My boys were two and three when they decided to abandon their afternoon naps. I’m certain they plotted to ensure they ditched their midday siestas together, because within a day or two of each other, they opted for longer playtimes and trips to the park. Can you blame them? Why sleep when there were so many other fun things to do and interesting places to explore?
I quickly learned that I needed to devise ways of keeping them entertained when the weather wasn’t on our side, and within weeks I had learned how to do every craft possible in hopes of passing the time.
Thanks to some web searching, I even found it was possible to create crafting supplies out of natural, non-toxic materials I already had in my home. In fact, making the supplies was a team effort between the three of us, and we could easily pass an afternoon making what we needed for another day’s fun.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes; most of the ingredients required are things you likely already have tucked away in your fridge and pantry, making these easy and doable.
Homemade Finger Paint (can be used, then wiped off of almost any surface)
Homemade Puffy Paint (can be used on traditional paper)
No-Mess Marble Painting (adapted from the Inner Child Fun blog)
Homemade Baby Handprint and Footprints From Salt Dough (adapted from the Design Mom blog)
Today, there are plenty of eco-friendly supplies available in the stores and online. (Feel free to get more information by visiting the Art and Creative Materials Institute, which grants an approved product seal to any product proved to contain no hazardous ingredients.) But I’m still smitten with the homemade versions. They’re the more economical and ultimately healthier choice. Plus, your little ones will have just as much fun working with them as they would a store-bought product.
Jan Scott is a food writer, blogger and party planner. She is the food editor for SavvyMom Media, and the creative behind Family Bites, a blog inspired by the simple recipes and party ideas she’s put to the test on her family.