Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy little messes

Making Christmas ornaments

Every time I see one of those ads for children's art supplies that only work on special paper so that they cannot make messes, I get so angry. My newest commercial to hate is one in which a little girl is painting pictures on her parent's electronic tablet using a special stylus and printing the "paintings" out to display on the wall. It's more convenient for their parents, but those children are getting short-changed in the creativity department. It's a difference in philosophy. Some people simply won't allow their children to get dirty. In our house we are definitely not afraid of dough on clothing, paint in hair, and crayon on the table. By making messes Maureen is practicing fine motor skills. And she is learning about the materials and how to manipulate them. With that in mind we made salt dough ornaments on Sunday when Becca was visiting. We all donned aprons and got to work. (Thanks for helping, Bec!) This photo is the beginning of the decorating session that took place later that afternoon. Yes, the special apron that Grandma made for Mo now has some acrylic paint on it--but it was meant to be used!


Mo's favorite activities at the playground are going down the slides and playing with handfuls of mulch and rocks. While my child was up to her elbows in the mulch yesterday I overheard another mom scolding her kid who was doing the same thing, "Drop that mulch right now! You could get it in your eyes!" I cringed and the little girl looked confused, especially since I wasn't stopping Mo. We let Mo dig in the dirt and mulch in our back yard all the time. What's the worst that could happen? We might have to wash her hands or change her outfit. Neither result is the end of the world.


old dog said...

I'm with you. You need the experience with your own hands. I remember babysitting a little girl who didn't want to get glue on her hands! Yikes, was she in the wrong household. I'm so glad the apron was christened, that is exactly what it was made for!

Tmomma said...

We once tried having a sandbox in one of those cute little crabs plastic things. Turns out, it was much better to put a huge pile of sand on the portion of the back yard that doesn't grow grass very well. That was/is their dirt/sand box. They love it, I just have to manage the total amount of mud I'm willing to deal with at any given time; they like to ask for water b/c their thirsty, we all know where that water's going!

bbmowery said...

Theresa - We were already using the apron for food-related projects--this was the first permanent damage. But I figured you wouldn't mind.

Tmomma - I know how much the boys love to "work" in their dirt pile. Little girls maybe have more pressure on them to not get dirty. It's a shame. Playing with sand/dirt/mud/paint/whatever is a lot of fun.

old dog said...

What is your dough recipe?

bbmowery said...

It was 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of water. Then I winged it with the baking time. A few of the thicker ones had to go back into the oven at 200 for an extra hour the next day.

bbmowery said...

BAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED TO. You can cover the "cookies" to keep them from browning. But I had to re-cook mine again and then chuck some that never fully dried. So roll 'em thin-ish and cook a long time.