I hoard containers. There — I put it out there. I save various, sturdy containers, with the idea that I could re-use it ….for something. This came in handy the other day with my 3-year-old daughter.
I’m always looking for ways to keep my children entertained, as well as offer them chances to explore and learn. If I can additionally do so in a “green” manner, even better.
For this occasion, I put red food coloring in an old throat spray bottle, blue in an old dish soap bottle, grabbed some old foam letters (but sponges would work just as well) and put a little paint in old flushable wipes containers, gathered up a few unused medicine droppers, opened some paper bags at the seems, and threw in a few paint brushes, and empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
In our driveway, we “painted” a large hopscotch-like path with various shapes using the dish soap bottle. Then we experimented with painting with rocks, sticks, and our fingers. When asked which she liked best,she responded “the rock — because it’s MAGIC!”
She and I had a blast, and all for pennies. More importantly, these activities encouraged her imagination, worked on dexterity (pushing the spray button, utilizing the various objects for painting, etc), and allowed for open-ended inquiry. Certainly this was a good example of “process over product”.
My next plan is to get some old, large containers to create makeshift water tubs, and let her play and explore. I already have a few containers in mind for this. When my son is a little older -perhaps later in the summer- he can join in the fun.
Do YOU have some great, cheap (and green) ways to entertain your kids? Please share, or contact me. 🙂
**Sidenote: I’ve learned that food coloring, while great for learning, does not easily come off hands — it requires a good dose of elbow grease.Keep on saving! :o)
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