December 29, 2009

Making Art and Preparing for the New Year

It's freezing here in Pennsylvania, so we're keeping busy indoors. For me, it's been taking down the decorations and organizing, which is a bit early for me (usually I wait until New Year's Day) but I'm just eager to clear out the clutter and dust and move on to the new year. But for SoJo, he spent some time tapping into his creative side.
Naturally as a former art teacher, I had to get him some finger paints, brushes and crayons for Christmas. So we broke them out today and S loved it.You can't tell from his expression (he looks so serious!) but he really enjoyed playing with the paints.I encourage any of you with toddlers to get some fingerpaints for them. Don't expect anything "artistic", but rather let them experiment with the materials. At this age, kids are exploring textures and colors rather than making marks on a page to represent something. Though it is messy, it's definitely a great thing to expose kids to at an early age. I ended up laying down newsprint and taping it to the table so S couldn't get paint on anything but the paper (and himself).
I also made a batch of homemade play dough. Mr. Geek says the photos look like ground beef. I assure you, we don't let our son play with raw meat.
It really makes a big quantity, at least a pint--more than a typical jar of PlayDoh.

You don't need any fancy tools for playing either, as you can see, our little butcher sawing up the meat, er, dough.
This is another great activity that allows your child to explore textures and develop fine motor skills.The recipe is very easy, and uses items that are mostly in your pantry.

Natural Play Dough
~1 cup flour
~1/2 cup salt
~1/2 cup water
~!/2 cup beet juice (or spinach or carrot, depending on the desired color). If you prefer uncolored, just use water instead. You could even add a packet of Kool Aid to the water.
~2 tablespoons oil
~2 tablespoons cream of tartar

Mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water and beet juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the playdough with your hands until of proper consistency. Store in a sealed container. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm keeping mine in the fridge to prolong its use.

I'm off to do some more cleaning and organizing in preparation for a new beginning in 2010. Have a very Happy New Year, if I neglect posting until after!

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the play dough recipe!
    I use to teach pre-school and it is amazing how much I have forgotten:)
    Finger paint is the best......I usually end up doing it:)

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  2. Oh how fun!!
    It definitely looks like the little guy brought out his inner artist :)
    I'm so going to have to try to make my own playdoh-That would be an amazing gift to give next year!!

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  3. bob thought it was meat, too.... eeek!

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  4. Hey, I'm in Wisconsin and it's COLD here too so we have to spend most of our time indoors. My little one is 16 months and these are perfect activities for him! Thanks for reminding me of them!

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  5. Can't wait to try this recipe. Happy New Year!

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  6. He looks like such a serious little artist! I love it!

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  7. I think finger paints are one of the best ways for a child so young to discover the joy of colors. And it's fun! Soon your refrigerator will be covered with artwork!

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  8. Fun activities! You always have great things to do.

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  9. I cannot get over how big Soren is getting! I adore his artwork. I framed certain pictures my boys made throughout the years. I do miss my refrigertor being covered in art.

    Your play dough is packaged so beautifully!

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  10. Ah,yes, it IS freezing here in good ole Pa. I am very grateful to be a SAHM this winter and not having to drag my babies out in the cold, blustery air each day.

    Anyhoo...fingerpainting is such a good idea! Why haven't I ever thought of it? Oh...because I'm not at all artistic and I have a pretend case of OCD that makes my left eye twitch a little to think of my four year old with finger paint anywhere in my house.

    Must get over that.

    Must get fingerpaint.

    But no raw meat...I gotta draw the line somewhere! :)

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  11. Ah,yes, it IS freezing here in good ole Pa. I am very grateful to be a SAHM this winter and not having to drag my babies out in the cold, blustery air each day.

    Anyhoo...fingerpainting is such a good idea! Why haven't I ever thought of it? Oh...because I'm not at all artistic and I have a pretend case of OCD that makes my left eye twitch a little to think of my four year old with finger paint anywhere in my house.

    Must get over that.

    Must get fingerpaint.

    But no raw meat...I gotta draw the line somewhere! :)

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  12. Your little one is SUCH a cutie! As a former Kindergarten teacher myself, I completely agree with your love of art supplies...I can't wait until my 9 month old is old enough to enjoy them!
    Seeing your playdough packaged so nicely gives me the idea of using them for gifts! How cute would a gift of 5 or so different colors/scents be??

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  13. I am teaching 3 year olds now and I had to write stuff on the mid-year reports such as "is beginning to assign meaning to her mark-making".

    But some of the kids just BAM overnight they go from scribbles to very definite representational drawings. It is pretty amazing!

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  14. Oh this looks neat and my kids love playdoh, I gotta try this

    http://couponmommyof2.blogspot.com/

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  15. That does look like a lot of fun! I was stopping over to link up giveaways. Are you still posting on Saturday?

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  16. DS1 does all that fun stuff in school...but you both make it look so fun to do at home! He's still on break so I think I'll take your advice and try fingerpaints and/or play dough this week!

    Thanks for the recipe and happy new year!

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