By Beka Compton
the Times 

Keep calm and stay busy

Take it from Gracie, these projects are bound to be a hit with the toddlers!


March 26, 2020

Beka Compton

Gracie loved playing with shaving cream. Aside from my Roomba issue, the cleanup was very easy!

Self- isolating during a pandemic isn't easy. Throw a very social, extremely busy toddler in the mix, and self-isolating suddenly seems impossible. After spending a couple of years as a full-time stay at home mom with my daughter, Gracie, I've got a few toddler-tested and approved projects up my sleeve.

One of our favorite projects is a simple one. Shaving cream 'paint' is super inexpensive and the ingredients are typically already in your home. All you need is shaving cream and food coloring. I separated the shaving cream into a few different containers and added a drop of two of coloring to each container. If you don't keep shaving cream or food coloring around, you can get both at Waitsburg Grocery for less than $10.

I covered an old amazon box with tin foil and let Gracie have at it in my kitchen, however, I'd recommend painting with shaving cream outside. The colored cream will leave stains on clothing, but it washed right off Gracie's hands and arms. Whatever you do, do not run a Roomba during this: I learned the hard way that it's worse than the Facebook-famous poo-pocalypse.

I have seen people fill up bins with shaving cream and hide plastic eggs and dinosaurs, for a dinosaur excavation. This is next on my list, and I think Gracie will really enjoy it.

We also took a trip down to Nancy's Dream Garden earlier this week and I let Gracie pick out some seeds. A full garden's worth of seeds (almost 20 packets) and a big bag of organic soil cost me less than $40, and it resulted in almost three hours of distraction. Gracie and I spent an afternoon mixing the soil with our secret-recipe organic fertilizer, filling small containers, and planting seeds.

It was a great learning opportunity for Gracie. Not only were we honing in on her fine-motor skills by letting her carefully plant the seeds, we were also learning our vegetables and associating letters with the names. As a bonus, Gracie has added 'watering seeds' to her mini chore list.

While grabbing coffee the other day, Lisa Russell, a barista at Ten Ton, gave me an entire list of fun food projects. Gracie and I decided to play with colors, and we used M&M's to demonstrate. Using coffee filters, we placed a single M&M in the center of the filter and dropped a drop of water on each candy. Gracie loved to watch the colors bleed onto the filters and then spread across the fibers. Gracie has been working hard to learn all of the colors, so this was a fun way to teach.

Lisa sent us a huge list of projects, and I'm looking forward to trying as many as we can during our isolation time. Do you have any projects you'd like to share? Send me an email at I'd love to hear from you!


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