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!