. The kids can use their hands to form shapes and eventually to form numerals and letters. Use paint brushes and forks and even rakes, in order to form shapes.
Playdough that is glittered with playdough is my absolute favorite activity for children of all ages. Rolling, moulding cutting, sculpting squeeze, beating, pressing and even tasting playdough help in making the finger muscles strong.
Add glitter to add another dimension to the play. If you have a theme ongoing at pre-school then make playdough of different colors and glitter, for instance the different colours of playdough used in our subject on ‘food health and nutrition’. The kids made a range of vegetables and fruits from playdough.
We made use of black playdough for our subject on’space as well as planets’. The kids enjoyed playing with the silvery black glittery playdough to create meteor stars and rocks. Also, provide children with shiny beads, silver and gold papers.
These activities are fun play activities , but they have a direct effect on developing perception, control and sensory experiences. There are many other activities that offer similar opportunities.
I use theses calming bottles whenever I have an over-excited and over-stimulated child who needs to calm down. These bright and glittery bottles can be very relaxing and are great for helping children move from self-regulation to co-regulation, for example in the event that a child becomes upset for any reason and does not want to be comforted and would like to be left alone.
These bottles are great for calming. Set the bottle right in front of the child where he/she can observe. These bottles help to bring the child’s attention to one spot, especially in situations where the child is feeling like nobody can help.
The child can shake the bottle upside down and immediately focus on the glitter swirling and it will settle down. It can have a calm, tranquil effect on the brain. The child is calm and isn’t focusing on kicking or pushing. The child’s breathing will slow down , and then will return to an appropriate pace.
These bottles are great to serve as “time-out” bottles, when a child is struggling to settle down and relax for a several minutes. You can give them an empty bottle, and invite them to relax and watch for a while until glitter has been absorbed by the bottom. It takes about 10 to fifteen minutes for glitter to settle down. Most importantly, children love watching this. I create this bottle with pre-schoolers. You will require:
Small empty plastic water bottle.
A 1/4 cup container of glue clear.
Choose the glitter you like.
Hot glue gun.
A large mixing dish.
Then, place the clear glue into the mixing container. Then, add fluid to cover the bottles to its neck (taking into consideration the safety of the children). You can now add the glitter you like.
Mix all the ingredients Make sure that the glue and glitter is well mixed and all glitter lumps have broken up, until it is smooth and there aren’t any lumps left. When the liquid is room temperature, fill it up until it fills the neck of the plastic bottle.
The final (adult) step is to secure the lid using the use of a hot glue gun to ensure that the children will not be in a position to open the bottle.
Here, I’d like talk about edible glitter. It is easy and inexpensive to make, and the children will have a lot of fun while doing it. When I first announced to my preschoolers that we would be using to make ‘eating glitter’ they were quite awed. They wanted to know whether they could eat glitter. I saidyes, absolutely, when we decorate our Christmas biscuits or cupcakes, you will be able to taste the glitter. It is possible to make these in advance and store your food in an airtight bottle. The edible glitter can be used for any occasion like birthday parties Halloween, Easter, Halloween or Christmas, for any baking or cooking.
I love doing these types of games with my children. I want them to realize that you do not have to purchase everything from shops. There are things that could be created by us. These kinds of activities give youngsters the opportunity to work in group members, to master the basics of math, and to develop language skills and new vocabulary. They can teach children social skills which include working as a group, sharing and caring and waiting for their turn and much more. It also gives them the satisfaction of seeing an amazing end product.
Making glitter sugar sparkles
Things you will need:
One cup of sugar granulated.
One teaspoon of food color of your preferred colour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. The colour and sugar into the mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Spread them out thinly the baking tray. Then, bake it for 10 minutes or until the sugar is shiny. Once the sugar is cool mix it up and store it in an airtight container. You can use it anytime you want to decorate biscuits or cakes and other things.
Edible salt glitter
It’s easy and cheap It is possible to add shimmer salt into playdough or your own paint. You will need:
One cup sea salt (or cooking salt).
Two teaspoons or less of your preferred food colouring (depending on the strength you wish the color to appear (light or darker).
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put salt and the colour in the mixing bowl . then mix. After mixing, you can spread the salt thinly on to the oven tray and then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. When the salt has cooled Mix it once more and store it in an airtight container.
Making use of natural materials and mixing them with colour, glitter and glue is extremely enjoyable for both adults and children. It’s very economical and some of the supplies are in your garden and at your home. If you do not have a backyard then you can use the public parks and woodlands. They’re full of natural resources, which are free, and the children can take advantage of these little excursions.
At our pre-school, after Easter, we usually spend time in the park. The children are taken in by families and the teachers are there to meet them. We have our normal kindergarten days in this natural setting. They love spending time in the park. We collect all kinds of objects, including leaves, twigs as well as fir cones, acorns, and more, and return them in the classroom.
Sand can be very relaxing for children, and adding glitter provides a sensory benefit and entices children who are shy and supports their social skills. Being creative enhances their skills in fine motor skills and the development of their language. It helps children to integrate in the group.
All of the above activities aid children’s imagination, and they are taught to work with materials that are readily available to them. The main factor in this is the fact that the children are engaging their senses. They are using their eyes, hearing and smell or touching and tasting, as well as developing fine motor kinaesthetic abilities.
You are encouraging children to participate in activities which will boost their self-esteem and confidence in areas which are appreciated by us all. This can increase their motivation, and enthusiasm to learn, and lay the foundations for the next stage of their education, and beyond.
Sand is extremely therapeutic for children and adding glitter is a bonus sensory as it entices shy children and enhances their social abilities.
Creativity boosts their abilities to develop fine motor skills and language development. It helps children to integrate into the group.
Glitter is required to be accessible throughout your early years setting