I am the exact opposite of a Pinterest Mom. In fact, I think a visit to Pinterest gave me hives once. Frankly, I don’t enjoy being crafty so having young children can cause some serious conflict when they lose interest in their pre-packaged toys and activities and expect my creativity to entertain them.
My oldest daughter had been begging me, for DAYS, to make her some slime. I’ve never made slime. I don’t know how she even knows what slime is!! I diverted, re-directed and avoided as much as possible. The day she gave me the ingredient list and told me exactly what to do (I still have no idea where she learned all this), I relented. I pulled from the deepest, darkest corners of my tired mommy brain a few classic ideas making me a virtual super hero in the eyes of my kids. These ideas are easy, cheap and use a main ingredient you probably have in your kitchen cabinet: CORNSTARCH.
Ingredients: Cornstarch/Water/Water-Based Paint (optional)/Mixing Spoon
We did this when it was cold out, so I simply placed the ingredients into a large glass mixing bowl and set it inside the kitchen sink.
- Add a good amount of cornstarch to the bowl and if you want, add a glob of paint.
- Start adding water slowly. Using the spoon, mix the ingredients…this should be a bit difficult! You’ll get a liquid at the top and something solid feeling at the bottom.
- At this point, back away and let the kids go to town.
My oldest spent a solid hour playing with this stuff and the clean up was super easy since it was contained in the kitchen sink. And I may have played with the slime too. DISCLAIMER: For clean-up, throw away in the garbage or be sure to dilutewith plenty of water before putting it down the sink.
Ingredients: Cornstarch/Water/Food Coloring (optional)/Plastic Bowls/Paint Brushes
My kids love sidewalk chalk, but that can get boring day after day. A few summers ago I discovered sidewalk paint, which is a simple mixture of cornstarch and water. For kids, there seems to be something extra magical about painting, and this is a great option when the kids are bored with the normal outside activities.
- Gather some plastic bowls/cups/whatever you’re comfortable with your kids taking outside.
- Add a small amount of cornstarch to each cup.
- If desired, add different food coloring drops to the cups. DISCLAIMER: The food coloring could stain your sidewalk so use caution here.
- Start adding water to each cup and mix. You’ll want a fairly watery solution that the kids can use a paint brush with.
- Give your kids some paint brushes and find a comfy chair where you can observe. They’ll have a blast.
You could wash away their masterpieces with a garden hose, but around here we generally let the rain handle that. You might have seen this on Pinterest with lovely colors in a shiny, clean muffin tin but honestly, my kids are satisfied with white “paint” in a Dixie cup…so there ya go. And my muffin tins aren’t that clean.
I love toys and projects that encourage my children to play independently. It is something our home has struggled with from day 1. Cornstarch has been a fun and versatile ingredient we have added to our playtime. It allows me to interact and teach them as we make our mixtures, but then they can play independently. It’s a win-win!
Ignore the potential mess and ENJOY!!!
What is a household ingredient you have enjoyed adding to playtime?
Great ideas! I have been known to just let mine paint with water on the concrete. So boring.