Do you want to clean up your pantry and refrigerator while stimulating kids’ senses and inspiring creativity? Then today’s activity is for you! From turmeric to cocoa, from jam to ketchup, your new art supplies will help you create interesting textures and allow for a lot of experimentation. As a great bonus, you’ll finally go over your pantry staples and refrigerator corners. In the process, you’ll discover three jars of Dijon mustard (Not in your house? Sorry) and unearth foods that can be used for a unique art project.
What you need
Paper or construction paper (we prefer the thicker paper)
Pantry staples (flour, cornstarch, cocoa, coffee, spices.…)
Refrigerator staples (jam, ketchup, mustard, lemon juice, mayonnaise….)
What to do
- Gather a few different food items and set them out on the kitchen table. We especially love cocoa, turmeric, and coffee because our art doesn’t go bad and can last forever.
- Squeeze a generous amount of glue on the paper (maybe even in a specific shape or pattern).
Note: if your kids have never done sensory painting before, then you might need to do it with them to encourage their trying and experimenting.
- Apply your “paints.”
Don’t forget kitchen utensils as they make great tools for creating art!
I hope you don’t mind a bit of art mess!!!
Note: to make clean up easier, keep a bucket of soapy water nearby and put your utensils in as soon as they are not used. It will prevent the glue from drying up.
- Let your art dry overnight.
This is a spice train with tea wheels and mustard headlights.
We gave our baby a bit of beet juice to create her masterpiece.
Note: if you have a few containers that you don’t mind tossing away, then you can first mix your “paints” in them. For some kids, mixing colors is even more fun than painting.
Why sensory play?
From the day they are born, kids explore the world with their senses and try to make sense of it all. That’s why your baby puts everything in her mouth, and your toddler spins around in circles until he falls over from dizziness. But a lot of beneficial sensory stimulation that’s been around for ages (playing in the mud, walking barefoot, smelling flowers and herbs in the fields) is disappearing from modern kids’ life, and a lot of stressful stimulation (car honking, TV blurring, video games) is on the rise.
It’s not possible to eliminate all negative sensory stimulation, and you don’t need to try. But you
can support healthy brain development by providing opportunities for children to engage their senses in a variety of positive ways. It will have a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and interact with the world for years to come.
Sensory play is anything that stimulates the senses: movement, taste, touch, smell, hearing.
You might be surprised to know that in your home you are surrounded by things you can use for sensory play. Rice mixed with shaving cream makes for a perfect snow day racetrack, and pompoms frozen in water overnight provide an icy excavation project. Providing a sensory-rich play environment means baking bread together, taking walks in the rain, listening to classical music cuddled up on a couch.
Looking for more sensory play ideas? Let me know in the comments below, and I will share our favorites in a separate post.