Toddlers have an insatiable curiosity about the world. This one does anyway. She wants to open every drawer and cupboard to see what’s inside, eat every dust bunny to see what it tastes like, climb every surface to see what it’s like to be on top. That’s why no matter how many toys she has, she will always be bored with them. Right now she prefers activities that allow her to explore something new. It’s not hard to do since almost everything is new to you if you’re 14 months old. Just this morning I gave her a potato masher and that occupied her long enough for me to heat up her breakfast.
Sometimes though, just handing her a random kitchen utensil doesn’t quite do it. That’s when you gotta get a little more creative. Pinterest is an awesome resource when you just can’t think of something to do. I had been wanting to do some exploration with R using baking soda and vinegar and saw many different ways to do this on different blogs. Because I love easy clean up I decided to meld a few different approaches into one. It was super easy to set up/clean up and kept R entertained for a good 10 minutes solo.
Here are the materials you need to set it up for yourself:
- a sheet or towel to cover the floor
- a big shallow tub to catch spills (there WILL be spills)
- a few paper/plastic cups
- Crayola color bath dropz
- baking soda
- a spoon
*Most of these items you’ll find you already have, the only thing you may need to buy are the bath dropz. I chose to use these because most other tutorials used food coloring which stains fingers for a while. Since these bath dropz are intended for colored bath water, they only discolor fingers for a little while and wash clear quickly. I told you, I hate messes.
All you need to do for this activity is pour vinegar into paper cups and add a bath drop into each cup to change its color. Then show your little one how to spoon vinegar into each cup to make it fizz different colors. They’ll be engaged in the spooning for a while. For us, it eventually turned into tipping all the cups over and making a rainbow water trough, but that’s fun too.
This activity is great for the developing thinking and fine motor skills. It helps them learn about cause and effect (fizzing action and color mixing), and helps their little fingers and hands master that pesky skill of spooning small things into containers (great practice for self feeding). If you wanted to work on pincer grasp you could reverse the process by giving them a dropper of vinegar to add to cups filled with baking soda. So many different ways you can approach this super simple activity. Get creative, and go find out what works for you!