Continuing our preschool readiness series! My main concern, as you might know by now, is emotional readiness rather than skill-based. I want my son to be comfortable away from me and in a new environment for 2 hours. I’m sure this sounds terrible but I want for him to thrive, make friends, enjoy his time; I’m so petrified that he will be too quiet (if that’s even possible), have a negative experience, feel insecure or inadequate. I don’t intend for these feelings and concerns to put pressure on him and I want him to know that it’s ok for him to be nervous or scared, but I don’t ever want those feelings to get in the way of his success or his happiness. Now that I’ve gotten the emotional part out of the way…on to the fun stuff!
I may be slightly obsessed with all things sensory-based; that said, it’s my go-to method of introducing concepts or calming nerves. As a mom with my Masters in Psychology, I often go back to one of my classes on Play Therapy at NYU. I usually first remember the irony of how nervous I was doing a presentation on the importance of dramatic play to work though anxiety and feelings. Once I get past reliving my own anxiety, I remember how powerful this tool is and know that I always have it in my back pocket. I decided to take our play into the bathtub! My kids were (always are) filthy so it actually killed to birds with one stone. I love to make bath paints to incorporate into our sensory tubs, which I LOVE to do as a way to celebrate holidays…get ready for an onslaught of Halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas-themed baths!
So I’ll first explain the bath paint before moving into the parts our sensory bath.
2-Ingredient Bath Paint:
This is seriously SO simple and a great way to switch up the normal bathtime routine! I like to use a muffin tin (this one has obviously been used in a few baths as it’s a bit rusted, but clean I promise) because it houses the paints so nicely. I like to just add a bit of shaving cream to each section, then mix in some food coloring. Give the kids a couple of different sized paintbrushes and that’s it! Ava (14 months) absolutely loves this! And she can make a big mess, it comes right off with water.
So I set the bath up by painting a very mediocre school-themed mural on the wall. I added a school bus, a house, Mack’s school and some playground equipment. I also put some little props like measuring cups for ‘science’ and some figurines; a mommy, a daughter and a friend.
We practiced the daughter saying goodbye to her mommy and going to school with her friend while the mommy went back home. The more we go over this little routine through play, the better Mack seems to do with it.
Then he did ‘art-time’ at school and added some items to the wall.
Like I said, Ava loves using bath paint, and at this rate she will be more than ready when preschool rolls around for her 🙂
And don’t worry, this will wash right off of your walls I promise! Just to it before it dries for best results 🙂
Click here to see our school-themed sensory bin!