Judah is 21 months and he is in to everything! He keeps me busy and his attention span is short! He has toys and books and he will gladly build towers out of blocks, color in his coloring books, and sit and listen to me read his picture books. But, it seems like we go from activity to activity all day long. I get bored with doing the same things all the time and its hard to think of something to do with him that will hold his attention for a longer span of time.
One thing we like to do together that takes a larger chunk of time is baking. He loves to help me! But, some days I don’t feel like making a big ‘ol mess in the kitchen. So, I tried to think of some kind of craft that would be age appropriate. Painting seems risky. I can’t wait to finger paint (and he has with pudding) but finger paints aren’t really appropriate yet. I decided to try playdough. I wasn’t so sure he wouldn’t try to eat it, but I decided to make my own, out of kitchen materials. That way, if he did decide to take a nibble, it wouldn’t taste good, but it wouldn’t hurt him either!
I found this very simple recipe and decided to add a little more cake icing food coloring (the paste kind) to brighten the color. We used orange Koolaid which gave it an orange color and an orange scent. The scent is lovely and has lasted (and is still going strong) after several weeks of play.
Judah loves it! He hasn’t tried to taste it at all. He does pretend to eat it when we make imaginary food with it! He’s really funny! We also roll it out (he has his own little rolling pin) and use cookie cutters to make shapes in it. The first few days we played with it, I played with him and monitored him closely with it. Now, I get him all set up at the kitchen counter in the Learning Tower and I go wash breakfast or lunch dishes. It keeps him occupied for a while and I can get something done!
:: Homemade Playdough
1 cup flour
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
a dab of food coloring* (optional)
Mix flour, salt,and Kool-Aid® in a medium pot. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes (it didn’t take that long when I did it). When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove. Knead until smooth. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.