Say what? An actual post on the blog?! Bust out the fancy china, because this must be a special occasion!
Specifically, what I want to do today is tell you about an awesome Etsy shop that I am partnering with, and the product that will give your toddler or preschooler (actually, even my eight-year-old loves it) hours and hours of cheap and easy entertainment. Ladies and gents, I introduce you to...The Gooshy Table.
Michigan teacher-turned-SAHM, Michelle Malosh, knew how important it was for her little girls to engage in sensory play. Sensory play allows children to make sense of the world by using tools that allow them to use, well, (I know I’m being a bit redundant here) their senses. Think hands-on play. Kinesthetic learning. Sand tables, water tables, play-dough, finding hidden treasures in rice, and practicing your letters on a palette of shaving cream smeared on a desk. All of that--and more--is sensory play, and educational research shows time and time again how valuable this is for young children.
"Wouldn’t it be great," she thought, "to find something versatile that could be used inside or outside, and that wouldn’t take up a ridiculous amount of space like the major sensory/activity tables on the market?" Not finding anything to fit her expectations, she thought outside the box, literally. In the spirit of clever mom-hacks plus good old fashioned entrepreneurial spirit, she invented The Gooshy Table (named so because her daughter’s uncle decided that everything they played with in the sensory table felt pretty “gooshy”). Genius! I am so excited to partner with her Etsy business, TeacherTurnedMom, and share with you 4 reasons why you and your children will love this thing!
1. All-Season Play
We live in Michigan, where it is bone chilling cold for several months out of the year, and as much as I love sending my kids outside to play, I simply can’t always do that in the winter time. Having a sensory table in the house gives you a great way to beat the cabin fever because there are so many different ways to use it (see #3), so it’s a new experience every time. I also can’t wait until the weather gets warmer, for many reasons, but for one-I know the kids will be so excited to use this outside as a water table, or throw in some bubble solution along with some bubble wands from the dollar store. I’ll set it up on the back deck and let them go to town!
2. Space-Saving (Can I get an AMEN?!)
One of my favorite things about the Gooshy Table is that it can be completely broken down in minutes, and then all of the parts and pieces fit in the clear plastic bin that is at the center of the product! So you can let your kids go wild with bubbles or colored rice or play doh or whatever else the heck you want, and then if you go on a mad cleaning frenzy or are having people come over and you want to declutter, you just break it down. Store the bin up on a shelf or under a bed, and you are done. You can reassemble it again at any time in just a few minutes. So simple. Lord knows us mamas need more simplicity in our lives!
3. Endless Options
So far, we’ve use the Gooshy Table to experiment with ice cubes, wash dishes, make a car wash for the Hot Wheels collection, write our ABCs with our fingers in a tray of rice, play with Magic Beadz (which are AMAZING!), and to create a safe space to practice our pouring skills. TeacherTurnedMom also sells themed accessory kits separately, with themes like gardening, dinosaurs, and a few others. There’s just no wrong way to use it (as you will find out if you do a Google or Pinterest search for simple sensory play ideas), which is nice for the kids and for the parents!
4. Support a Mompreneur
I know your toddler or preschooler won’t care about this one, but it’s something that gives me the warm and fuzzies. I think it’s amazing that we live in an age where it’s more possible than ever to create, invent, market, sell, etc. your own products from the comfort of your own home. When you shop from a small business, whether a brick and mortar mom and pop store, or an Etsy seller, you know exactly where your money is going, and I feel that it’s worth paying a few dollars more for something that directly supports a small business owner and their family.
There you have it--an all-season, versatile, brain-boosting, space-friendly item for your little lady or gentleman. Ooh...and P.S. I forgot to mention the BEST thing of all! If you fill it with warm water and dish soap, you can actually trick your kids into thinking that it’s FUN to do the dishes!
***insert evil laughter here**