During the process of deciding whether to be a stay at home mum we went to look at a very lovely nursery, and while it was supposed to help me feel confident about going back to work, all it really did was make me think that I should be trying to do more things with Monkey.
I want to get creative with some of the things I do with him so again I turned to my trusty friend Google and started looking at other blogs with ideas for things to do. I particularly wanted to know more about finger painting and find a recipe I could make at home easily that would be ok if Monkey ate it. He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth so being edible was a key feature for me. I found the lovely blog of Rainy Day Mum and her recipe for finger paints, which can be found here.
Now as Monkey is only 9 months old I know that he would be unlikely to actually paint anything but I thought it could be a sensory experience for him, and if food or water spills on his highchair try he loves swirling around so I thought the same could possibly happen with paints.
To make it a bit more fun I decided to invite a friend over with her little girl who is nearly 2 – I thought then that if Monkey hates it at least someone will enjoy my efforts! I also had a day where I had to stay home to wait for a delivery of a lovely new dresser for the dining room so thought it would be the perfect opportunity. Hubby and I tidied up the conservatory (which has mainly been used as a junk room since we moved in 10 months ago) heated it up and designated it a messy play area, with a really old rug on the floor and an old table.
I made the paints with the following ingredients:
1 cup Corn Flour (Corn Starch)
1 cup Cold Water
3 cups Boiling Water
Liquid Food Colouring.
Mixing the corn flour with cold water first then gradually adding and mixing the boiling water before putting the mix into a pan to heat gently. (More details here) It starts off almost milky in consistency then as it heats up gets quite gelatinous until it is thick and gloopy. As per Rainy Day Mum’s instructions I then emptied it into some baby food jars and mixed the colours. you really don’t need a lot of food colouring to get bright colours (although as you can see the green food colouring I used was a bit of a swamp green!)
I did this a few days before the painting and I’m not sure if I made a mistake in making it (which is why I have no given detailed instructions – don’t want anyone else to get it wrong and repeat any of my mistakes) but it was very solid, I guess like the consistency of jelly after a few days in the jar…. maybe it just needed some more vigorous stirring but who knows. With two little ones chomping at the bit we just wanted to get them started, and it still kinda worked!
Monkey basically looked at the paints and prodded them slightly with a very cute but disgusted impression, then began begging to be let out of his highchair. My friends little girl didn’t want to use them as finger paints but was very happy to paint with them using the brush I was trying to stir the paints with. We decided to try monkey with a brush to see if that would help him, but that just went into his mouth and I thought as that was definitely not edible, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
So monkey came out of his chair and after a bit of a cuddle (he is still very clingy at the mo) he was quite happy sat on the floor playing with some paper – basically just waving it around in the air. Simple things eh? My friend’s little girl however had a whale of a time and produced some wonderful artwork :).
Although the paints were not the consistency I thought they would be it was definitely worth a try and not a total wash out – will definitely try again when he is a little bit older. For now I’ll just let him swirl water and food around on his tray.. and occasionally give him a piece of paper to wave around!