Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Making a mess

My friend Ellie writes a blog which I now shamelessly crib ideas from, when I am stuck for something new to do with Toby.  Some time ago she wrote about a substance with the poetic moniker of cloud dough.  It sounded simple to make and fun to play with, so I tucked it away in the back of my mind.

The recipe is childishly simple: 8 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and mix.  It comes out kind of sandy, although softer and more powdery.

Now, Ellie has two gorgeous girls.  Her blog entries were full of photos of them adding pretty objects and creating cute little landscapes.  I, on the other hand, have a full-on hands-on get-stuck-in-as-far-as-possible boy.  This is what happens when you let him loose on a scatterable substance.

We make it and it all starts well.  Notice I have prepared for mess with a large tarpaulin and lack of shorts.

A few minutes in, and the mess is spreading up the T-shirt.  It's still mostly in the tray though.

 From that point on the spreading becomes faster and faster...

 Oh what the heck, why not just sit in it?

So much for keeping it off the floor!

The next time I got the cloud dough out, I dispensed with Toby's clothes altogether, which unfortunately means most of the photos are censored.  He was much more interested in pouring and filling all the bowls and cups that time, but it still somehow got everywhere.



Should you wish to try this for yourself, I offer the following recommendations:
  • Only get it out when you were going to mop the floor anyway.  Not, in any circumstances, when you have just cleaned the house.
  • If at all possible, get the kid safely in the bathtub and clear the worst away while he is in there.  Otherwise your lovely clean kid hops out of the bath and dives straight in again.  Or else he tracks it all round the house while you are cleaning up, if you don't put him in the bath first.
  • However tempting it may seem, do not hoover large quantities of this stuff.  Unless, of course, you like dismantling vacuum cleaners.  It sticks to their innards something chronic.  Small amounts are OK, and the easiest method when your kid has just run across the carpet and jumped on the sofa before being bathed (see above).
  • Store on the highest, most child-proof shelf you possess.
  • Try and have fun!

1 comment:

Sally Eyre said...

Check out this chart before you see if Toby reacts like other kids - it may help!

http://susan.sean.geek.nz/Schemas%20in%20Areas%20of%20Play.pdf

I use schemas a lot in parenting my two. K is really into enclosing and enveloping whilst J is into transporting and connecting with a dash of rotation. I get some really interesting conflicts with toys - but this just helps me usnderstand it is due to their different world views. Can chat some more if you find this interesting.