Keeping our children occupied during these long unprecedented days at home calls for out-of- the-box ideas and creativity using things found lying around the house. Presenting the idea of making a Sensory Citrus Necklace, which is fun for the kids and provides all kinds of learning opportunities like developing fine motor skills by threading, rolling beads and painting. Not only does it look good it also smells great.
Becoming a mom comes with many challenges! Particularly keeping the family healthy and preventing them from getting sick, especially during winter, although inevitably it will happen as this is also part of life and growing up. However, when one family member gets sick it seems to do its rounds in the whole family making it difficult to function and perform everyday tasks.
So, what better way than to dose the family up with healthy foods and vitamins to boost their immune systems. Fast forward to 2020 and we are stuck in the Covid-19 global pandemic and getting sick becomes even scarier and harder to manage than ever before.
So up goes the dose of healthy foods and vitamins and if the family does get sick with “normal” flu (as many people do) we might be able to reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms of the illness, even if it is just for one less day because let’s face it that one day makes a big difference when you are not feeling so great.
Oranges, in general, help you stay hydrated and are a great source of Vitamin C, folate, or folic acid. I have found that by adding citrus to our diet and pairing it with iron rich foods like leafy greens, fish, poultry, and meat it maximises their nutritional benefits. I also discovered that organic citrus peels are a woefully underused part of the fruit that are completely edible and delicious if cooked properly. Did you know that a citrus scent can also lift your mood or reduce stress and anxiety?
I am not going to bore you any longer with our eating habits and the benefits of oranges, instead I am excited to share an idea that came to me while I was busy preparing a juicy snack for my husband and daughters.
What you will need to make a Sensory Citrus Necklace:
- Orange/ Lime
- String/ Wool
- Beads (bought or homemade) *see recipe bellow
Begin by cutting your orange/ lime into ¼ slices and laying them out to dry.
I decided to speed up the process by baking the slices in the oven for a few hours until they were crisp dry, you will not want any moisture remaining at all since they might develop rot and mould over time, be sure to check on the slices during the baking process as they could burn or alternatively use a food dryer if you have one.
You can then start assembling your necklace.
Use your wool/string and cut double the desired length of your necklace.
Then use your needle to make a hole (if there is not one already) in the centre of the orange/ lime slices and thread it onto the necklace.
Once the orange/ lime slices are dried properly, these should last you for years if they are stored in a dry place.
Thread on some colourful beads knotting them in between to add effect.
Viola your Sensory Citrus necklace is complete 😊
To expand the sensory, creative, and educational benefits you can make your own beads by following the easy steps below:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 ½ cups cold water
- Skewer or long thin object
Step 1: mix the flour and salt
Step 2: add water and mix well
Step 3: kneed the mixture till it feels flexible
Step 4: shape the beads
Step 5: make holes in the beads with skewer or long thin object
Step 6: bake beads at 120℃ for 2-3 hours
Step 7: remove from oven and allow to cool
Step 8: paint beads and allow to dry thoroughly
Step 9 (optional): paint with clear nail polish for a beautiful shiny finish
Contributed by Jessica Stafford of Clamber Club Sports Kempton Park