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Potions

November 19, 2010

As soon as Boo was old enough to stop putting everything in her mouth, we started making art together.  From the beginning, making potions has been one of her favorite art activities.  I’ve mentioned before that we do a lot of mixing and mushing, and there are endless variations on this theme.  For 3-year-old Boo, this is the ultimate fun, and she has started asking many, many times a day to “do messy plan.”  Potions are delightfully multi-sensory, open-ended, and creative (and yes, messy too!).

Here are some ideas to get started (your little one will have many more):

Let your child have bits of those spices you don’t use often, dried beans, or rice to measure and mix (either dry or with water and/or oil).

While baking (or even if you’re not), put some flour, oil, salt, and water in little dishes for your little one to mix up.  This is also the simplest homemade playdough recipe!

To add some scent to your potion, you could try dried or fresh herbs, spices, zest from a citrus fruit.  Give her a cinnamon stick and sandpaper to grind it.

While making dinner, save the vegetable peels in a bowl for your little one to pretend to make soup.

One of our favorite potions is just cornstarch and water, which we call mushy gushy.

Baking soda and vinegar.   Always a fun combination.

Making a potion outside lends itself well to adding in dirt, sand, water from the hose, grass, leaves, pebbles, and so on.

You can add color with powdered or liquid tempura paint, liquid watercolor paint, or food coloring.  Glitter is fun too.

Try putting things in small containers and letting your little one pour or scoop into a big bowl.  I like to do this over a tray or towel or outside, and provide a bucket of warm soapy water for easy hand washing.

Enjoy!

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