It’s time to celebrate Spring!- the warmer, lighter days, the greens and pinks and yellows emerging. I like to fancy myself a pretty crafty person, and the colors and symbols of the season really get my creative juices flowing. This year my 2.5-year-old has really gotten in on the action. Having a toddler get in on the fun though, requires a fair amount of patience and open mindedness.
Our big project this year was to make Easter ornaments, the good old-fashioned salt dough kind. My munchkin had her hands in every step – from measuring the ingredients, to mixing, rolling and cutting, to painting and stringing them on our weeping cherry tree. With a 2.5-year-old that meant it turned into a multi-day project. Enter patience. Along the way though, I got to teach fractions, chemistry, biology, art and natural science. Enter open mindedness.
Any project you do with your toddler is an opportunity for learning and I challenge all parents to go beyond the basics. Did my daughter understand that a whole number can be broken into smaller parts, or that heat can change the physical properties of an object, that when we wash our hand we’re removing microbes or that plants convert sunlight to food? Of course not! Just imagine though, if our kids get to hear all that information for years, from us, before they learn it in school.
I think too often we underestimate the capabilities of our toddlers. I have a theory that that’s why we all think our kids are geniuses. They do things we just can’t believe a 2-year-old should be able to do and think that must mean our child is exceptional. Well, all of our kids are capable of amazing things, and they are in the Springtime of there lives. We need only look at the Spring emerging in front of us to know that seeds planted early and with love, will blossom into beautiful things.
Salt Dough Ornaments
1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Salt
4 tsp. Water (plus a little more if needed)
Preheat oven to 325
Mix all ingredients together to form dough
Roll dough to about 1/4″ thick
Cut with your favorite holiday cookie cutters
Bake on parchment lined cookie sheet for 1 hr