Welcome to August! We’ll have three art play dates this month to tell you about, so keep a watch out for the others. This week we had a great time doing some syringe painting, using cornstarch clay, playing with cloud dough, and beading butterflies.
My husband is a wonderful nurse in the G.I. lab at our local teaching hospital. So, he has access to IV syringes (the needle-less kind). So I thought I would exploit that fact. I asked him to bring home about a half-dozen of them and then, using watered down paint, we sucked and squirted! It was actually super fun. Each of the kids had a huge piece of paper (poster size) and they laid them down on the grass and took their syringe full of paint over to it, then came back for more paint when they were done. I think that I was the only one who got accidentally squirted and that was because I was walking in between the projects. Then we hung them up to dry on the laundry line.
Our sensory bin was filled with cloud dough this time. I got the recipe here. This is wonderful stuff. It is just flour and baby oil that is mixed together (8 cups flour to 1 cup baby oil), but it is fun because even though it will hold its shape, it falls apart and back into a more flour-like consistency rather easily. I threw some spoons, silicone molds, cups, etc. in to play with.
This idea came from this post (via Pinterest). These took quite a bit of concentration which for the little ones was hard to come by. Most of them just added a few beads to a pipe cleaner, wore them as a bracelet, and called it good. The big kids, if they stuck it out, had a good time with this, though.
They each filled two pipe cleaners with beads, then, with adult help, twisted them into circle eights whereby the ends of the pipe cleaners came out of the middle of the eight (does that make sense?). Then they threaded those ends through the spring of a clothes pin. They added antennae by folding half a pipe cleaner in half and attaching a bead to each end, then glueing it onto the clothes pin. I think I’ll hot glue some magnet to the back of Clara’s to keep important school papers on the fridge.
Somehow I got no pictures of anybody actually making anything with the cornstarch clay, but since the blog I got the recipe from is fabulous, there are lots of cool pictures there. This clay feels to me like Model Magic clay from Crayola except that it leaves a slight film on your hands as you work. It is a huge amount cheaper than Model Magic, though, so I highly recommend it. I think we will be using this recipe again later in the month.
To make this, combine 1 cup corn starch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups water in a pot. Cook it on medium heat until it looks like mashed potatoes, then dump it out, let it cool, and knead it a little. When we were not working with this, I put it in a plastic container with a wet wash cloth on top of the clay, then put the lid on. In the sun and wind outside, this had a tendency to get dry pretty quick.
I gave the kids balls of the clay and had them make flat shapes, then I had a box of rubber stamps out for them to stamp pictures in them and chopsticks to poke holes. These then air/sun-dried for a while and they actually harden up quite well after about 24 hours. My girls are planning to paint theirs at some point in the near future.