Toddler Projects to, Ahem, Dye For.

Many strange things have happened to me since becoming a parent. For example: food dye. Suddenly this is a constant must-have kitchen accouterment right up there with universal pantry staples like butter, milk, ketchup. Why?

Here’s why.

1. Ice Paints

ice paints

Ice paints. Just be prepared to field questions like, "Where did my paints go?"

I can’t take credit for thinking up this brilliant summer-day art project, which I stole from the awesome art teacher at the Y. Though I would like to. You mix up some food dye and water and freeze it. Then, some steamy day, you hand it to the kids. They paint with it. Then it melts, leaving only a very easily-spongeable mess, some impressionist water-colory images, and eerie blueish toddler fingers. An important bonus, when you’re talking toddlers: it doesn’t matter if they eat the paints. Harper and her friend Malka were very engaged in this project for approximately five minutes. But what a five minutes!

2. Green Eggs (hold the ham)

Harper frequently asks for eggs, and then doesn’t eat them. One of our favorite books to read at the bakery across the street, out of their big basket of ransacked reading material, is this miraculously intact copy of Green Eggs and Ham. So the other morning I dyed Harper’s eggs green. (Healthy!) And guess what? She ate them! Sucker!

green eggs

Instead of ham, we like to accompany our green eggs with rainbow toast.

3. Shaving Cream Paints (aka, in our household, Squishy Paints)

Another Y-stolen idea. Food dye dripped into shaving cream, which is then squished around like fluffy finger paints. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s tactile, and produces art that smells like someone’s dad.

shaving cream paints

This activity was last photographed way back at Christmas, when Harper and Emily were still little babies. Look at them! Sheesh.

We’ve also enjoyed, as chronicled here on this very blog, painting cookies and its more successful cousin, painting toast.

What else can we do with this delightfully artificial glop? Any ideas?


2 responses to “Toddler Projects to, Ahem, Dye For.

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