Babies and creativity - Part V
Glue and other sticky things
Our primary goal when it comes to arts & crafts with babies is exploration. Before they successfully complete masterpieces, babies must explore material. This is why the end result is unimportant. The process, on the other hand, is very important!
Today, I would like to talk about non-toxic homemade glue as well as other ways babies can explore various sticky elements.
I am sure you have noticed that babies take great pleasure in repeatedly sticking and un-sticking things. Once this act is acquired young babies are capable of gluing several objects on a piece of paper. Let them learn! Here are a few ways to encourage the exploration of "sticking and un-sticking".
Water and transparent paper
You will need:
- A spray bottle
- A mirror or a window
- Pieces of colourful transparent paper which looks like cellophane
Spray water onto the mirror or window. Let little ones stick and un-stick the paper. You will be surprised to see how long the paper can remain stuck to the surface. As a bonus, it is very pretty! Babies can see through the colourful paper. In summer, you can have one baby on either side of the window. They will like seeing each other through the colors. Take pictures of this activity!
For babies who still have a tendency to put things in their mouth, apply adhesive tape around the edges of the transparent paper to avoid tearing.
Variation: try the activity with a variety of types of paper, even felt works. Avoid tissue paper because, once wet, it turns into paint since it contains a lot of colouring. Keep it for use on white paper.
Shapes we apply to the bottom of the bathtub are perfectly appropriate for use on a mirror or window. Little ones will love to stick and un-stick them over and over again.
Mac-Tac is great for experienced babies. Stick it to a wall or table using adhesive tape (the sticky side towards you). Provide a variety of material which can be stuck to the Mac-Tac surface: tissue paper, felt (very easy to stick and un-stick), pieces of yarn, etc. Babies will have fun exploring the material. For the activity to last a long time, avoid giving babies all the material at once.
Homemade non-toxic glue
The first glue babies should come in contact with is a simple mixture of flour and water. Add a small quantity of paint or food coloring and it doubles as paint. Babies can see where they are spreading glue and they are drawing on paper at the same time. The more they apply, the better the result. Here is a simple recipe:
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 cups of water
Add the flour to a pot and combine with a small quantity of water until mixture is smooth. Add the remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and leave glue over low heat until thickened. Cool and stir.
Personally, I do not cook homemade glue and the results are great! Be careful, glue will clump in hair if babies put some on their head.
They can be used almost anywhere, even on babies' cheeks or noses. Have them look at themselves in the mirror. Watch babies closely to make sure they do not put the stickers in their mouth.
Colourful adhesive tape
Why not use this simple material for sticking and un-sticking activities? The trick: have fun sticking it on yourself and babies. You can stick a piece on their shoes or clothing for example. It will be easier for them to un-stick it and it is fun to see them observe the tape and try to remove it.
Enjoy exploring with your little ones!
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