Zach has been rather stubborn lately and does not want to be “taught”. Anytime I attempt to talk with him about what he is doing, or start a project, I am met with a refusal to continue to participate. This does not bode well for mommy blogging! I mean, doesn’t this 2-year-old know I’ve got an internet audience to please? Sheesh. So, today I thought I’d start with something I knew he’d like, sensory tubs, and build around that. And it “kind of” worked.
I remembered a tutorial involving tracing letters in a tub of cornstarch. The cornstarch had been poured over some brightly colored cardboard. When the child traces the letters in the cornstarch, the color pops through and it’s like “magic”. So I decided to do a spin on that. Her tutorial calls for cardboard, markers and cornstarch. I did not have cardboard, shockingly. I only had a little bit of cornstarch. So, my improvisation involves a plastic tub, flour and construction paper.
Plastic tub, construction paper, flour, tape
I used colored construction paper folded up and placed in the tub, instead of coloring it as was shown in the tutorial, because I didn’t want to color my tub! So, I folded up the paper, placed it in the bottom of the tub and taped down.
Paper in the tub
Then I enlisted Zach to help me dump the flour into the tub.
Dump! Hey, look, the kid is wearing clothes today!
Then I took and patted and smoothed the flour down to make a clean surface to start out with. I traced the first line or two for Zach to see what happens. He thought it was pretty cool.
Flour spread out and patted down
Drawing lines in the flour to expose the colored paper
Drawing in the flour
After a while, he told me that his dinosaur was hungry. And that dinosaurs like to eat flour. So, the dinosaur had a little snack.
Unbeknownst to archaeologists the world over, T-Rex liked to eat All Purpose Flour
While he was busy using his imagination with his dinosaur, I thought I’d teach him to write the Letter D, for Dinosaur. So, I traced a letter D into the flour. And that’s when he was on to me. He did not want anything to do with a letter lesson. So, I thought maybe I’d ask him to help me dig for colors. I’d dig and brush the flour aside and say, “Oh my goodness! Look, I found a color! What color did I find???” and he wanted nothing to do with that either. Though he did ask me “What color flour is?”, which I thought was a pretty smart question, so I told him it was white. And then I just let him continue to play.
Eventually he spotted the tape I had set aside and asked for it. At first I told him no. And then I thought, “Why not?” I mean, we’re going for sensory, right, so why not talk about “sticky” (along with smooth and fluffy, but also gritty and grainy, when feeling the texture of flour and flour on paper, and taste..flour is edible). So I tore off a piece of tape or two and let him play with it. We saw how it was sticky at first, but not sticky any more once we stuck flour to the tape.
Not sticky anymore
And that was pretty much the whole of our lesson. Yes, we did make a grand old mess doing this!
That's one flour covered little boy
I just love a messy face, even when that face refuses to smile for the camera
What did Zach learn today? To talk about the senses some more. About color. To look beneath the surface (whoa…deep). Imaginative play.
What did Mommy learn? That she needs to figure out how to get his attention again.