Wednesday, July 25, 2012

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 76: Corn Cob Paint Roller

Earlier this week, I shared some natural teething remedies that I've picked up in my few years as a mommy.  One of those remedies involved a corn cob (click here to read more about that and other teething tips).  My husband actually removed the corn bits from all three of our cobs, "just in case" I needed more than one for my blog.  I didn't.  Or so I thought.

I stared for a while at the leftover cobs on our counter top.  What could I use them for?  A creative idea hit me: an empty corn cob + corn holders = a paint roller.  

Set up an area that you feel comfortable with your kids making a mess.  Take an empty, scraped corn cob and stick two corn holders on the sides to make a paint roller.  If you don't have corn holders, they're not really necessary, but they do help keep your kid's hands relatively clean.  Put a few sheets of plain white paper on the work area.  You can tape them down to keep them from sliding.  Squirt some washable, non-toxic paints on a long sheet of wax paper (or parchment paper or whatever you have in the house).  

Show your child how to roll his/her "paint roller" into the paint.  Encourage your kid to roll it on the white sheets of paper.  

Oliver enjoys figuring out how new things work.  To him, the paint roller was a puzzle.  He dipped it in the paint and stuck his face close to the paper to watch the paint transfer from the roller to paper.

If you use primary colors (yellow, red, and blue), then it's possible they'll end up mixing on the paper and will make new colors. If your child is a little older, you can take that opportunity to teach that red and yellow mix to make orange. Yellow and blue mix to make green, and red and blue mix to make purple. The colors they make--orange, green, and purple--are secondary colors.  If your child is younger, simply point out which colors they are using as they use them to teach the names of colors. Also, if your child is younger, you might also find that he (or she) enjoys the feel of the paint. Young toddlers love to explore different textures! If you don't mind a mess, let your child feel the paint. Be careful not to let him get it in his eyes or shove it in his mouth. Even though it's non-toxic, it's better to be safe than sorry. For kids that enjoy shoving everything into their mouths, you can try yogurt finger painting instead.

Oliver loved using the roller, but, in the end, he wasn't able to resist the temptation of using his fingers to spread the paint around.  Let's just say I ended up with quite the mess, but nothing a little soap and water couldn't clean!

Corn Cob Paint Roller earns an B+.  It's creative and fun.  Because it's new and unique, it engages kids. It's also a very affordable activity.  Corn is currently still in season and is quite cheap.  In my area, it's priced at 20 cents an ear and falling!  However, the activity is also messy, involves both prep and clean-up, and requires a number of materials (paints, corn, etc).

Do any of you upcycle your corn cobs? What do you use them for? My husband told me they make great kindling for fires. I read online that Native Americans used to use them for toilet paper. My friend also told me you can spread a bit of peanut butter on them and roll them in bird seed to create a bird feeder. My son and I might tackle the bird feeder project some weekend soon. I'll be sure to update how it works for us!


Anonymous said...

I run a private home daycare and would love to know how I can see ALL 100 ways to entertain a Toddler starting at day ONE. How can I do this?

whirledpeas1129 said...

I have a link to read all of the 100 Ways to Entertain a Toddler posts:

That sorts newest to oldest. I'm only at day 76 right now. Day 77 will post on Tuesday!

I will try to figure out how to sort them from oldest to newest and post an updated link.