Travis and I have played with flour before, as one way to introduce him to the joys of cooking and the concept of working with food. Although I don’t bake as often as I did pre-motherhood, I always set Travis up with a bag of flour, a big spoon, and a few measuring cups when I do whip up a batch of cookies or weekend morning pancakes. I’ll tell him about what we’re doing, and he latched on to the concept right away. Now he tells me he’s making “hot cross buns” or “strawberry pancakes” (from Daniel Tiger) while he spoons into the flour.
Lately, I also turned to flour as an alternative to sand for an “indoor sandbox.” Travis has been on a sand-scooping kick but I’m not a fan of kinetic sand, and prefer alternatives such as uncooked oats, kosher salt, or even dried beans.
Today, I upped the ante with additions to our flour sandbox aside from our usual spoons and measuring cups!
After some time spent with the usual scooping play, I added Travis’ construction vehicles. He immediately took to the idea of the flour as “dirt” in a construction site, and very soon was loading up dump truck with the help of bulldozer’s shovel.
He also loved driving other vehicles through the flour, including a toy school bus and a blue jeep, although he was not impressed when I tried to help him see the tire tracks his cars made.
Once we tired of vehicles, I smoothed the surface to draw a few shapes and letters in the flour. We’ve been working on recognition of the letters in his name lately (as well as B-O-O-T-S thanks to the Laurie Berkner song!) so those were two fun words to add to the pan.
Travis than used the point of his safety scissors to draw and proudly told me he’d made an oval – his best yet!
Hand prints completed the fun.
While we worked, Travis was quite concerned that his trucks and school bus were dirty, so I promised him at the end he could help me give all the vehicles a bath. As soon as we’d wiped the flour from our hands and feet, I set him up with a small washcloth and tiny basin of soapy water, and he gave the trucks a little scrubbing (though in full honesty, this mama had to finish off the job as he got bored and wandered off midway through).