Sensory Squirrel’s Soup

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Squirrel is a tough word to get your mouth around when you’ve not been on the planet all that long. Squirrel has been known as Squirrel since his 12 week scan, when in a fit of hysterical happiness, I noted through sobs that his little handy nubs were twitching, and exclaimed “hes like a little squirrel!!” and the rest is history. Hes known for a good while that he IS Squirrel, and that is his nickname, which he also responds to, and that there are also small critters that we occasionally point out to him on walks, or on TV shows, and there is a difference. However, it is only this week, despite us having both of these toy squirrels since the beginning of the year, that he has tried saying Squirrel, and the result is, adorably, “sig-aw”.

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Anyway, today, we decided, that seeing as its so wet outside, we fancied a water sensory activity. I had spotted a few pinecone water play pins on Pinterest, but I wanted to give it a big shot of imaginative play, since the Squirrels are so in favour at the moment with our Autumn unit. So after toddler group and a nap, I sat him in front of some BBC squirrel documentary clips to get the juices flowing while I went and got the activity prepared.

IMG_1530editThe ‘ingredients’ for Squirrel’s Soup.
Pinecones
Pop Corn
Conkers

Mixed Seeds
Walnuts
Saltanas
Water infused with crushed whole spices

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I filled a jug with the spices (we used crushed cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg for that rich, earthy, autumnal smell) and we all had a good sniff. Squirrel loves sniffing. There was lots of sniffing throughout this activity. 10 points to mama for that alone, thank you very much.

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I filled the water table while Squirrel ran at the laid out ingredients like a crazed beast. Gracious me, this kid loves activities. Within seconds, the conkers and popcorn were dumped right into the water. I grabbed the rest out of the way so we could savour a little more focus in the delivery of them once he got the zoomies out of his system.

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Scoopyscoopy with the conkers with this little tablespoon measure. It took a few goes, but he got the hand of keeping the spoon upright so the contents didn’t fall out – a knack he seems to have lost since favouring his fork for stabbing at food at meal times.

IMG_1601editPine cones mostly went in by hand, but he used the tongs to spread them across both sides of the table.

IMG_1639editThey also got stuck on the whisk when he was swishing! Fascinating! Worthy of a few interested squeaks of a “well if you lookit that” kind of nature.

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Splendid pouring and stirring, occasionally at the same time. Occasionally less splendid, and more splashy.

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We poured the spice water mixture together, first I poured a little in, then he dumped in the rest. Then we both tucked out heads down and sniffed heavily at the water for a while! The soup and the whole kitchen smelled wonderful!

IMG_1618editI handed Squirrel the mixed seed, wondering if he might play with it for a little, and after a nanosecond of consideration, it was tossed into the now empty of pine cones barrel, where he stirred it around for a while before using the measuring spoon to scoop at it and pour into the water.

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Next up, the sultanas. He scooped a few at a time from the pot right from my hand to the soup mixture.

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The walnuts got a somewhat less precise dumping into it.

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Soup-er! Ha! See what I did th-… oh fine.

IMG_1621editOne hard working little chef.

IMG_1603editNow, somewhere along the line, I can only assume that either he missunderstood that the soup was FOR the Squirrels, rather than OF the squirrels, or the Squirrels showed interest in alternative spa treatments…

IMG_1629editEither way, they’re going to smell delightful for a long time now.

IMG_1631edit“Oh…”
Yep, sugar. They’re a bit wet now, aren’t they, but don’t they smell good?!
“Sig-aw… cuggawl.”
Err…

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Wet squirrels, not quite what he expected from that sweet gesture.

IMG_1641Bless. Ah well.

IMG_1637editSquirrel soup, gets everywhere, smells fantastic, and kept my little cherub happy and very excited and curious for all kinds of fine motor and sensory play for well over half an hour, and he even enjoyed serving the soup bowled up to daddy.

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This post is for Unit 2, Autumn & Harvest.

No squirrels were harmed in the process of this activity.
(They are drying nicely on the window sill!)

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