There are some mornings where my children are like tiny unicorns, magically entertaining themselves without fussing; that’s not most mornings. Today I thought I’d try to keep my three-year-old from pestering his baby brother long enough for me to drink my new obsession, my chai tea latte. Yes, this activity was inspired by me getting some me time and I have no shame!
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For the little ones, fine motor skills require practice and more practice, but it can be difficult thinking of new ways to keep them practicing. This activity was inspired by leftover tea that I didn’t want to waste. As most who know me will attest, I work hard to limit our wastefulness. My mom visited and we had a pot of tea made for iced tea but didn’t get to finish it and it was left sitting out for too long. I’ve done art before with coffee and tea, so I figured we could try it out with the preschooler. He actually said, “This is fun, mom!” But it failed to keep his interest long enough for me to have my chai tea latte, I guess his learning and joy can be a win enough… right? Ask me after my latte.
What you’ll need:
*Small Dropper like this one:
*Leftover Tea or Coffee (plain)
It’s a pretty straightforward activity, but here’s a little outline of what we did:
- Lay out some sort of newspaper or barrier under your paper, because if your kid is like mine he or she will want to squirt as much out of the dropper all at once and saturate the paper. Your table will thank you for this step.
- Set up a small bowl of tea or coffee next to your small dropper, small being the key here. The less they can spill the better.
- If they need it, this is when I’d also put on an apron or bib or throw on an old/large shirt.
- Teach them to use the dropper; Hold the dropper with one hand around the base and dip it in the liquid, squeeze the top with the other hand and let go and watch the liquid get sucked up! Squirt it out in one squeeze or let tiny drips drop onto the paper. For a sensory experience encourage them to then ‘finger paint’ in the liquid.
- As the liquid dries, talk about how the liquid is changing (getting lighter, darker edges, etc) and how the paper is probably changing too (wavy, wrinkly, etc).
- Hang your artwork or add to it with crayons, stamps, or anything you can think of, think of the coffee/tea as a base to your artwork.