First of all, one of the rules I have learned to accept once I became a mom was that a dirty kid is a happy kid. This one took me a while. I wanted clothes to stay white, I wanted hair to stay brushed, and I wanted hands to stay clean. I guess I realized very soon after Kalynn started crawling that maybe I was this way because things were just easier for me. Honestly, I just had to let it go. Messy kids are happy kids. I quit being lazy and just accepted that I may have extra messes to pick up, paint to scrub off, dirt to vacuum but it's because I'm letting her be a kid.
That being said, some of these are messy crafts. Not hire-a-maid-service dirty but they are a little messy. So there is your warning.
Ok so this first one isn't messy, and it's kind of odd, and we do it even if it's not raining. I'm actually not sure how fun it is to anyone other than my strangely easily amused kid. But every morning when the sun hits our front door peep hole, a circle rainbow will appear on the opposite wall. This makes Kalynn wildly excited. Wildly excited. I lift her up, and she will spend about 10 minutes putting her finger in the hole and watching the spot appear and disappear. She thinks this is just the bees knees for whatever reason and she squeals with delight and happiness. It is seriously one of the strangest things I have ever seen.
She has the same kind of reaction when I stand her on the kitchen counter and let her push the microwave buttons...
The second is something I did pretty consistently as a kid which was play with play dough. This is actually the same recipe my mom used. I always think it's way more fun to help make it rather than go choose a tub on the shelf.
3 cups flour
1.5 cups salt
6 tablespoons cream of tartar
3 tablespoons oil
3 cups water
It pretty much looks like a big wet mess after you mix the ingredients together, but after the heat hits it for a few minutes (cook on medium) it starts to stiffen and you can form it into a ball. A brilliant friend of mine also suggested adding in some Kool-aid for great color and smell (which just about made my head spin around in excitement because it was such a genius idea...) Then throw in some cookie cutters to make it extra fun!
Activity number 3 was painting some rocks we had found the day before. Although hers turned out much more of the abstract variety and mine the R2D2/Yoda variety, we both had a good time.
My other suggestions are pretty much always on standby at our house. Stickers, stickers, stickers! It doesn't even matter what kind they are. I find the 39 cent clearance stickers that say "mail room" on them are just as effective and fun as the $4.99 Disney Princess stickers. She really could care less what is on them. I found a small blank spiral journal at Michaels the other day in the $1 bin and she will sit and fill the pages until every last sticker has been placed.
Good luck, warriors!
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