As a multi-faceted and stimulating source of sensory stimulation glitter is very relaxing that is why glitter should be part of the core of arts and crafts activities and available at all times in your space.
Have you ever witnessed children having fun and playing with glitter? They are so absorbed by it. Their eyes sparkle as they are mesmerised by the sparkling glitter They are enthralled and thrilled to see how their excitement turns into creativity.
Glitter does not only give enjoyment to children, but can also help to calm down an upset or stressed child, when there is nothing else to work. Working in the early years for 20 years, I have learnt that glitter is a must-have item for art and craft, and as part of the sensory play.
In this article I will discuss the fun of playing with glitter and how it can aid in whole-person development. Glitter play not only supports the development of children in a holistic way, but is also a useful element of sensory play and offers an array of games activities and opportunities for learning.
Glitter play can open up a variety of different sensory options in a child’s play, just as when the child is playing with water. Children like to experiment and are very focused while pouring, filtration or passing water through various sized tubes and bottles, experimenting with floating, sinking and so on. Like playing with sand, the glitter play provides a variety of therapeutic experiences, it assists in concentration, increases fine motor skills, and also contributes to the acquisition of language and social abilities.
I incorporate glitter into all my art and craft sessions and it’s always there for the children to use at any time in our preschool. Children are always attracted by glitter. Even when they are babies they are captivated and are attracted to shimmery or shiny materials or toys.
As children grow up their interests expand and they must experiment. Using glitter gives children numerous opportunities to try new things. It helps them develop social, intellectual, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Here are a few examples:
Mark creating for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
Give them activities to do, for example, creating art using glitter. This type of activity will improve the strength of fingers, hands and wrists. Children should be able move their fingers without assistance, and to make use of a pincer grip (the pincer grip utilizes the thumb and finger). The following step is to strengthen the wrists and thumbs. Then they must learn how to rest their wrists on the table and be in a position to move their hands without restriction.
Here are couple of activities that supports mark making. I’ve chosen a few games which are enjoyable and have a direct effect on the ability to process and interpret information based on the senses, and control.
Homemade glitter paint
These glitter paints are great for our young pre-schoolers than regular paint. Here’s a recipe for homemade glitter paint. You’ll require:
1 cup of flour.
Half cup to 1/4 cup water.
1 cup salt.
Food colours of your choice.
Blend all ingredients together in the large bowl, excluding the colors. Put the mix into the squeeze bottles. Now add a different colour to each bottle and shake the mixture thoroughly. After it’s all blended, allow the children to spread it on the paper. After the paint has dried it is the salt present in the paint will give an effect of glitter.
Paint Christmas trees, stars, or snow balls – just let your imaginations of the kids run. This paint is used to mark all occasions and events in our pre-school.
Making fir cones and leaves with glitter glue
Natural materials are fun to work with and has the added bonus of helping the children to learn about the natural world. They will begin to recognize different types of trees. You’ll require:
Collection of different types of leaves and fir cones.
Paint for posters.
Have children mix glitter with the clear glue. Then have them paint on the leaves or color the leaves and fir cones. String the leaves together with the string, and make a leaf bunting.
Glitter pebbles spooning activity
This activity can help young children to focus on your hand-eye coordination. This activity requires:
Two identical size bowls.
Sand made of gold or silver (or pebbles)
The sand should be placed in one bowl. The child is required to transfer the sand using a spoon, into the bowl opposite. This activity helps a child to focus and concentrate by transferring the bright sand from one bowl to another bowl. Children will benefit from better eye coordination and focus and improve the thumb, finger and wrists muscles.
On a plate, stir together sand and glitter. The children can use their fingers to form shapes , and then to make letters and numbers. Paint brushes are provided, as well as forks and rakes to make shapes.
Playdough with glitter is my favourite activity for preschoolers everywhere. Making, rolling, sculpting, cutting, squeeze, beating, pressing and even tasting playdough is a great way in making the finger muscles robust.
Adding glitter gives another dimension to the play. If you have a theme that is ongoing in the pre-school, then you can make playdough of different colors and glitter – for example, the colourful different types of playdough that we used for our lesson on food and nutritional value’. The children created a variety of fruits and vegetables using playdough.
Playdough with black colour was used for our lesson on’space and the planets’. Children loved playing with the black silvery glittery playdough to make meteor rocks and stars. Also, give them shiny beads, and silver and gold-colored paper.
These activities are fun play activities but have a direct effect on developing perception, control and sensory experiences. There are many other activities which offer similar experiences.
I use theses calming bottles in the case of an over-excited angry, stressed, or unhappy child who needs to calm down. These bright and glittery snow globe type bottles can be very relaxing and are a nice tool for helping children make the shift from self-regulation to co-regulation – for example in the event that a child becomes unhappy for any reason and doesn’t want to be soothed and wants to be left alone.
These bottles are great for calming. Place the bottle in front of the child in a place where they can observe. The bottles help keep the child’s attention to one location, especially when the child feels like no one is there to help.
Children can turn the shaker upside down and automatically focus on the swirling glitter before it will settle down. It has a calm, soothing effect on the brain. The child is calming down and isn’t focusing on pushing or kicking. The breathing of the child will settle to a normal level and eventually will reach a normal pace.
These bottles can serve as ‘time out’ bottles when a child is struggling to settle down and remain quiet for a some time. You can give them the bottle and invite them to relax and look at it until all the sparkle has settled down at the bottom. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes before the sparkle can completely settle down. The kids love watching this. I create this bottle with pre-schoolers. You’ll require:
Small plastic empty water bottle.
A 1/4 cup container of glue clear.
Choose the glitter you like.
Hot glue gun.
Mixing bowl large.
First, you need to put the clear glue in the mixing bowl. Then, add enough drinking water that it fills the bottle up to its neck (taking into account the safety of children). Then, add the glitter you like.
Mix all the ingredients together Be sure that the glitter and glue has mixed well and that all glitter lumps are broken up, until your mixture has a nice smooth consistency and has no lumps left. When the liquid is room temperature, add it to the neck of a plastic bottle.
The final (adult) step is to secure the lid using a hot glue gun so that children will not be not able to access the bottle.
Here, I’d like discuss edible glitter. It’s easy and affordable to make, and kids will have a lot of fun while doing it. When I first announced to my young children that we were planning to make “eating glitter” they were very surprised. They asked me whether they could eat glitter. I saidyes, absolutely when the Christmas cookie is decorated or cupcakes, you will be able to enjoy the taste of the shimmer. Make these ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. The edible glitter can be used in all occasions, like birthday parties, Halloween, Easter or Christmas, and for all your baking and cooking.
I love doing these types of activities with the children. I want them to realize that you don’t need to buy everything from the shops. There are many things that can be created by us. These kinds of activities give youngsters the opportunity to work as an entire group, to understand the basics of maths, as well as enhance their language skills as well as learn new vocabulary. It offers children social skills like working in a team, sharing and caring, waiting their turn, and many more. It also gives them the satisfaction of seeing an exciting end product.
Making glitter sugar sparkles
Things you’ll need
One cup of sugar in granulated form.
One teaspoon of food colour of your preferred colour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. The colour and sugar in the mixing bowl . Then mix them all together. Then spread them evenly on the baking tray. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the sugar is shiny. When the sugar has cooled mix it up and put it into an airtight container. You can use it anytime you want to decorate cakes, biscuits and other things.
Get in touch with our team when looking for a glitter store.
Edible salt glitter
Cheap and easy to make, you can add this sparkle salt in playdough or your own paint. You will need:
One cup sea salt (or cooking salt).
One or two teaspoons of food colouring you prefer (depending on how strong you’d like the color to look (light or dark).
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put salt and the colour into the mixing bowl and then mix. After mixing, you can spread the salt thinly on to the oven tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. When the salt has cooled then mix it up again and store in an airtight container.
Making use of natural materials and mixing the natural materials with glitter, colour and glue can be very satisfying for both children and adults. It is very cost effective and many of the items are in your garden or at home. If you do not have a yard for your back and you don’t have a private garden, then consider using forests and parks that are public. They are full of natural resources, which are free, and the children can gain a lot from these short trips.
In our pre-school, just after Easter, we typically spend one day at the park. Children are taken in by parents . Then their teachers greet them at the park. We go through our regular kindergarten day in this natural setting. They love spending time at the park. We collect all sorts of things, such as twigs, nuts, leaves and fir cones, acorns and much more. Then, we return them in the classroom.
Using sand is very therapeutic for children, and adding glitter provides a sensory benefit that entices kids who are shy, and helps to improve their social competences. Being creative enhances their skills in fine motor skills as well as the development of their language. It aids children in their integration into the larger group.
The above activities support children’s imagination and they learn how to use materials that are readily available to them. The main reason behind those activities is children are using their senses. They use their hearing, vision as well as smelling or touching and tasting, as well as making use of fine motor kinaesthetics.
Your children are being encouraged to take part in activities that improve their self-esteem, and sense of competence in the areas that are valued by everyone. This will increase their motivation, and enthusiasm for learning, while laying the groundwork for the next stage of their education, and beyond.
Sand is a great therapy for children. The addition of glitter adds a sensory bonus and also helps children who are shy , and enhances their social abilities.
Creativity boosts their abilities in fine motor skills as well as the development of their language. It aids children in their integration within the group.
Glitter should be on hand throughout your first years of setting