Lucan is having more and more fun doing “activities,” which is great. He wants to play and interact and use his imagination – all good things. I know that sometimes it’s easiest to just plop him in the living room and tell him to play with his toys, but activities that require a little planning and momma forethought have been really good for us. I’ve been really thankful for Angela at teachingmama.org for ideas. Angela is one of those fantastic moms who always has something fun up their sleeves. Me, not so much. Angela and her family used to attend the same church as us before moving to a new town. She’s fantastic!
Anywho, Angela is one of my go-to resources for things to do with Lucan on Saturday mornings. One of the preschool sensory activities that I’ve seen floating around was Cloud Dough. Two ingredients: flour and oil. Easy peasy. Angela recommended using baby oil as it smells better. No problem, baby oil comes cheap and isn’t hard to find (unlike liquid watercolors, another story for another day). There was a weekday I was home with a sick Lucan (day two of antibiotics so technically he wasn’t “contagious” so I didn’t feel awful about dragging him out in public ) so we decided to head out to Wal-Mart to purchase some art supplies to keep us occupied. Baby oil was an easy addition to our cart. Much easier than the contemplation that took place in the tempera paint aisle.
But a batch of cloud dough is ½ cup oil and 4 cups of flour and then mixing it up with your hands. No problem. Easy. I got a couple of containers, measuring spoons and a set of silicon ice cube trays (which I bought over a year ago with the plan to make crayon shapes) for Lucan to use to play with the cloud dough. He enjoyed it well enough. It wasn’t exactly life changing, but it was fine. Messy, but fine. We played on the deck so the mess didn’t really overly concern me.
|Cloud dough while it was still "dough."|
However problems started later that day when Lucan went out (unsupervised) to the backyard/deck to play with his water table and water table toys. Generally speaking, no problem. I can see his water table from our kitchen window while I’m washing dishes. On this particular day, Lance and I were trying to finish up some salsa canning and had put our huge vat of canning water out on the deck as a measure to NOT heat up the house even more. Unbeknownst to me, Lucan started transporting copious amounts of water using his watering can into the plastic tub we had used earlier for cloud dough. We all know that flour + water = paste.
|Cloud dough as glue paste. Just add water!|
Sticky icky paste. Paste that was everywhere. While I didn’t have the massive conniption that Lance did (because how much harm can come of flour paste that’s being played with outside?), I certainly wasn’t happy that we weren’t going to be able to have a second cloud dough playtime. Lance, on the other hand, saw the sticky paste that was getting all over our wood deck that was going to have to be sprayed off with a hose to get rid of the gunk. This is probably where Lance deemed the cloud dough as the WORSE IDEA EVER. Talk about drama queen. And people say I have a flair for the dramatic.
So in the future if you want to play with cloud dough, go for it! Just don’t add water.