It’s been five days.
Five days of snow, ice and freezing cold temperatures. And not just Tennessee-cold, legit cold. Yesterday’s high was 16. All of this wintry-ness has us stuck inside the house. We started off strong – venturing out to play in the snow, baking cookies, building forts, watching a movie or two. By day three, all limitations on screen time were gone. Nathan watched an entire season of Gummi Bears. I broke out the baby jail (Pack n’ Play) to contain an increasingly-mobile Ellie. I lowered my expectations and prayed for patience.
But by day five, the time had come. My defenses had been weakened; my resources exhausted. We were going to have to craft.
I am not a crafty person. I have no artistic skills to speak of, and I’m much better at making a mess than a masterpiece. Plus, Nathan has an incredibly short art attention span. I find the effort that goes into setting up/cleaning up for art projects is not worth it for the approximately seven minutes he will actual sit and participate in said activity.
But on day five, all bets are off. I couldn’t take any more Dora and I was willing to try just about anything to keep my son occupied, even for a short time. So I Pinterested, because that’s what we non-naturally crafty moms do, and I found a recipe for slime. Clear glue + liquid starch + food coloring.* Sounds simple, we have all the ingredients … let’s roll.
Now, it’s entirely possible this is due to user error, because I AM NOT A CRAFTS PERSON. But we did not make slime. We made glue. Very bonding, very clingy, very colorful glue.
Seriously, this stuff was awful. It stuck to everything … I mean, just look at Nathan’s hands:
He just kept saying “it won’t come off mom, it’s all over me mom, help me mom!” with an increasing sense of panic. Problem was, the only way to clean it off was with running water. Paper towels, rags … nothing was conquering the icky goo we’d created. So what did we do? Yep, we dumped two cups of glue down our garbage disposal. Fingers crossed.
So project No. 1 was a bust. But there was still project No. 2. This one required a little advanced prep – using food coloring, we mixed up some colored water in various size Tupperware containers yesterday, then put them outside to freeze last night. Phase one worked beautifully; even I can’t mess up making ice:
Nathan was super excited about this one. He’d checked on his ice at 30 minute intervals until dark yesterday. When he woke up this morning, it was the first thing he asked about. He was amped. That is, until we brought the ice inside and he looked at these giant frozen hunks, then back at me and asked the obvious question, “Um, mom … how do I play with ice?” I had no good answer for that. I’m not a crafts person, remember?
In no time though, he’d busted out his WonderPets and pretended to save a variety of animals stranded on blocks of ice. He had a blast; this project easily occupied him for 45 minutes. He probably would’ve kept going if he’d had any feeling left in his fingers.
The only downside to this project? Food coloring is highly transferable, and his hands (and clothes) have a bit of a tie-dye effect. But for 45 minutes of focused play on day five of being stuck inside the house? I’ll take it!
*Update: It has been suggested that using Borax, rather than liquid starch, will result in the proper slime consistency. Godspeed, snowbound mamas.