Apparently I am a glutton for punishment who enjoys wasting time planning fun activities, only to have them rejected by my little tyrant and end up spending more time cleaning up after said activities than it takes for him to get bored with them. But every once in a while I find one that is not a total flop, leaving me feeling like a super mom. In the last few days I have experienced both total failures and relative successes.
It’s quite cold here in Missouri this time of year, so I am experimenting with some indoor activities to mix things up a little. For now I am repurposing the table, in which I usually store blocks that he does nothing but chew on and throw at me, for some indoor messy play. You can use any container, and for goodness sakes if the weather is nice do this outside where you can just hose everything off, or even do them in the bathtub.
Experiment 1: Shaving Cream Play
Fill your container with foam shaving cream, add in utensils, cars, plastic dinosaurs, or whatever your kiddo is into and just let them do their thing. If your kid eats everything still you can do this with whipped cream but I recommend making your own and skipping the sugar. Lesson learned! Turns out my 18 month old was NOT READY for this, as after two minutes he decided to run around the house fingerprinting everything with the shaving cream. FAIL!
Experiment 2: Bubble Water Play
After cleaning up the shaving cream fiasco, I decided to keep the same idea with a different medium. I went with bubble water. I didn’t want a huge mess to clean up with this so I used cars only (no pouring and spilling everywhere) and only added about an inch of water into the table. I used a lidded pitcher with dish soap and just a bit of water and shook it up to get lots of bubbles with minimal water. He played for at least a half hour with minimal mess and the next day wanted it again. SUCCESS!
Experiment 3: Oobleck Play
Oobleck is a simple combination of cornstarch and water, food coloring optional but I would skip that for the younger tots. This stuff is amazing for kids of all ages, parents included. You mix cold water into the cornstarch until this magical thing happens, it appears to both be in a liquid and solid state at once. I just dropped some science on you, you’re welcome! Add some cooking utensils and you’re all set. Another solid (and liquid) half hour of entertainment. The clean up on this will take a little more effort, especially if you get so caught up in playing yourself that you don’t realize your little angel had been wiping his blue starchy hands on the ottoman. SUCCESS WITH SOME MESS!