One of the best features of our new house is the large, open island counter. There’s plenty of space for chairs to be pulled up all around it for the boys to stand on, and ample room for projects and supplies to be spread out. We’ve obviously used it a lot for baking (so much nicer than my old tiny kitchen for rolling out pizza crust!), but I’ve also been trying to use it for crafts and other messy or artistic activities.
I decided to try out an unattributed edible finger paint recipe I found on Pinterest which was basically cornstarch, sugar, and water cooked together. The boys were just as excited about making the paint as they were about actually painting – they helped me measure the ingredients, and then helped me decide which colors to mix up in each of our little bowls.
The paint had a gloppy, jelly-like consistency – I would hesitate to call it paint, and I wouldn’t recommend the recipe. It was fun to squeeze and mush around, though!
The boys experimented with the paint for a little while on paper, but their main goal was to paint themselves:
Rondel painted himself to look like a bear and even gave me a roar for good measure!
And of course, since it was edible, we let Aubade join in when she woke up from her nap, to her great delight:
An additional benefit of the whole exercise (besides the creative fun and sensory play) was that the boys agreed to have a peaceful bath afterwards and didn’t even complain about having their hair washed!
One thing I have noticed about the boys with these kinds of projects is that Limerick gets very focused on the process, carefully and meticulously repeating the same motions until he can perform then to his satisfaction; he has a definite goal in mind and won’t easily be distracted until he’s accomplished it. Rondel, on the other hand, is far more exploratory with the medium at first (that was his hand in the bowl of yellow paint above, and he in general loves the tactile sensations of these types of activities once he gets past any anxieties) but seems less self-directed than Limerick. If he has a goal, he doesn’t always remember it or stay focused on it long enough to make much headway towards it. And yet he still seems interested and engaged with the activity, so that’s good. I guess it is just two different ways of approaching the world!