After a heat-induced mini tantrum on the way home from school (it’s truly almost too hot to handle, and we’re not even in the technical throws of summer yet), R needed some zone out time inside. Thank goodness the house was indeed cool because it kept me from losing mine (my cool — haha) while K took every piece of jewelry and every teensy tiny consumerist collectible out of the bowels of R’s drawers. Eventually, R declared herself ready for a “not messy” art project that involved neither drawing nor coloring. She decided that kinetic sand fit the bill, so we made a workspace under a tree, beneath the porch. R was gifted a hefty bag of kinetic sand at her Carnival Corral party (it’s been a real gem in our home because it is both easy and fun to clean up), and used it to open up a cupcakery. She then instructed her “class” (I conjure up my latent acting talents daily) on how to frost and ice cupcakes using “curling” methods. According to instructor R, babies were allowed in class but only if worn in an Ergo or held on laps. K and I did our best.
Little miss baker wanted our cupcakes to be visually pleasing and convincing, so she suggested that we dye our sand in a variety of colors. I hesitated at first, but then encouraged her to have at it. I may be bordering on Captain Obvious territory here, but guess what? A few drops of food coloring on sand-colored kinetic sand will do a great job of dyeing it. The trick was flattening out a segment of sand, dropping your food coloring in, and kneading the sand thoroughly. R was extremely satisfied with her idea and the results, even though this ended up being the antipode of a “not messy” project.
This straight forward “technique” also works with DIY Sand Foam, another of R’s favorite sensory activities (because, well, it calls for both heaps of sand and shaving cream). She fell in love with the sand once the shaving cream came on board! The kinetic cupcakery led to sprinkler frolicking once daddy got home, and an al fresco mac n’ cheese feast. Despite the debilitating mid-afternoon heat, it was a sweet end to the day.