As we’ve learned from moms who can make impressive play kitchens and two-storey toy car garages for their tykes with just cardboard boxes, expensive toys are not necessary for toddlers and preschoolers to have fun. Want a unique and inexpensive party idea? Set up a craft table full of DIY fun! Bonus, these make great giveaways or loot bag stuffers, too.
1. Finger paint
1/2 cup cornstarch or flour 2 cups water for cornstarch or 1 cup flour Liquid food coloring Salt (optional)
1. Add cornstarch or flour and water in a pan over medium heat. Stir until smooth and thick. 2. Remove from heat. If you want your paint to last, add a pinch of salt. 3. Slowly add cold water to the pan until you reach your desired consistency. Finger paint is a little on the thick side. 4. Divide and add a drop of food coloring.
Party for a preschooler? Finger painting develops the muscles and coordination that toddlers will need to learn the skill. We took advice from several craft and parenting sites (Momtastic, TinkerLab, and La Jolla Mom) and found that the recipe above is the best to follow when making edible finger paint for kids. Empty baby food jars make great containers for your DIY paint (because we know you have a few lying around). Or, if you’re prepping in advance, you can keep them in sealed bags and store in the fridge. Caution: Have aprons and smocks ready as these can stain.
2 cups flour 1 cup salt 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 2 cups cold water Food coloring
1. Mix flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan over medium hear. Stir until thick like dough. 2. Divide and add drops of food coloring. 3. Knead the dough to evenly color. Ask the kids to help out!
The above is a tried-and-tested recipe from MarthaStewart.com with lots of good reviews. Here’s one, “Worked out very well for us. Easy to make. Dough was a little sticky but improves with play. Inexpensive and I won't feel bad when it's accidentally left out or mixed with other colors.” One preschool teacher says she places the made dough in a zip bag, adds food coloring and lets the kids squish and mush away until it’s well colored and ready for play. Bonus, your homemade play dough will last forever if kept in an airtight container.
What you’ll need
2/3 cup dishwashing liquid 1 gallon water 2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerine
1. Gently stir ingredients together. 2. Leave in an open container overnight – the longer it sits, the better it gets! Apartment Therapy says this DIY bubble solution from Exploratorium.edu is their favorite. Perfect for outdoor fun! Unfamiliar with glycerine? It’s a common ingredient in soaps and shampoos. You’ll be able to buy a small bottle of it in major drugstores for less than P50. Just ask for pure glycerine. You can also easily make homemade bubble wires with wire and a pair of pliers. Shape into hearts, flowers, and stars for extra fun. Pipe cleaners work well, too. For the party, pair with small colorful cups of bubble solution!