Flour power

The other day while preparing to make pasta (yes, I make homemade pasta) the babe was just not having it. On the verge of throwing herself to the ground with crazed hysterics because she wasn’t the center of attention, I scooped her up and shoved her in the faithful high chair. The high chair is every parent’s lifesaver. It’s safe and your child can’t get out of it. Anyway, I figured she shouldn’t miss out on the pasta making fun, so I tossed some flour on her high chair tray and let her have at it.

Offering kids something unusual to experiment with encourages their exploration and development. Trying something new is how we figure things out. At first my daughter wasn’t sure what to make of the stuff. She pressed her fingers in the little flour pile and, of course, shoved it into her mouth. Flour isn’t the best tasting stuff, so after she figured out this wasn’t her snack, she totally got into playing with it.

She felt the flour with her fingers, tried to pick up little flour bits and when I gave her a paintbrush to use, painted the flour all over the place. She squished the flour, squealed with delight and used her pointer fingers (of both hands) as line makers. This isn’t an activity for clean freaks. Flour gets everywhere, but is easily swept up.

Add to the excitement by offering your little one toy cars to drive through the flour, plastic animals to graze in the white stuff, or small cups for them to scoop flour into. These activities help develop their fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. And, it’s plain fun.

The flour kept my daughter gleefully content the entire time I rolled out and filled my handmade pastas. We both washed the flour off our hands and used our brooms to sweep up the mess.

What a great way to spend an hour on a long afternoon.