Sunday, February 13, 2011

Arts & crafts

Ben and I did a few arts and crafts today. There are so many cute ideas on the web but Ben's attention span and tolerance for limits has been pretty short this weekend, so I picked a couple of really simple things. The easiest Valentine's Day craft that I could think of was the construction paper heart person we probably did for 5 years running as a kid. I cut out all of the shapes and Ben was excited to use the tape to stick them together. He probably would've been even more excited had we just let him pull out the whole spool of tape and play with it by itself. He also found the scrap of paper from which I'd cut the hands, and decided it needed to be taped on as extra decoration. I drew on the eyes & mouth but he picked the colors. It's hanging on his door now, just high enough so he couldn't pull it down!

I was also excited to try this neat idea for coloring sugar cookies seen at the wonderful Artful Parent blog.  She cut the cookie dough into heart shapes before painting, but a) I didn't feel like messing up measuring cups and bowls to make homemade dough and b) Ben would not have tolerated having to hear the dough being mixed, then get to help roll it out and cut shapes, then freeze it for a little while (helps make it firm enough to paint), then paint & bake. So we took a shortcut and sliced store-bought refrigerated cookie dough. I diluted gel food coloring (liquid would probably work too) and we painted the cookies with Q-Tips. Ben liked poking the Q-Tip through the cookie dough and making holes. He also decided he liked painting the cookies, then squishing or pulling them apart.

I was too busy running interference while painting to get pictures, but here is him saying "cheese" as he squishes the dough:

I used some melamine-ish bowls for the "paint" and a cutting board for Ben to keep the cookies on.

Our finished cookies were a little overdone, but still good. We each had an initial cookie & I managed to squeeze Ben's name onto one! We also used a mini heart cookie cutter to make hearts in the middle of others.

The cookies got Ben's stamp of approval!


Sarah said...

It seems like the hardest part of any toddler craft is tolerating letting them explore and make messes instead of making something beautiful. Good job! It delights me to see you budgeting the time an patience to let him mangle cookie dough. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Em said...

Thanks, Sarah, but I will confess I did get a little more product-focused than process-focused at one point - my brain was going, "Wait, that's a potential COOKIE and you're squishing it up so much we won't be able to salvage it from your greasy (though freshly-washed) little fingers!" But I let him squish it around for quite a while before he ate a gob (then looked at me and said, "No eat!") and I took the last remaining crumbs away!