Crafty Craze

I’ll admit at times I struggle to successfully entertain Miss Two without reverting to ABC Kids or Mary Poppins, especially since the arrival of the new baby and the hours spent sitting on the couch feeding her.  Thankfully the baby is very placid and easy going and is now used to having her meal delayed, or worse yet being interrupted mid-feed, while I deal with some sort of toddler drama.

Until now the idea of doing craft projects with Miss Two has seemed like far too much hard work for very little reward.  I would spend ages figuring out what to do, gathering the equipment, setting it up and getting her started only to have her tell me she’s finished minutes later.  So really the only thing we would do was drawing, either on paper or the black/whiteboard.  That was easy, relatively clean and could be left ready for her to return to later without taking up half the lounge room.

Lately however, she has become more interested in crafty activities and seems to have the attention span necessary to make them worthwhile.  Her favourite task is pasting for which vast quantities of clag (now there’s a smell you never forget) are required.  In order to meet her increasing need for items to paste I’ve started collecting cards, junk mail, newspapers and magazines, cutting out any interesting pictures and recycling the rest.  It doesn’t seem to matter what she pastes, it’s the process that she enjoys.

Yesterday I decided to get even more adventurous and pulled out a set of finger paints I had bought ages ago.  Unfortunately two of the four little pots had gone hard and the other two were decidedly dodgy.  So in a fit of enthusiasm I set Miss Two up playing with the dodgy paints and googled a recipe for homemade fingure paints.  I had seen one a while ago and there were plenty of sites all with very similar recipes – though some a little more complex than this one.

Basically it consists of roughly one third corn flour to two thirds water (though I think I added quite a bit more water to thin it out a bit more), put in a saucepan and heat up, stirring, until it thickens and becomes smooth.  Then divide into jars or containers, add food colouring and voila.

This provided nearly two hours of entertainment and the rest went in the fridge for another day – perfect.

Though I did learn a couple of things to remember for next time:
1) Don’t use a jar that tapers at the bottom (the red bottle) as you can’t mix the colouring into the whole mixture
2) Go easy on the blue colouring unless your keen on having a toddler with permanently blue hands
3) Avoid dressing your toddler in a long sleeved WHITE skivvy when using finger painting.

I can’t say the end result was much of a masterpiece, everything was pretty much a murky brown/green colour by the time she had finished, but it was loads of fun.

So for those of you who have or have had young ones at home, what are your fail safe ways to entertain them?

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4 Responses to Crafty Craze

  1. Colleen says:

    Thanks for visiting my cooking blog 🙂
    I remember trying to keep my little ones entertained,,,,,some days it felt like the day rolled on forever with never ending “what will we do now” questions lol. Mine all loved the fingerpainting, the homemade playdough, making mud pies, hopscotch, painting the house (outside) with a paint brush and bucket of water, umm there was heaps of other things, I will have to put my thinking cap on. Entertaining kids is fun but hard at times isn’t it!!

    • Hi Colleen, I’m sure you must be an expert at entertaining littlies. We do playdough here as well and there was plenty of playing in the mud this weekend. She a little young for hopscotch, but does take to the concrete with chalk. I love the painting the house idea, will pull that one out when it’s a little warmer.

      Any other ideas that come to mind along the way would be more than welcome.

  2. Suzanne says:

    That paint sounds great, I will give it a go…I had been getting $1.00 sets of five paints from the cheap shop, but little m goes throught all five pots in one sitting….playdough is a great thing for two year olds, make your own and put it in the fridge and it will keep for a while, though we tend to put buttons, glitter, feathers (coloured ones from craft shop) pop sticks and anything else in ours so I tend to make a new batch fairly often…and it dosnt matter about the mess, as it dries and sweeps up okay….painting outside is fun too now the sun is shining a bit more, a paint brush and a bucket of water, yes, water………..that way your daughter can paint anything and everything while you get to garden!!!! pop bubby in the bouncer and put her outside to watch you too!!!!!

  3. Another with the painting with water, I remember doing this as a kid myself so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. If it lets me get going in the garden as well that would be great and I’m sure the baby would love to be out with us too. She’s happy as long as she can watch Miss Two – they have a mutual adoration society going on.

    I make my own playdough too, but haven’t been able to get cream of tartar at the supermarket the last two times I’ve been – think I’ll have to try another one – so it’s been a while for that one. I love the use of glitter, feathers etc.

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