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?