If there are only a few things that you take away from my craft posts, then let them be this: we love playing, getting messy, and doing it without spending money. It was cold outside, Coco was bored, and I was grumpy. I knew whatever we did it would have to be simple and something she could do with little intervention from me (I get lazy when I’m grumpy, I guess)
I gathered random containers from around the house, like an old shampoo bottle, a never-been-used condiment dispenser, a spray bottle and then I used a Tupperware egg tray as the mixing tub. I filled each of the bottles with water and a couple drops of food coloring. You could stop here, set up a tarp, and give your child free reign to pour and mix as they please.
Inspiration struck. Hubby made “me” a light table for my birthday and this seemed like a good opportunity to test it out. We turned out the lights and set up the goods on the new light table. The pictures speak for themselves.
We’re playing, but we’re also learning. I found this article by Community Playthings fascinating, as it explains the benefits of hands on water play with children. “Thoughtfully prepared, a water centre, whether indoors or out, can foster cognitive development, teach mathematics and science concepts, enhance physical skills, promote social learning and cooperative effort, and enrich language experiences.” They go on to explain it in more detail, so be sure to read the article if you’re curious to learn more.
Just to answer any questions before they’re asked: Clean up took a second. Colette actually cleaned her own water spills. The dye was so diluted, it didn’t stain anything. She never once tried to drink from the bottles.
Are you curious about the light table? We got the idea from Play at Home Mom, my absolute favorite resource for trying to find innovative ways to use common objects.