Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dyed Memory... the spirit of New Mexican politics, today I'm keeping the post all in the family and giving them preferential treatment because I just get to do that. :)  My younger sister Carolyn submitted a Pinstrosity that she ended up with when she tried an activity from the blog about baby/toddler playtime activities that another one of my younger sisters writes. 

I am the oldest child and got married first, but 2 of my younger sisters soon caught up, got married, and passed us in the "family development" department and I now have 3 nephews between them. This has worked out great for me because for once I don't have to be the pioneer. I get to watch what they do and learn from their adventures in kid-land! My sister Diedre has a degree in Early Childhood Education and started a series on her personal blog about what kids learn from various playtime activities. We all convinced her that she should start a separate site/blog specifically about these activities and it has been fun to watch her build the site, add the activities, and to learn what these activities help babies/toddlers learn from just normal playtime activities. My sister Carolyn has used some of those activities with her 2 boys and I'm sure I'll use some with Merle when he comes along. Carolyn was looking for something to do to entertain her oldest boy (2 yrs old), and turned to her Pinterest boards and found one she had pinned from Diedre's Playing to Learn blog and decided to try out this activity:

The Original Pin:
Rainbow Spaghetti! For eating, for playing, for discovering. She had read through the directions when she first pinned it and figured she could recall the process from memory. She did pretty good, but got two steps jumbled together instead of keeping them separate. The instructions say to boil the pasta with food coloring, adn then afterwards add some oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. Carolyn added the oil while the noodles were cooking instead. She said, "So I separated the pasta into thirds, added a few drops of coloring, red, blue, and green, and about a half tablespoon of oil.  I started to mix it together and the color didn't spread very well.  The problem was that the oil kept the color from spreading well."

The Pinstrosity:

So the coloring process didn't work real great, but she forged on anyway. After the pasta was done cooking and half dyeing, Carolyn says she "mixed all the colors together in my large pot, and placed it on the floor.  It took a minute or two for Wyler to get in there and play with it.  But when he did the spaghetti was flung across the kitchen floor. No big deal, vinyl floors are easy to clean... except picking up angel hair spaghetti, that is a little oily isn't the easiest.  Especially when a two year old empties the pot before you can put a handful back in the pot.  So now my floor is nice and oily.  Next time I am going to put a sheet down first.  Keep the oil mess contained better, and I can shake the pasta off into my compost pile."

So this was a great activity for Carolyn and Wyler...they both got to learn, lol. Most of us on here are guilty of just winging a project we read the directions for way back sometime...and sometimes it works out and other times we end up having to improvise or throw away. But that is part of the learning process, and there's nothing wrong with it. I end up having to improvise quite often, but I have learned some great new things to do (and things not to do) that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. I know there are some of our readers who are driven batty when someone wings it, but personally I think it's a great part of life to be able to explore, exercise our brain, and adventurize. I'll probably wing things my whole life. Now, I'm not saying throw out the instructions every single me, I love a set of well written instructions. But sometimes you just have to deviate a little. Are you not the wing-it type? That's okay. We like you just as much as we like the wing-it lovers. We all have our own method of learning, discovering, and creating.

I hope you all have a great Thursday! I'm off now to get my house ready for Diedre, our Mother-in-Law (Diedre and I married brothers), and my nephew to come visit for a few days. Mostly that just means making sure I put away my craft paints and Cameron's knives out of Erik's reach. It's liking going on a treasure hunt through my house, hahaha.


  1. Replies
    1. Hey there northern neighbor! I knew fellow New Mexicans would understand that opener, lol.

    2. Hello from Albuquerque! It's raining here. :)

    3. Yesterday when you mentioned roasting green chile, it gave it all away. There's is only one place that people talk about that... New Mexico. :) All in the family is right.

  2. I wing it a lot when a project seems straightforward but if I hit a road block, I will try to find the info online. I've learned the hard way to carefully research more involved projects and follow the instructions to the letter.

  3. Just a quick correction. You want to cook your noodles in plain old water (NO color or oil) first, just as if you were going to eat them. Once you've drained off all the water you dump the noodles back into the empty pot (working in batches if you want multiple colors) and add in a *smidgen* of oil and a TON of food coloring.
    Carolyn's idea of putting a sheet down to contain the mess is a good one, although the food coloring will probably stain your sheet, so make sure it's one you don't care about. Another good option is to pick up a shower curtain liner for a buck at the dollar store and keep that handy for messy activities like this.

  4. I'll check marquette's sister blog to see what kids can learn from eating colored spaguetti on the floor. I'm being serious, not ironic, I'll share a little story: One of my cousins is a single mom, and always had a babysitter who looked after her son while she was at work, because she assumed that would be a better option than daycare centers, or kindergartens. Until she started to work at home: she found out that her boy would eat almost everywhere around the house, but never at the dinning table. He told her mom that his nanny always gave him a bowl of food and he could eat it watching TV at the living room, on his bed, playing in the garden, etc. while she did the house cleaning. I'm not sure if it is such a great idea to let a kid eat everywhere around the house. But I'll check the original blog, perhaps this is somehow useful.

    1. This activity is more designed for texture and color exploration. It just helps that the "toy" is edible so you don't have to worry about keeping it out of their mouths. I can attest to the fact that meal time for Erik is up to the table in his chair; he knows that's where they eat.

  5. Thanks for taking time to answer my comment in a respectful manner( I was afraid someone might missunderstand it). If you put it that way it makes some sense, letting the "toy" be edible. I started following this blog because it's both funny and useful, I had my own "Pinstrosities" hidden in my closet ;)


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