Almost 13 months ago Husband and I became first time parents to an incredibly active little man. I’m talking the moment his eyes open in the morning he is ready for the day. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. It is nonstop…until nap time. He recharges during nap time and is ready to go until our bedtime routine. After a bit of tossing and turning in his crib and a few mumbles to himself, he is out for the night.
During the school year he spends his days with Auntie Danielle, Auntie Hilary, and a slew of kiddos that make it their mission that he is entertained and always has a toy. Well, it’s summer…and both mom and dad are school teachers, so trips to Auntie’s house to visit with the daycare kids are few and far between. While we are so very thankful for the time we get to spend with him and see him grow, we still find ourselves running around like crazy people. Husband is also a football coach and doing something football related 6 out of the 7 days this summer (plus completing his final year of grad school, working on PD for his district, taking care of the outside of the home…shall I go on?), and I am a building coach for our school’s Positive Behavior Support Team and have had a number of meetings throughout the summer. We have been able to see him reach some awesome milestones while we have been home and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Just this week he started walking. I know, look out…right??!! Not having a small human being constantly in his face has allowed him to really develop his play this summer. Trucks are the current favorite and nothing can top driving the trucks while attempting to crawl over the family pup – Cooper. He’s a champ though, lays there and takes it.
To buy myself some time the other evening, so I could put away 2 and 1/2 weeks worth of groceries, I put him in his highchair to watch me…with a spoon and a bowl full of his favorite: Greek yogurt. He needed a snack, I needed to get a boatload of groceries put away…and I convinced myself he would be working on his self-feeding skills with a utensil. Remember: Type A personality here. Well, the first bites were AWESOME. So great. I mean…so clean and just – fabulous. And then…I looked away. When I looked back – well let’s just say a bath was a must and the next day I still found dried streaks of Greek yogurt on his body. How? I do not know. But, what I do know is that he LOVED it. Which lead me to this great sensory play that would assist with a number of “things”:
1. He would be able to work on his dexterity
2. His “time on task” skill would be given an opportunity to grow (teacher talk, sorry)
3. He would be entertained
4. We could spend time together and create precious memories
5. If he ate it – it was ok. 🙂
This little trick is truly a great opportunity for sensory play and is completely safe if it is consumed. Because, let’s be honest – toddlers put everything in their mouths. I mean everything. The recipe is simple, it is inexpensive (my total cost: $3.81), prep is over in a snap, and wonderful memories are created. Clean up…well that will require a bath, and maybe some soap and water. 🙂
To create this you will need: plain yogurt, Kool-aid packets, small containers and paper. That’s it. And let me put your mind at ease – it is not sticky. Sugar is not in Kool-aid until it is added. The packets are just flavoring and color. So, as long as you use plain yogurt…no stickiness to speak of.
You will need to spoon out smaller amounts of the yogurt into dishes so the Kool-Aid can be added. I selected 5 colors for our adventure. Once the smaller dishes have yogurt, sprinkle 1/2 of the packet into the containers. Give each a stir (rinsing off the spoon each time as to not mix the colors), and you are ready to paint/play. (I stored the leftover Kool-aid packets in a ziplock bag for future painting play times.)
I had the little one paint outside. It was a glorious evening and I knew it would help with the clean up. Here was his “studio” setup…
I decided to dump out some of the “paint” and put the rest up…until he requested “more”.
It didn’t take long…and baby Picasso was creating…
This is the final piece. There are a few footprints in this as well. Remember how he started walking this week? Well, he thought walking
or attempting to was appropriate. I scooped him up quickly. A new walker+ a wet paint-like substance + concrete = very uneasy/dangerous situation.
We had a great time. The little one was engaged for quite some time, and is always a fan of anything that requires he gets a bath afterwards. Husband helped with this endeavor, which turned out to be a great time as our small family of 3.
I do have to say, I did not keep the artwork. I envisioned mold overtaking this fine piece. So, I opted to snap a picture to save the little’s “first piece of art”. It just seems healthier that way. This idea is very versatile. It can be used in the home, in a daycare center, church, a school…you name it. If you are concerned about allergies, you could opt for yogurt made with rice, soy, or the Silk brand has their own nondairy option.
Next week I tackle our living room and toy storage “issues”. Let’s just say…I have a small house and there are so. many. toys. I think I have come up with a great plan that not only is on the cheap, but will also look good with our decor…all the while concealing the tot’s toys when they are not in use. Be sure to check it out!!
Until then…happy memory making!