Pen Elaine and I are always up for something that gets us creating with our hands. However, Pen Elaine is always up for eating whatever is put in front of her, so that makes things more tricky. I had seen several ideas for toddlers painting with colored pudding and engaging in sensory play with scented yogurt. Both sounded very fun for us, so I used what I had at the house: Greek yogurt and food coloring!
First, I put her in her craft smock, put her in her high chair for easy cleanup, then I placed an empty muffin tin on her tray.
Pen Elaine was very intrigued by the bright colors as I stirred the food coloring into each dollop of yogurt. I did wind up with a few spots on my fingers from food coloring, but once it was mixed into the yogurt, there was no danger of that, so Pen Elaine got off scott free. I would still love suggestions for a cheap but more natural way of dying the yogurt- I might try fruit juice or instant tea mixes I have around next time.
I started her off with a spoon, so she ate all she could scoop, then I switched her to a paintbrush and gave her some paper to “paint.” She loved the whole experience. She’s on the cusp for learning colors, but when she’s a little closer to labeling them, I would pair this activity with reading Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh and include some color mixing!
Cool aspects for development in this activity with a 1.5-year-old are simply to be working together on something – we took turns mixing the colored yogurt and admiring the colors (and taste) of the yogurt paint. Kids at this age just need practice interacting with someone one-on-one, especially when it comes to cooperating and sharing happy experiences with someone else. Pen Elaine also got to engage in tool use, including some things that Mommy uses around the kitchen, which is great for modeling and fine motor development.