Switching focus a bit on the blog. I'd love to start working toward something I can use to catalog my time with the girls, but also have a better audience. So today, I want to share some of the things the girls and I have been doing.
Sand Castle Dough
Emma loves building sand castles, but the problem is that we don't live near enough to the beach to do it, and we don't (yet) have a sand box. When we're up north at Gram-Gram and Papa's house, she spends a lot of time in their "sand" (aka: dirt) pit. At Grandma and Grandpa's house when she's in the sandbox, she always asks for water to make her sand wet enough to build castles. So when I saw this Mouldable Sand Recipe from The Imagination Tree, I knew we had to try it.
The recipe is very simple:
* 5 cups plain flour
* 1 cup baby oil
* lots of glitter
We tripled the batch and could have probably quadrupled it for the size of our bin, but I'm glad we didn't because that stuff is messy. Luckily, I had read a post earlier about how cloud dough (which really, this is) is so very messy, and I was prepared. We had the drop cloth from our painting supplies down, I had the girls stripped (mostly), and I was prepared with a broom (and a vacuum if that wasn't sufficient).
I made sure the girls knew that the sand stayed in the bin and that they weren't to get off the drop cloth until I'd cleaned them up. Still, we (I) tracked it through the house. Thankfully, it sweeps up really easily on our wood floors.
I wanted to take a good photo of the entire invitation to play, with everything set out, but they weren't that patient. We had plastic containers for building sand castles, trucks, spoons, knives (plastic butter knives, don't worry), forks, animals, sea shells, a potato masher, cups, and that great cupcake filler thing I've only used once on cupcakes but that they love for play dough.
Both Tank (20 months) and Monster (3 years 2 months) loved helping me create the sand by measuring it out, pouring it in, and mixing it. (We started mixing with a wooden baking spoon, but soon just gave in to using our hands.) The sand smells amazing because of the baby oil and isn't too sticky or oily on your skin. Tank had fun until she realized she was dirty. Monster loved it and spent a lot of time creating sand castles, burying/digging for treasure, and then stripping naked and getting in the tub to bury herself. She finally decided she'd had enough when she realized she was too messy to eat her snack. :)
When they were finished, clean up was relatively easy, as I said before. I shook out the drop cloth outside, put the toys in the sink, and plopped the lid on the bin. It's waiting for next time, which will probably be tomorrow when we have a friend over to play.