(Winner in the Worst Mother’s Day Gift contest: Jana, who was commenter #9. Yay, Jana!)
This is the fourth in a series of periodic posts in which I test out easy, inexpensive, low-mess, low-parental-involvement activities for young children to do. In the first, I tested, um, dry pasta in cake pans. In the second: painting with water. The third: marshmallows and toothpicks. Today’s test: unspilly stuff in a bowl.
The preschool-aged child will satisfy her seemingly endless Stirring Impulses, without wasting food or getting any more flour behind the cupboards.
- one large unbreakable mixing bowl
- one big stirring spoon
- a dry, multicolored, non-powdery, non-perishable substance: I used jellybeans the first time because I had a bunch I got on post-Easter clearance; later, I used mixed chocolate and butterscotch chips
Less than one minute: I took the bowl and dumped stuff into it.
Time activity lasted before someone was whining again
I lost track: she went back to it many, many times per day for many days.
Parental assistance required
Between uses, I moved the bowl to a more out-of-the-way location, and once Ant Season began I started putting the stuff into a plastic container instead of just leaving it out.
Medium. Jellybeans in a plastic bowl are clattery, and can be a little annoying over the long term.
One minute: I dumped the stuff in a plastic container for later, and I rinsed the bowl and spoon. Another day, I used the chocolate/butterscotch chip mixture in cookies (2 cups = one 12-ounce bag).
The other adult in the household ate all the jellybeans, so I tried chocolate and butterscotch chips, which then I kept picking at. And on one occasion, I had to remove a fistful of jellybeans from a toddler’s mouth: there had been a spill unnoticed by me and by the preschooler, but immediately noticed by the toddler.
I’ll see if I can find a less-delicious substance for her to stir.