This Morning’s Art Project
I have a lot of whole spices and my son, the avid explorer and climber, has been fascinated with the spice cabinet above my washing machine lately. Last week I allowed him to climb up there and check it out. We had a little spice tasting event and ever since then he has been begging me every day to let him go back up there. I love to foster exploration and discovery, but today I was really not in the mood to stand in the kitchen watching him on top of the washing machine. I decided to take some of the spices to him and let him experience them in a new way. I know a lot of preschools do not use food for gluing projects anymore, but I have many fond memories of gluing different of beans and noodles to create pictures. Spices seemed like they would be even more fun, since they have such nice smells.
egg carton for spices
Elmer’s glue (some non-toxic glue)
something to spread glue (paint brushs, cotton swabs or craft sticks are good)
pan (optional but highly recommended)
If my egg situation had allowed I would have used an egg carton cut in half the other way for more stability. Any disposable dish or lid is good for glue. I glued (my fast drying glue) one piece of the egg carton to a piece or cardboard so it would not tip easily.
Fine motor: gluing, picking up small seeds
Language: talk about the seeds: what shapes, what colors, what you do with them, their names, their sizes, their textures, their smells
Sensory: touch sensation of the different seeds, smell, taste if you decide to taste any… hopefully without glue.
Cognitive: Glue is sticky, but only a little at first. It takes time to dry to make things stick.
My son enjoyed playing with the spices but, since he does not use glue or craft stick very often, they became the main focus of his exploration and learning. He wanted to know, “Why are my hands sticky?” and why his sticks would not stay together. He expressed frustration at the idea of having to wait for the glue to dry.
What I learned: The pan worked really well for keeping most of the spices off the floor and clean-up to a minimum. Yay!
Be sure to decide what spices are be appropriate for the age of your child. The great thing about a project like this is that it is easily tailored to a range of ages. Older children can draw a picture first, then “color” it with spices. Use black markers or paint for a stained glass effect. And of course you can always branch out into other foods… if just might not make your house smell as delicious.