Q-tip painting with templates (free printable)

Q-tip painting with templates


Kids dip Q-Tips into paint and press into a circle on paper- one dot per circle. This activity slows movements patterns because requires focus to dot inside of each circle. This activity is a great activity for working on distal control. You can also address appropriate grasp patterns and force modulation (the harder you press the more the paint will spread outside the circles). The kids loved having a choice between pictures and enjoyed making their very own castles!




Areas Addressed:

  • Distal control
  • Fine motor
  • grasp
  • force modulation

Silky and stretchy play dough using 2 ingredients

Silky and stretchy play dough using 2 ingredients


To make this silky and stretchy play dough you will need

  • 1 cup conditioner (cheaper the better)
  • 2  cups cornflour/cornstarch (or 2 ¼ cups)
  • Glitter (optional)

Yep, that’s it!
Obviously cornflour can vary from country to country. If you find your dough crumbly then add a teaspoon more conditioner. If it’s too damp, add a teaspoon more cornflour. You may need to tweak the recipe slightly.


Storing play dough
This lovely play dough can be kept for a number of weeks/months, depending on how well it is stored. I recommend, like with any play dough, wrap it very tightly with a few layers of cling wrap and store it in an air-tight container out of direct light.


For something a little more interesting you might like to add coloured glitter to your child’s play dough experience.


Some common recipes can make quite stiff play dough, however, this is lovely and soft, leaving a gorgeous fragrance from the conditioner.

DIY Math Machine (Input/Output Addition) Math Manipulative

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I am a huge believer in hands-on learning.  Students are able to become active participants in their own learning through using manipulatives.  They are able to learn by physically handling and manipulating objects to explore a concept.
I love using manipulatives with math concepts.  It really transforms the math concepts into concrete learning experiences.  Young children and kinesthetic learners really benefit from interacting with a concept and bringing it to life.

I tried to recreate this amazing addition machine and came up with two different options.

In the first, I used an icing container as the base.  I used the same PVC drains that I already had in my bag of tricks.

 Wash and peel off the label.

 Trace the drain’s opening on the top of the icing container and cut it out with an X-acto knife.

Cut the hole a little small, so that the top will sit snugly against the drain.  Then, hot glue the icing top to the drain.

If you choose, decorate your addition machine.  I used Washi tape.  You have a quick and easy addition machine.  Kids put the manipulatives in and take off the top to see the sum.

I loved the way the first addition machine turned out; however, I really wanted a see-through container for the bottom.  I wanted kids to be able to watch the manipulatives fall through to create a new “whole”.

 I chose to use a peanut butter jar, but it could be done with any see through plastic container.  Another option is to use a mayonnaise jar.  This will eliminate the allergens from peanuts.
Both the peanut and mayo jars have thicker plastic lids.  I was not able to cut this lid as easily as the icing lid.  I used the same X-acto knife to start the hole and then moved to an old kitchen knife.  The circle was not neat.  It came out raggedy and larger than the PVC drain.
To correct this problem, I hot glued the lid to the drain.  Then, I cut out a circular piece of foam to line the inside of the lid.  This helps to cover the raggedy cut and to guide manipulatives back through the hole.  I hot glued the foam to the inside of the lid.   Your addition machine is complete!  It is a very quick project to make.
 My kids and I explored many different types of manipulatives to use with this particular version of the machine.  We found that small pompoms seem to work the best.  To help test it out, I gave two different children some pompoms.  Below, each child has 2.  Each child pours their pompoms into “their” side of the drain.

 Most of the time, the pompoms fall right through.  If they get stuck, just give the machine a little shake.
We recorded the amount of pompoms, on each side, in an addition equation.  After sending them all through, we counted the pompoms present in the bottom of the addition machine.

The kids were fascinated by the addition machine.  My 4 year old daughter continued playing with the machine for days after we played it together.  She loved putting the different amounts in each side of the drain and finding the total at the bottom of the machine.  She is exploring the concept of  addition through play.

 The beauty of the new machine, is that you can flip it over and decompose numbers.  I chose two children to help make the machine spit out a number into two different parts.  Each child was responsible for one side of the drain.  They held their hands underneath the spout, while I gently shook the machine to get the pompoms out.
 I chose pompoms, because they seemed to fall out of the machine the best.  Here the kids are each holding their part of the whole.
 We were able to work with lots of different numbers.  It was fun to watch the whole number break apart in different ways.  The addition machine offers a great visual and kinesthetic experience with decomposing numbers.

We recorded the different equations as we decomposed each number.  It was a lot of fun!

Thanks so much for joining me!  I hope that you found these ideas useful and that they help inspire your kids to love math.


Free MindWare Art – Coloring & Connect the Dots


Face Coloring Page – Free Mindware Coloring Page 91004-3

Free sample of our Extreme Dot to Dot U.S. History book: 62011

Travel the USA right from the comfort of your own home with our Color Counts Travel the USA book. Here’s a free sample page from the book so you can get a little taste of what this awesome book is like: 62004

Go WILD with this free printable from our Hidden Predators Coloring Book: 50003

Here’s a free Extreme Dot to Dot printable from our Christmas Traditions book: 62010-2

Happy Halloween! Connect the dots to reveal a SPOOKY image from Extreme Dot to Dots: Legends & Lore 2: 54003

Modern Patterns: Botanical coloring book: f3f14adf1f735e3ee67d50c1564fe611

MindWare’s Extreme Dot to Dot Animals 2 book: 157dae880f39f26c4a562b3a5525f342

Think spring! Follow the color guide to reveal a scene from one of our favorite warm-weather activities:


Extreme Dot to Dot: Around the USA:


Blank Puzzle


Blank Puzzle: I use a similar copy to have kids identify their coping skills. I talk to them about how treatment and coping skills combine to make a complete puzzle. It is not just doing one thing that is going to make a difference. This is a great activity to do as a group, especially for those that think “all they need is the right med.” It highlights personal responsibility and overall good self-care.