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      My son loves to build. So, I bought him three different kinds of blocks and eventually, he got bored with all of them. It  was time for a new project. We cut different shapes out of colored papers. We made rectangles, triangles, squares and  circles. Then, we put them all on a table and started building a town. We made houses, trees, cars, trains and people. My  son loved the game! The best part is that this game is portable ( just put all the pieces in a ziploc bag and take it with you  to a restaurant or on a plane ride.) While building , you can also discuss shapes, sizes and colors, therefore, learning them.  You can count shapes:  “Find how many circles we have?”or count shapes and colors: “Find how many blue squares we have?” … etc. Additionally, this is a perfect rainy day activity.

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Finger paints are easily found in stores. They are also frequently eaten by little ones. I saw many complicated finger paint recipes online and did not want to try them, because I wanted to make something very simple and also very delicious and relatively healthy: in case one of my kids ingests it. I also wanted to make the creation of finger paints a creative project to do with the kids.

Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients:

Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix or make a vegan one
Food Coloring (see below)

Make the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Divide into portions and mix in different food coloring for each portion. You are all set for your painting and dessert session.

Commercial food coloring has been scientifically linked to a variety of diseases and disorders. Here are some ideas for dyeing your finger paints with the contents of your fridge and pantry:.

Red

Put a medium sized beet  in a pot with a cup of water. Bring to the boil then gently simmer on stove for about 15 minutes. Once cooled pour through  cheese cloth and mix into the pudding.

Pink

Put a  handful of strawberries and a cup of water in a pot. Bring to the boil and then  simmer for 20 minutes (until liquid has reduced to about half). Once cooled pour through cheese cloth and mix into the pudding.

Green

Put half a cup of spinach or parsley in a pot with a cup of water. Bring to the boil then gently simmer on stove for about 10-15 minutes. Once cooled strain through  cheese cloth and mix into the pudding.

Blue

Put a big handful of blueberries and a cup of water in a pot. Bring to the boil and then  simmer for 20 minutes (until liquid has reduced to about half). Once cooled pour through cheese cloth and mix into the pudding.

Yellow or Orange

Mix some turmeric or curry spice mix into the pudding: 2 tbsp. for yellow, 5-6 for orange.

Purple

Mix the red and the blue paints

Do you have any interesting ideas for making the black and the brown paints?

image: Salvatore Vuono

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