A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting the lack of craft and cooking activities in my toddler’s life.
Well I am pleased to announce that I am a changed woman! All thanks to some super suggestions from lovely bloggers. You can read my original post and the replies to it here.
We haven’t tried everything yet and not everything we did try went to plan. I think there’s some way to go before I’ll be instagramming any gorgeous homemade craft projects or beautifully decorated baked goods BUT the revolution has started.
We gathered up all sorts of things to press into the Playdoh and LJ took particular satisfaction from the big ‘PUSH’ needed to make shapes with the biscuit cutters. He loves numbers so I think a few more number cutters would really keep his interest.
For now though, he’s still not super keen on the feel of Playdoh. That’s ok, he’ll come round and anyway Playdoh = Playdoh balls. Playdoh balls that can be launched at speed across the kitchen.
Oh and Playdoh milkshake. My little tip…one pot of Playdoh, one metal key. Stick metal key in Playdoh pot and voila! Pretend Milkshake.
(Ok I’m not really advising anyone do this. I’m sure the key thing doesn’t pass any sort of health and safety regulations.)
We have lots of paper, paper I can do. I can safely say that LJ is OBSESSED. I cannot stop the boy from drawing. For the sake of our fair forests I won’t be buying any more special paper and we are now working through a ginormous box of donated scrap paper.
Moving on from basic drawing I pulled out the ‘leaf under the paper’ trick. As the leaf emerged, LJ declared it magic…this was going well!
He then decided that the leaf needed to be returned to the tree. He was really very insistent. And so I opened the window and he threw the leaf out towards the tree. Uh oh. It was the end of the world that the ‘leaf gone, leaf all gone’. Bit of a Catch 22 that.
I think I’ll come back to magic leaves. Maybe in winter when the offending trees won’t need their leaves back.
LJ will sticker anything that doesn’t move, and some things that do, so encouraging a bit more focus to this hobby was of great appeal to me. He has loved stickering all sorts of pre-cut shapes and we are now the proud owners of a beautifully decorated craft box complete with tractors, chicks, stars and lorries.
Some people suggested shiny things, soft wiggly things, cotton wool balls, paints and other ‘pro’ craft materials. I raided the recycling bin and produced a kitchen towel tube.
Let the advanced crafts begin…
The tube went from this:
I’m sure I’m stating the obvious when I tell you it’s a Caterpillar. The Very Hungry one if you’re in any doubt.
LJ likes to ‘help’ me cook in that he gets a pan, a whisk and his wooden veggies and he makes ‘soup’.
But once the rolling pin had been rescued from LJ’s toy box and with the help of this recipe for Pretty Vanilla Biscuits from Claire at Art and Soul I actually properly cooked with a toddler.
Actually it was absolutely wonderful, I loved helping LJ experience something new that he clearly enjoyed so much.
It was impromptu though, so some sacrifices were necessary. Our biscuits were not pretty and they weren’t actually vanilla.
I can’t be sure what flavour they were. The vanilla essence expired in 2008 so I dispatched with that and substituted with a little bit of cocoa powder and milk. They were still very tasty but I didn’t use enough cocoa powder to make them chocolate flavoured, just brown.
I also have a motley selection of cutters… a number three, a heart and a shoe to be precise. We used the three and the heart and I took requests (for triangles mostly).
Finally the icing: What can I say? We had tears. LJ was not happy that the lovely biscuits were being defaced. Looking at the finished result, I think he had a point:
Stick with the original recipe if you can.
So what next? Well watch this space, I’m anticipating a phonecall from both Blue Peter and The Great British Bake Off in the next few days.
But for now THANK YOU lovely blogging friends, we’ve had fun here. And my kitchen floor has the colour spots to prove it!