A while ago I got a terrific book of art projects for toddlers out of the library. I rediscovered the joys of the library about a year and a half ago and have been a steady patron ever since. Of course, the problem with the library is that you always have to give the books back! So, last fall I bought my own copy of MaryAnn Kohl's First Art. Last weekend I did one of the "squishy art" projects with Cora. It was a day when nothing seemed to hold her interest, she was squirmy and whiny and frankly a pain in the family neck. It seemed like she needed something new, something very different, something amazingly fun. And perhaps just the slightest bit educational. (I know. I just can't help it.)
Luckily, I had the requisite packets of unflavored gelatin in the cupboard. So I made the gelatine, a bowl of red, a bowl of blue, a bowl of yellow. Chilled them (it took a little longer than the book suggested, but Elmo helped us out with the waiting time). And then with (seriously) the last three sturdy two-zip ziploc bags, I made up the squishies. You can guess how the colors were paired up.
And then Cora and I sat at her table and squished away, every once in a while holding a bag up to the window for a different look. Chris snapped away with the camera.
It was like magic. She calmed down, she sat as still as a baby can (i.e. not very, but that's okay), she laughed and had fun. We did this for probably about 20 minutes, which proved long enough to break the scary downward spiral we'd begun earlier in the day, and the evening was much more pleasant for having done this small activity.