The topic of indoor art projects may have been more informative in January, but hopefully the rain will continue, albeit mild. Indoor art projects that keep kids engaged and away from screens are beneficial for the whole family. Art projects use fine motor skills, boost self-esteem through a great sense of ‘done’, relieve stress especially when weather conditions limit our time outdoors, and generally improve brain health. and support development.
Here are two proven projects I’ve done over the years, both with my classes and with my own kids when stuck indoors.
Oobleck is wonderfully sensuous, messy and seductive. Due to its chemical nature between water and cornstarch, oobleck is both solid and liquid, making it a great starting point for early childhood science experiments.
- A large tub or pot for mixing and playing
- Spatulas, spoons and small pitchers for play and exploration
- 16 oz.of cornstarch
- up to 1 cup of water
- food coloring
*If you like, you can also add a little cherry or orange food extract for a delicious scent.
Pour the entire container of cornstarch into the tub and add about half the water. Have your child stir and slowly add the remaining water until you get the right consistency. Oobleck should be able to be held in your hand as a solid, but it turns liquid as soon as you release the pressure. Try food coloring.The cornstarch to liquid ratio is about 2:1
To clean, it’s easiest to put the entire tub outside or put it in the tub and spray. Cornstarch is easily soluble in water.
This project is great for kids of all ages and the masks will last for years. Teenagers can make them with each other, but younger children need adult help and supervision.
- bowl of water
- head band
- Paint, feathers, beads, glue or glue gun to decorate the mask after drying
Line your work area with newspaper (protect your furniture and countertops, as plaster is difficult to remove when it dries) and apply bandaging plaster in small strips about 2 to 4 inches wide and about 3 inches long or in various sizes. Cut to size. Cut about 15 pieces. Apply petroleum jelly all over the face of the mask model. This makes it easy to remove dry masks. Make sure to remove the hairline and eyebrows. Starting from the forehead, soak the plaster strip in water and squeeze out excess water. Moisten the strip so that it does not drip. Envelops the skin and gently smoothes out wrinkles. Continue applying the strip to your cheeks and chin, avoiding the eye, nose and mouth areas. Never block your nostrils. Put several layers of plaster strips on top of each other, making sure the strips touch each other and lie flat. Wait approximately 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity to read aloud to the mask model.
After about 15 minutes, have the model loosen the mask by moving its jaw and mouth, hold the mask by the sides, and slowly lift it up by the sides of the mask, being careful not to tug or pull. The mask can be easily lifted without pulling on the skin. Let the mask dry for about an hour. Use a hole punch to punch holes on both sides of the mask just below the eyes for ties. Paint and decorate the mask and let it dry overnight.
Next month: Craniosacral therapy and how it can support family health. Interview with RCST’s Gary Peterson