Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fun With Cloud Dough to "Fill up my kids' tanks"

Even though I wrote a book on keeping kids busy, sometimes I just plain forget that kids are not like dogs.  They cannot just find ways to amuse themselves while I'm busy running the house.  I mean really, why can't they just go lay down on the floor while I clean the toilets?    

Let me back up.  I am used to going to work at 8:30, so even though I'm not officially working, I find that my body still wants to get to work right at 8:30.  The first few days of my new life, I still got to work at 8:30, but this time it was cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, making grocery lists, etc.  Life.  I thought the kids would just play while I worked.  Boy was I wrong.  By 11:00 that morning they were fighting, whining, and I was screaming.  

So, I took a step back and remembered that the key to kids is spending that quality time with them, especially first thing in the morning so they get their "tanks full" and then they will do a better job of keeping each other busy. 

The third morning I was home I introduced a new project to them right after breakfast: cloud dough.  If you've never done this with your kids, it's a must!  Admittedly, it's super messy, but I put towels on the floor to contain the mess and it wasn't too bad at all to clean up.  The kids adored the fluffy sensation of the dough and came up with all sorts of ways to play with it including smashing trucks into it, hiding beads in it, and making pretend food out of it.

Just mix 1/4 cup baby oil with 2 cups flour (or any derivation of 1 to 8 ratio).  I put this mixture into our trusty foil tins and this kept the kids busy for 47 minutes.  After they got bored, they went upstairs to play house and left me alone. :-)   Everyone wins.

For more ideas on keeping kids busy, check out my book, which I co-wrote with a wonderful former Kindergarten teacher, Susan Case. The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn

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