Another tip: if you want to dilute finger paints etc, dilute with dishwasher liquid - helps with washing it out of clothes, carpet, walls etc Just be careful of using green coloured wash liquid with yellow etc, try get a clear dishwash liquid!
My newest addiction - Pinterest.com There are so many cool and creative ideas for kids and crafts it's mindboggling! I've started my own pinning board with ideas for creative play and stimulation and I try to do at least one fun activity a weekend (I work full time so I have less time in which to do these).
SCRATCH & SNIFF WATERCOLOR PAINT
1 tablespoon unsweetened powdered drink mix
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
Several containers to hold paint (baby food jars, muffin tins, Styrofoam egg cartons, wax-lined paper cups, and old film or yogurt containers)
Mix together water and drink mix. Use different drink mixes for different colors and scents (strawberry, grape, lemon, blueberry, etc.) Paint on paper as usual. Allow to dry overnight before scratching and sniffing.
CREPE PAPER CLAY
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
Mix together flour and salt in a small bowl. Tear crepe paper into small pieces and place into a larger bowl. Add enough water to crepe paper to cover. Soak one hour or until most of water is absorbed. Pour off excess water. Do not squeeze. Begin adding flour and salt until it becomes a clay-like substance. Form clay into interesting shapes. Let dry and apply either a varnish or a glue and water mixture to seal.
This lasts longer than store bought chalk. It works very well on sidewalks, but is not recommended for use on chalkboards.
1 cup Plaster of Paris
Powdered tempera paint
1 cup water
Molds (upright toilet tissue rolls duct taped on one end, muffin tins, Styrofoam egg cartons, wax-lined paper cups, candy molds, yogurt containers)
Before beginning, protect work surface and clothes. It is best to make this recipe outdoors. Mix plaster and water together until mixture is the consistency of toothpaste. (Add more water or plaster as necessary.) Add powdered paint until desired color is achieved. Experiment with making swirled colors by adding the paint and stirring very little. Stir out any bubbles. Let stand for several minutes before pouring into molds. Depending on the size and thickness of the mold, allow chalk to completely dry over the course of several days. Once dry, remove chalk from mold. If mixture remains moist, let air dry for another 24 hours. Chalk should easily release from mold.
Add a few drops of food coloring to salt. Spread mixture evenly over foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool. Experiment with many colors. Store glitter in old film containers or salt shakers.
PAPER MACHE #1
Create a piñata, ornaments, relief maps, and sculptures from old newspapers, gift wrap, or non-glossy magazine pages. For larger items, you can make the insides hollow by using milk cartons, cans, Styrofoam shapes, or balloons. Simply form your shapes around it!
Mix two parts white glue to one part warm water. Tear paper into strips. Dip paper into liquid mixture. Apply one piece at a time to form shapes. You will need many layers of paper for strength and stability.
PAPER MACHE #2
Mix together one part flour with 2 parts water until desired consistency is achieved. Add more water or flour as necessary. Mix well to remove lumps. Add a few tablespoons of salt to help prevent mold.
BATH SOAP CRAYONS
1 cup Ivory Snow soap flakes (Do not use soap powder.)
¼ cup boiling water
Microwavable molds (candy molds in many themes, plastic ice cube tray)
Mix water with one tablespoon of soap flakes at a time, stirring constantly. Divide mixture into several bowls. Add colors to each bowl accordingly. Mixture should resemble a thick paste. Press mixture into molds. Cook in microwave on low for approximately 15 minutes. Keeps a close eye on these while cooking. Microwaves can vary with time and temperature. Remove from microwave and let air dry for several days. Remove crayons from molds, and let dry an additional day. These are wonderful!
NON-TOXIC STICKER GLUE #2
Combine two parts white craft glue with one part vinegar and mix thoroughly. Use a paint brush or finger to apply to art surface. Allow to dry 30 minutes, sticky side up. Activate the glue by applying water sparingly to it.
LICK & STICK GLUE
1 tablespoon jello (any flavor)
2 tablespoon boiling water
Mix until dissolved. Paint precut shapes of paper. When dry, children can lick and stick. Tastes yummy too!
BLOWING BUBBLES #1
½ cup (Dawn) liquid dish soap
3 tablespoon glycerin (Available at drug stores)
½ gallon water
Mix ingredients gently to avoid excess bubbles. The less bubbles on the surface of the mixture, the stronger the bubbles will be. Note: The longer the mixture sets, the larger the bubbles are and the longer they last.
BLOWING BUBBLES #2
1 cup water
4 tablespoons liquid dish soap
Mix together. Experiment with different blowers, such as a hanger bent into a circular shape, six pack plastic soda rings, etc.
1 cup Elmer’s glue
1 cup liquid starch
Mix glue and starch together until it forms a ball. If the mixture is sticky add more starch. Add a few drops of food coloring. Kids love this!
PEANUT BUTTER PLAY DOUGH
Great fun and tasty too!
¼ cup powdered milk
¼ cup honey
¾ cup wheat germ or rolled oats
¾ cup peanut butter
Mix ingredients together. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE WATER COLOR PAINTS
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ tablespoon glycerin (Available at drug stores)
Stir vinegar and baking soda together in a bowl. Mixture will begin to foam. Once it stops, add cornstarch and glycerin. Mix thoroughly. Divide mixture into several containers (Styrofoam egg carton, laundry soap scoops work well for this). Add plenty of food coloring as the paint color will fade when dry. Optional: Add Kool-Aid in place of the food coloring for vivid colors. Allow paint to harden overnight.
KID’S TOY CONCOCTION
Create flexible, thick, plastic-like toys in many shapes!
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons white glue
Protect work surface. Mix well. Pour into any mold or inside your child’s favorite cookie cutter shapes. Allow to dry for two days.