Today HRH Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday & we wish her a wonderful day. To celebrate her special day we'd thought we'd help her sort her royal treasures. Sadly we're a little lacking in the precious jewels at our house so we created some beautiful shiny jewels with the help of some water beads.
After soaking the beads in water for nine hours they were ready for us to use. I found an old jewellery box (that we picked up from a charity shop) & filled it with the water beads ready for Minnie to find. Alongside the box of jewels I placed glass containers, spoons of various sizes, a white dish & large box, which would display the colours of the beads clearly.
To say my daughter was excited would be an understatement! She was shrieking with delight when I explained that the Queen had left her jewels for her to explore! Almost immediately she was scooping them into the largest container with the biggest spoon available!
She soon discovered just how bouncy & how quickly these colourful balls roll! She took great care moving them from container to container, demonstrating her hand eye co-ordination & patience too!
The colours in the sunshine were just gorgeous!
Once all the 'jewels' were added to the larger container Minnie spent ages rolling her hands around in them & pouring them over her fingers. She clearly loved this sensory experience, & watching the beads as they gently bounced around the box.
She was keen to sort the beads & collected the nearby containers (& more) before colour sorting the jewels. We found the larger containers were better for this as they prevented the beads from bouncing & flying over the sides.
Once she had colour sorted the jewels she poured them into smaller dishes. This gave us a great opportunity to compare quantities, size, colour, shade, & predict which dish contained more/less jewels. It was also a neat way to introduce the names of real gemstones.
After the jewels were sorted the Queen popped by just to check on her collection!
She was especially pleased to discover all her diamonds!
After the Queen's visit Minnie was keen to mix the jewels again, & poured each coloured set into a larger bowl before mixing with a spoon.
The jewels were then poured once more into smaller dishes, one for each of her toys!
She has recently sorted the jewels again, & made a birthday dinner with them for the Queen! We've just added the beads to our water tray along with more water, as she is very keen to keep the water beads just as they are "forever!"
If you fancy sorting the Queen's jewels but don't have any water beads, how about using buttons, beads, small stones, or shells. Great for encouraging fine motor skills, co-ordination, as well as exploring colour, number, size, & imagination!