To make oatmeal dough, mix 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of salt.
The cinnamon is optional, but it adds an amazing scent to the mixture. The salt helps to preserve the dough.
Slowly add a 1/4 cup of warm water and mix well. You may need to add a tablespoon more of flour if your dough is too wet or a tablespoon of water if your dough is too dry. My daughter loved the sticky sensation of mixing the dough with her hands. Since all of the ingredients are edible, this activity is safe to do with toddlers that still like to explore through their sense of taste.
If you want more dough, just double the quantities (don't forget to double the amount of water as well!).
Once the the dough was mixed, Sophia rolled the oatmeal dough into small round beads. Rolling dough is great for manipulating fine motor muscles. After Sophia created ten beads, I made holes in the center by pushing a metal chopstick through each one. I kept the beads on the chopsticks to dry. You can also let them dry on wax paper.
We wanted to do some marble painting with the beads, so I placed a piece of paper at the bottom of a baking tray with high sides. I squirted a generous amount red, yellow, white and blue paint on the paper.
My daughter dropped the beads on the paper and began to move the baking tray back and forth and from side to side.
It was amazing to watch the beads pull the paints to create new colors and intricate designs.
The beads ended up looking like marbles.
We decided to make a card out of the paint.
I placed the beads back on the chopsticks to dry. When they were ready, I sprayed a non-toxic sealer over the beads to help preserve them.
I dipped one end of piece of twine in glue. You can also use yarn.
The glue dries hard and easier to bead with.
I looped the twine around one bead to prevent the other beads from falling off. Sophia enjoyed counting the beads as she strung them. Beading helps young children to develop their hand-eye coordination.
Here is Sophia's finished product. She will give it to her favorite auntie for Christmas!
Sophia made a sculpture out of the remaining dough.
She painted the sculpture and decided that it was a grandmother.