You (being the real and honorary auntie of many a lucky child and wise sage of parenting for your new-parent friends) should appreciate this short little series of posts.
Truth: Other than fluffy fresh snow, cozy snowdays, and hearty soups, winter sucks. Especially with a curious toddler with nowhere else to explore or no other challenge to tackle besides to see what floats best in the dogs’ water bowls. Ugh. Luckily winter is over in two (2) more days (not that I’m counting) and its warming up nicely here in DC, thank goodness. But one can never have enough indoor play ideas, right? So here it goes – Indoor Diversions.
Part 1: Finger Paint! What kid doesn’t like fingerpainting – a license to mush your hands into colorful goop and smear? Huge hit here with toddler and tween alike. Its messy. It should be.
First you need paint. I suppose you could buy it, but where’s the fun in that when you can make it quickly, easily, and super cheaply at home. My favorite recipe (below) has only ingredients you probably already have in the pantry, is non-toxic and edible (but probably gross), and makes for a lovely-textured paint. I store the leftovers uncolored in the fridge for quick prep next time.
Then you need a setup. Butcher paper or a paper roll works well. You can roll it out across the table and use masking tape to secure it so there’s no slipping and sliding (or tossing). For the paint, I use a mini muffin tin. A couple of tablespoons of paint mixture, a few drops of food coloring (creating your own color palette), and mix.
Finally, there’s some cleanup. Ha! I’ve got nothing other than timing…this activity should usually precede bath time.
-Finger Paint –
2 cups of All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons of Salt
1 tablespoon of Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup of Coconut or Canola Oil
About 4 cups of Water
Wisk all of this up in a medium saucepot until smooth. It should be pretty thin and soupy. Place the pot over medium heat and still constantly until you feel the mixture thickening, then turn down the heat to low and continue stirring until you have a glossy paste. This whole process should take about 5 minutes. Let it cool and then color with a (preferably plant-based) food coloring to create a custom color palette.