When my amiga, Amy, told me about this activity, I knew that Sofía and I HAD to try it immediately and share it with todos! From start to finish, this activity was so much fun and filled with sorpresas for both mamá and hija.
After hiding some of Sofía’s little toys inside some globos (balloons), I filled them with water and froze them. Then she went to work pounding and hammering the frozen globos until she excavated the sorpresas free from the ice. This wasn’t an easy task by any means; the frozen globos are slippery and spurt out with each impact. How do you hold on to ice and blast it with a mallet at the same time? Perseverance! It was a pleasantly surprising teachable moment that metamorphosed from a simple toddler sensory activity. Sofía had become frustrated and complained that she couldn’t continue because the sorpresas wouldn’t come free with only one hit of the mallet. When I realized what was transpiring, I had to put the camera down and coax her. ¡El Que Persevera Alcanza! (If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again!) It really ended up being a beautiful opportunity to teach these concepts at a level understandable to a toddler.
Before you delve into your own Frozen Globo Sensory Activity, I have a few suggestions. In spite of the fact that this activity uses water inside globos, I recommend using 12 inch globos and not actual water globos which are much, much smaller. The globos, by the way, will come off the mound of ice almost immediately upon impact so there is no need to remove them beforehand.
Choose your toy sorpresas carefully. I chose random, small, plastic and rubber toys that I thought could resist the temperature change and endure the imminent pounding of the mallet.
Once you have decided on your toys, carefully stretch the neck of the globo around the entire object until it is FULLY encased in the well of the globo. It smarts the fingers un poquito but I found that if I stopped for a breather before the toy reached the well, I couldn’t get the toy to move again without tearing the globo. Then connect your globo to the faucet and fill to your desired level. Por favor, note that the object inside the globo combined with the water will cause a geyser-spray all over your kitchen, dry dishes, clothes, camera…..if you don’t secure the globo by the NECK when removing it!
My last two recommendations have to do with the fine art of pounding the ice. You may notice that there are two different hammering devices in the photos. I strongly suggest using a rubber mallet instead of any other type of hammer. You will also notice that Sofía is NOT wearing safety goggles. This was an oversight on my part-don’t let your child be subjected to bad parenting like mine was! Just look at that ice flying everywhere close to her ojitos!
I think that there are many variations of this activity that would make the Frozen Globo Sensory Activity acceptable for all ages. For younger children, I would make the globos smaller, only partially freeze them and place them all in a tub so that the youngsters can really explore more with their hands. For older children, I would definitely tie this activity into a science theme of dinosaurios, fossils and paleontology. Or you could be just like me and run out and try the Frozen Globo Sensory Activity without any prior planning because it looks like something really fun to do on a hot summer day! Whatever you decide to do, remember to take the opportunity to converse about it in self and parallel talk; creating a language-rich environment for your youngster. Seize the opportunity to expand on new vocabulary, ask questions, and narrate your actions and thoughts whether it is in English, Español or Spanglish!