This weekend I completed a project with the boys making some clay Christmas tree ornaments to give as gifts. We used a simple baker’s clay recipe, and they were both very engaged with helping me roll out the dough and cut out the shapes with cookie cutters. Milo tried to eat the dough a little bit, but it was pretty salty, so he stopped after just one tiny nibble. The final baked ornaments puffed up more than I would have liked, but otherwise I found this dough to be very easy to work with, pliable and not too sticky. I read a suggestion somewhere that if you let the dough air dry for several hours before you bake it it will be less likely to puff up in the oven.
This also became my first painting project with both boys. I started painting with Huck when he was about 18 months old and I remember being surprised at how interested he was in it, and that it wasn’t all that messy of an ordeal. Now that Huck is 3 and Milo is 18 months, I felt brave enough to give painting a go with both of them. Not the best idea! Huck was great, for the most part. He sat nicely and talked to himself painted the whole time. He got up a few times with a loaded paintbrush, but was good about listening to me when I asked him to not touch anything. Milo, on the other hand, lasted about ten minutes before painting ornaments got boring and fingerpainting on the kitchen cabinets seemed like a much better idea! When I stopped him, he started grabbing wet ornaments off of the table and throwing them on the floor in an angry fit. That kid is really something else! After that, Huck told me, “I am a very good painter, and Milo is a very sad painter.”
Anyway, I learned my lesson, and I waited until Milo’s nap to add glitter to the ornaments with Huck. By the way, when I glitter with kids, I always mix the glitter in with white glue and then let them “paint” on the glitter with an old paintbrush. You can add a drop or two of warm water, if the glitter soup is too thick. It is less messy and the glitter sticks better than the old glue-then-glitter-then-shake-off-excess-glitter method. Although, some glitters won’t look as sparkly of you do the glue/glitter soup mix, but most ultrafine glitters work very well with this method.
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