Yesterday I got it into my head that I should be "my child's best first teacher" as PBS puts it. We had a sensory day. It began as a way to make DeLaynie stop crying when Edwin left. We pulled out our giant container of rice. DeLaynie sits in it and plays with the rice like it's a sandbox. She really enjoys the experience. After that I decided that if I was going to need to sweep up rice, I might as well sweep up blue play sand. I brought in her sand and water table, but I didn't put any water in it. I can't really figure out how to work the stopper so it leaks some.
This is where things get more complicated. I realized that we had done various things to work on touch, taste, sound, and sight, but not smell. I decided to make scented play dough. I looked up a recipe online. I didn't have any cream of tartar. I'm not even sure what that would be used for, other than excessively complicated home art projects. I decided to ignore it and move on. I'm not sure that it would have made a difference. I made two batches. One I made as directed. To the other, I added some oatmeal. I thought that it might be a nice way to add variety to the texture.
Mom tip: Play dough can go from "just right" to "completely toasted" very quickly when on a hot stove. I recommend making your batches consecutively, not simultaneously. I had to let the stuff cool and peel off the burnt parts after leaving it on the stove about two minutes longer than I should have. Live and learn!
I divided each batch into three hand sized portions. To one of the oatmeal portions, I added vanilla and no coloring. It looked like a nice vanilla color as is. I made another oatmeal portion kiwi scented with an organic form of Crystal Light stuff that I bought two years ago. I tried it and it was awful! I'm glad I kept it for this use, though. I made the last oatmeal one berry with off-brand KoolAid. I used KoolAid to make the others lemon, strawberry, and raspberry scented.The strawberry was one of those "undercover" scented ones. In other words, the color doesn't match the scent. It's a very unattractive shade of green. Oh well. I added a little extra food coloring to some of them. My hands looked like Rainbow Bright died a bloody death in my arms after kneading the coloring into the dough.
After all that, DeLaynie was too sensoried out to even play with the stuff. It's sitting in the veggie drawer of the fridge, begging to be used. We'll try it again sometime soon. I may shape them into some sort of odd sculptures and place them around the house as air fresheners.
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