Here at our house, we still have our arts and crafts on. Last week, Caitlyn got to try out watercolor paints for the first time. She had a little trouble with the order - water...paint...paper...water...paint...paper...and consequently had some vibrantly colored water and some very wet, not very colored paper, but she loved it anyway. She now asks to paint almost every day. I really need to get some watercolor paper for her, because I'm still looking for my regular brushes and those teeny tiny little brushes that come with the paint sets will rip through a piece of regular paper in no time flat.
Yesterday, we made homemade playdough! That's a brand new thing for Caitlyn - she's had bread dough to play with before, but never really figured out what to do with it, other than copying whatever I was doing. But yesterday I was able to show her a few things. We used a recipe from First Art, roughly equivalent to the "Nature's Playdough" recipe found here (I used food coloring but I like their ideas for natural dye!). Caitlyn loved dumping the ingredients in the pan (helping me cook is one of her favorite activities), and then went off to play while I cooked it. We made two batches, one green, and one blue, and cooking it took roughly 20 minutes from start to kneading. It smelled pretty bad, so I kneaded in some lavender essential oil, which helped some. Then we let it cool off for half an hour or so.
They were, in a word. vibrant. I didn't measure the food coloring - I just dumped. Wowza!
I gave her just a few tools to start out with - a rolling pin (aka a leftover piece of dowel from one of her daddy's projects), my garlic press, and a little spoon/knife combination (got it free when I bought kiwis one time - it's a nifty little tool). She pretty much just stabbed it with the knife, until I showed her how to make "hair" with the garlic press. Then it was on!
She happily made blue-green hair for about 45 minutes, which is something just short of a miracle for my busy girl. The only other thing that holds her attention that long is the WonderPets...
I have a hunch this will become a regular plaything in my kitchen. And I am perfectly fine with that! Safe, fun, and easily replaced once it dries out.
My next acquisition will be a few yards of PUL to use as a drop cloth/table cover for messier projects, and I'm also on the hunt for a local source of powdered tempera paint. I have a couple of art supply stores to call today.