Two Ingredient Tuesday: Flour and Colored Chalk

I love including my children in cooking, but it’s not always possible, especially when sharp knives and hot pots are involved. So I’ve been building an arsenal of activities to keep them occupied and entertained while I tackle garlic chopping or lasagne assembling. One of my best purchases ever as a parent is a big under-the-bed sized plastic bin that I whip out for sensory and messy activities. So first, if you don’t yet have one, make a note to yourself to find one and then make some room for it near your kitchen. I found ours at Target.

Experiment Ingredients

For this experiment, we used colored chalk and flour. That’s it. Yay for simplicity!

I placed a few scooping tools and a flour sifter in the tub. I rarely use the sifter, but my 3-year old adores it, and this is the perfect time to bring it out.

I filled a large bowl with a few scoops of flour and she got busy sifting, scooping, and mixing. Meanwhile, I assembled the lasagne and got it in the oven.

Once I had a moment, I grated some chalk into the bowl. She was intrigued and wanted to see what happened when it mixed with the flour. She was surprised that it mostly blended in, barely tinting the flour, and requested more chalk.

While she stirred, I got some dishes done, and then I returned to grate some more chalk until she had enough.

Cool Lessons

She learned about scale and volume while experimenting with these fun powdery substances, while I was able to make a hot meal…mostly uninterrupted!

Do you have any tricks for keeping kids occupied while you’re trying to get things done?

Rachelle writes about creative experiments for kids on her blog, TinkerLab.

9 Replies to “Two Ingredient Tuesday: Flour and Colored Chalk”

    1. Inspiring, Amy! I need to pick your brain. I get some help from my 3-year old, but it’s not sustainable for the whole afternoon. I think she could tell you how to make her favorite jelly + cream cheese sandwich, though 🙂

  1. I’ll give this a try! My “go to” for keeping my son occupied when i need some time in the kitchen is coloring hard boiled eggs. I always seem to have food color, vinegar and eggs on hand. It can be a little messy, but always entertains (and we learn more each time about how colors mix). At Easter, we kick it up a notch with stickers and markers to keep it special.

    1. Hi Laura,

      We have added water in the past, but on this particular day it was just dry. If I wanted to extend this longer, though, water would be a great addition. The only caveat is that it turns the whole thing into a goopy mess, which is fun to play with but tricky to clean if it’s not done promptly. Cornstarch + water (oobleck) is another fun activity, and here’s how we did it: http://tinkerlab.com/2011/01/goopy-cornstarch/

      ~rachelle

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