It is pouring rain as I type this, and I have two 3-year-olds to entertain indoors. Hee. Do you like how I’m implying that if it weren’t for the rain we’d be out in the healthful fresh air? Even if it weren’t pouring rain, I’d still have two 3-year-olds to entertain, and for at least part of each day I’m looking for ways they can entertain themselves while I get some work done. A girl can dream.
And so this is the first in what I hope will be a series of periodic posts in which I test out easy, low-mess, low-parental-involvement activities for young children to do. This is new territory for me, so I hope you’ll have mercy with the lameness of ideas. And could you please generate some of that mercy right away, because the first activity I “thought up” was Dry Pasta in Cake Pans.
(The funny splotchy mark on the table near Edward is from another project. Hint: metallic gold paint is PERMANENT. To EVERYTHING.) (The polkadotted things are my shoes.) (Why the children are so completely unsurprised by the sight of their mother standing on the coffee table is a mystery.)
Children should make designs/pictures with the dry pasta; the cake pans should keep the designs/pictures contained
- one cake pan per child
- dry pasta in assorted shapes
One minute: taking pans out of cupboards, putting in some dry pasta
Time activity lasted before someone was whining again
Five minutes, but then I made an adjustment (adding more pasta) and they lasted another 15 minutes
Parental assistance required
Set-up, plus periodically leaving the computer to go tell them not to throw the pasta, not to take each other’s pasta, that it was okay that it kept rolling around, that all right fine I would add more pasta so it wouldn’t roll so much, and please stop eating the pasta, and okay fine eat the pasta I don’t care
Low, and it was easy for the kids to help clean up
A little clattery, that’s all
One minute: pasta can be put in a bin for later play, or back in the box if the kids had clean hands while they played, or what I did was pour it into a pan of boiling water and we ate it for lunch
Children eating the dry noodles; some of the noodles were too roll-aroundy to be played with
I’ll use butterfly pasta or other non-rolling options, or I’ll do a full layer of the rolling noodles so they keep each other from rolling, and I’ll get some of that multicolored pasta for better designs