Squishy Soap and Hand Washing
Camden has recently been very interested in sequences of events. He seems to be particularly engaged with washing things. So when I saw a wonderful post on making your own squishy soap at Mama.Papa.Bubba, I knew it would be a fun (and useful!) craft to do with Camden. (You can find the recipe and instructions here.)
We had a really fun time making the soap together while he stood in his learning tower. He liked pouring in all of the ingredientsinto the bowl, stirring and loved playing with the play doughy final product. We used peppermint Castile soap as the base, so the final product smells awesome too!
(We have this learning tower in our kitchen. Camden can stand in the tower and help when I wash dishes, make dinner or when we do projects together. Before we got the tower, he was constantly whining to be picked up when I worked at the counter. He wanted be included in what I was doing and I was frustrated because I never had two hands. It has been one of our favorite purchases and has made our time in the kitchen much more enjoyable, but it is quite large. Another smaller tower can be found here.)
An easy way to engage your child who is interested in events is to introduce hand washing. We have a traditional Montessori hand washing station, but since Camden is still a bit young to get his own water, we have been using our sink. He is still too small to reach the water so we use this faucet extender, which creates a lovely waterfall and brings the water closer to his hands.
When I introduced hand washing, I narrated the process for him as simply as I could, then I helped him through the process. I avoid talking while he was working so that he can focus on what he is doing. For example, after I put the soap on his hands I said "Now it is time to rub them together" and quietly watched as he tried to rub them, instead of saying "Rub, rub, rub goooood!" which is still my natural instinct. As he has gotten more familiar with the process, I have to say less and less to help him complete the task.
Before we made our squishy soap, I had been squirting foam soap into his hands. It certainly got the job done, but he couldn't do it with out me. I broke off small pieces of the squishy soap for him to rub in between his hands and put them next to the sink, so that he can grab them on his own. He loves making "bubbas" with our new green soap and I love that it makes him more autonomous!