Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crafts and Chaos

Yesterday, Mark was desperate to get some more work done in the afternoon. With my broken foot and strep throat on the mend, he's had to get Ellie from day care at 2pm and bring her home to me. Then, he works in our home office/bedroom/storage shed into the evening.

On Monday, this didn't really work, because E was much too busy and cranky for me to keep up with. She hadn't had a nap, so she was a beast, trying to escape out the front door, and running back and forth terrorizing us. Recliner-parenting wasn't going to be sufficient.

So, yesterday, I told Mark that I would come up with an afternoon plan, and I set up a few craft projects in preparation of her return. Luckily, he brought me a freshly-rested toddler! As soon as she came in the door, I got her settled at the table with two projects.

One was from my sister's day care curriculum -- a fresh twist on the classic hand-print turkey.

The other involved a recipe for homemade hand-baked clay ornaments that I found on a few different sites, though I like the photos and variations best at Delighted Momma. These are cute, and I love that they look like cookies -- despite the fact that it gave Mark new joke material for the entire afternoon. While I was sitting in the living room, I heard him rummaging around in the kitchen, pretending to eat them and saying, "Wow! These are delicious."

I also found a different take on this idea, at A Beautiful Mess, if you want to take this craft to the enxt level. How beautiful!

Ellie went crazy over the ornament-making process. She's almost 2 (wow!) and very skilled at pouring now, so she put all the ingredients together and helped me stir. She loved making shapes in the dough with her hands and using cookie cutters. Once pressed, she'd say, "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!" to get the cookie cutter out.

I had to explain to her that this dough wasn't like cookie dough. "It's not for eating," I explained, "just making ornaments for the Christmas tree."

"Not for eating," she nodded in agreement, "just for licking," she explained.
 "Um, well..."

Top: Jo's Day Care turkeys
Bottom: E's turkey
And she did. She licked the dough and a few ornaments and was content with that. I laughed happily. While the ornaments baked, we made our hand-print turkeys and got paint everywhere. She's much more concerned about getting messy and sticky now that she's older, so I really encouraged her to just let go and enjoy the process, even as she said, "Oh no! Got some paint on my pants!" I quickly countered with, "It'll wash out" and "We can clean up" and "Let's just get messy right now!"

It was so fun to see her just relax and make a mess. It kept her busy for 2 straight hours and kept me off my broken foot for the most part too. Now I'm in search of some new activities to get us through this afternoon. We'll start by painting these ornaments!

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