Yep, thanks to Pinterest, Momma found new ways to spend nap time preparing ways to learn with The Sheriff (and give him something to do while I take care of necessities like cooking and showering.) So far this is what we've come up with.
First, head to your local Target's dollar section to pick up some of these Halloween colored fuzzy craft balls. (Ok, get them anywhere, but I was at Target and they were a dollar. Couldn't resist.)
Then grab an old container, cut holes in the top, and work on some fine motor skills, colors, textures, and sizes. My inspiration:
And this is how it works:
This second one hasn't totally caught on yet in terms of simply sitting at the table and playing with. I understand this; there are balls around to be thrown and chased, but hidden in W's cabinet for him to find while I cook has proven to be a bit effective.
This one was inspired here:
Meet your cast of characters.
Sugar, corn starch, food coloring, and water. Not pictured: ziploc bags, duct tape.
Then you get to mixing:
Over medium heat, combine the cornstarch, sugar, and water in a saucepan, stirring continuously. It took about 5-7 minutes.
Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove the pan from the heat and stir for another minute or so until it thickens to a pudding like consistency. Let it cool for 30 minutes.
Spoon into different bowls to add food coloring
Then you can combine colors in bags for mixing/playing.
Then duct tape the edges. I'm guessing you don't want this stuff all over your house.
And here we are "squishing" it together. I think he's a little young to get into how "cool" it is to mix red and blue and make purple.
Like I said, he doesn't like just sitting at the table and playing with it for a while but will pull it out of the cabinet and play a bit while I am busy. The hubs thinks this is the weirdest bag o'stuff ever. Whatever works. It will be fun when he's old enough to mix it and make it with me I think as well.
We've also been doing lots of finger painting. Post coming soon with other tried out toddler crafties.