You Can’t Eat a Princess

23 09 2011

I won’t lie. This was a messy activity and involved lots of floor and children covering. I found the idea on the internet and thought it sounded like good creative mess. BBL is much more into messy play and is attracted to anything with texture that he can rub his hands through and over. LBM hasn’t ever really liked messy play but he likes the book You Can’t Eat a Princess who’s main character is called Princess Spaghetti. I thought this might help get him involved for a bit longer. After lunch (in the hope that BBL wouldn’t feel it necessary to eat that much of the spaghetti) we read the book and got the paint and spaghetti ready. I have other ideas in mind for activities with the book because it involves chocolate, aliens, rockets and princesses in the leading role – a great combination. I’ll hopefully try those soon too.

LBM is going through a green phase (following a pink one) where everything is green so most of the paint was green. I find limiting the palette of colours available in activities like this means it doesn’t end up brown and you get tones and colour mixing still. I covered the floor with a shower curtain, covered the baby in his art smock (but shouldn’t have bothered as he still managed to get it on his vest) and stuck the paper to the table. One big bowl with cooked spaghetti and a little bit of vegetable oil to stop it sticking and one to put the used spaghetti in. The paint bowls were BBL’s plastic weaning ones which I’ve had enough of using now. (A bowl works whether it’s called weaning or not so he’s onto real bowls now!) A packet of wipes and a muslin I use to wipe hands was also to hand because this is the kind of activity that gives messy play it’s name.

As I expected BBL loved it – there was lots of shaking spaghetti, eating it, rubbing his hands through the paint. He even let some hang off the edge of the table and watched it ooze itself down onto my well placed shower curtain. LBM tripped over the edge of the curtain before I could clean it up so the dropped spaghetti still ended up on the floor – as I said…this is messy! Their pictures are interesting and have hand prints in amongst the spaghetti. LBM didn’t stay for long but at least he tried it and actually made a big picture in a short space of time.

I think I will do this again (mainly with BBL) and possibly use runnier food colouring as paint to get a more layered effect as the ready mix and finger paint I used was quite thick so blended together. A good activity for babies though as the brushes are edible, if unpleasant with paint on. BBL didn’t try and swallow any which may have had something to do with feeding him after lunch.

For many people the effort of getting an activity like this organised and then having to tidy up afterwards would put them off. It does seem like a lot for the small amount of interaction I got out of LBM and BBL but if I thought like that I’d never bother to cook a roast dinner. And roast dinners are definitely worth the preparation and tidying up.

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