This weekend, my husband looked at an empty corner spot in our yard – one that used to house a mutant evergreen tree – and decided that it needed to be filled, so he made the boys a sandbox in two hours flat. I’m not quite sure how he did it all so fast, but that’s because I can’t use a hammer without ending up with smashed thumb.
While Sean worked on the sandbox, I kept the boys away from the mesmerizing, limb-threatening saw with water colors. Water colors is just behind power tools as the newest toddler craze. Not the painting kind – though Jonas does dig painting with nothing but water on brightly colored construction paper, drenching it until the paper tears.
Our version of water colors is a simple preschool science experiment in scooping, dumping, and color mixing. I didn’t start the activity with that in mind; it was an attempt to keep a pair of stir crazy boys from drawing almond butter portraits of the cat on the walls.
One rainy day, I just took a solid favorite — scooping anything (beans, dry oatmeal, Cheerios) from one container to another — added water, and then threw in a few drops of food coloring.
There you have it. Water colors. It’s one of those activities that both boys love, and keeps them engaged for a good 20 minutes.
After a turning yellow and blue to green, we joined Sean outside, where all three of them banged away at the sandbox under construction. They watched him prepare the ground for the sandbox and move it into place, then fill it with bags of sand.
Jonas gave the sandbox a hearty “Hurray!” and a round of applause, while Axel tested out its sturdiness by leaping from one edge to the other.
All together, the sand, water, and an empty cardboard box kept them entertained for hours. Some classics never get old.