Playful pudding

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

The other day one of my friends confided in me that she doesn’t let her daughter play with crayons or markers. I looked at her – shocked. WHAT? Coloring is integral to a child’s learning and the development of her fine-motor skills. She explained that her daughter was more interested in eating the crayons than coloring with them.

Taking a crayon away from a toddler isn’t easy. They really, really want what they are holding, even when not exactly sure what the thing is. So, the crayon is tasted, chewed on, and eventually used to make marks with. The thing is, many parents don’t have the patience to go through several packs of crayons until their kid figures it out.

Why not try some pudding paint instead? Yes, this involves sugar, and YES, it is messy. But, your child will explore their creativity, mix some colors, make some lines, AND enjoy a special tasty treat. It’s easy to make some pudding paint. Just mix up a batch of vanilla pudding and separate a couple of tablespoons into small cups. Mix in a few drops of food coloring and let the pudding set in the fridge until you’re ready.

Pudding paint is going to be messy – messy enough that a bib isn’t going to cut it. So, put something old and icky on your babe and strap her into the high chair. Tape a paper onto the tray and put spoonfuls of the different colored pudding paint around her paper. Let her dip her fingers into the paint, taste test, and then encourage her to mush it all around.

Once my daughter started to tire of her pudding paint (I know, I couldn’t believe it!) I handed her a spoon and let her scoop up what pudding she could. The spoon also created some interesting lines on her paper, which kept her busy for a bit longer.

The end result is a fun and playful picture – with a lovely vanilla scent! And, I made a tasty dessert with the leftovers – yum.

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