Like all toddlers, Lilly seems to be a magnet for germs lately. So far we’ve actually been pretty lucky. We made it through her entire fist year with hardly a sniffle and even though we’ve encountered some nasty bugs the last few months we haven’t dealt with anything worse than your garden variety colds and stomach bugs. This last virus has been a doozy, but I was still pretty shocked with the doctor’s prognosis: double ear infection and a wheezing in her lungs that’s bad enough to require treatments with a Nebulizer. Pretty serious stuff. My poor girl has been a trooper though. Other than some whiny afternoons she really hasn’t acted too miserable. That made the doctor visit all the more shocking.
Needless to say, after a full week stuck at home on quarantine and at least another few days ahead of us, we’ve got a pretty serious case of cabin fever going on. To combat the boredom I’ve been trying to come up with fun projects and games that easy for a toddler and can be done with stuff around the house. I thought I’d share the ideas over the next few days, since sickness and plain ole wintertime boredom is a pretty common with little ones.
So far, Lillian’s favorite activity has been finger painting. We didn’t have any store-bought paints on hand so I found a super simple recipe using safe, non-toxic pantry staples. The paints were mixed and ready in less than then minutes time.
I was surprised at how vivid the colors came through using regular grocery store food coloring. They really turned out pretty! I dumped mine in some empty glass spice jars (I tend to buy my whole peppercorns at Target and keep/hoard the glass Archer Farms jars because they’re great for holding all kinds if things). Any small, heatproof container with a lid will work (baby food jars would be perfect).
Anyway, once Lilly was be-smocked (another great item from our monthly Citrus Lane box) and the table was covered in an old sheet, we went to town.
Once cooled the paints took on a slightly chunky consistency but they smeared wonderfully and made for lots of squishy fun. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Anyway, if folks think this is a fun idea, I’ll try to add some posts on a few of the other Cabin Fever Crafts we’ve done in the past few weeks (I’ve done a heckuvalot more arts & crafts than cooking lately). Recent projects include homemade play dough, a colorful sensory box and foam bath letters, so I’ll try to take some pics and share them all.
Homemade Finger Paints
Makes 3 to 4 small jars of paint
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups water
Food coloring in your favorite shades
Combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. As soon as the mixture achieves a consistency similar to thin pudding remove from heat. Quickly divide the mixture among small, heat proof containers with lids (I used a funnel to make this easier). Add food coloring to each container (I used about 5 drops of each color to achieve a vivid hue). Screw the lids on as tightly as possible and shake the jar to distribute the color. Once the color is evenly distributed and the paint is cool enough to touch, you can start painting.