Lately I've been trying to avoid plugging my daughter in to the television when I need a few minutes to do boring stuff like cook dinner. Sometimes she can help me in the kitchen and sometimes it's better for her to do something else.
We've been experimenting with some new activities.
L. has been asking to go to the beach fairly regularly. Since we can't actually go to the beach anytime soon, and I don't want her to play in the sandbox in the dark while I'm in the kitchen, we compromised.
We made a little beach that she could play with at the kitchen table. She's close to me and totally occupied. I love it.
Here's all you need to make a beach:
Pan of your choice
How much you'll need of each depends on how large a production you want. You can use baby, canola or vegetable oil and whatever size pan/plate/bowl you like.
I wanted to keep it simple and went with a 9x11" cake pan. I like the taller edges of the pan. It keeps the beach in better than other pans.
Fill the pan with a layer of flour about half an inch deep and then drizzled vegetable oil over the top.
After you drizzle a little oil, mix the flour and oil with your hands. You want all the flour to be coated with oil (so if you blow on it the flour doesn't poof everywhere) but you don't want it to feel soggy or greasy. Nothing should feel wet.
You'll know when the texture is right.The flour will clump together but break apart easily. It should feel like really, really smooth sand.
I sat L. at the table with her beach in a pan and gave her some measuring spoons and one of those little measuring cups that comes with kids medicines. They were the perfect little shovel and bucket.
I happened to have a lid for the pan I used so when she was finished playing I just put the lid on and stuck it in the fridge. So far it seems to last forever. I'm sure at some point I'll need to throw it out but it does keep for a long time.
It is a little messy (mainly due to the exuberance of my child) but so far it's been easy to clean up--wipe off the table, sweep the floor, wash child's hands, brush off clothes. That kind of thing.
Fun at the beach with no bath required.
Disclaimer: I've seen a lot of recipes like this floating around the
internet and I'm not sure where I originally found this idea. I've seen it
called moon sand, cloud dough, etc. Just wanted to let you know it's an old idea. Oh, and this post is part of Made By You Monday and Anything Goes.