It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Fabulous Fake Tie-Dye for Tots

I found this craft online — the Internet Knows All — and knew I had to try it with the kids. Witness the creation of one of Jazz’s going-away gifts! The children all helped make this (including Jazz, who had no idea it was to be hers). I’m so devious…

Materials required:
a clean, pale t-shirt, washed and dried
permanent markers (doesn’t have to be Sharpies; I used Tul and they worked just fine)
rubbing alcohol (mine was 99%)
cup or cookie cutters
small bowl or cup for the alcohol

The original blogger slipped a cup under the t-shirt and held it in place with an elastic as she made the dots. The tots didn’t really have the coordination to dot on something so flexible, so I used cookie cutters to delineate the space. The firmness of the table under the fabric made it much easier for them. If you wanted, you could put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the ink from bleeding through to the back. We didn’t, and the effect was actually rather pretty!


To ensure pretty circles instead of Circle of Mud, I had the children choose one colour, and then I chose one or two more that would work with that colour.

Then I slipped the cookie cutter underneath the dots, aligning it as best I could with its original position, and secured it with the elastic.


Then the magic starts! Fill the eye-dropped with rubbing alcohol, and drop into the centre of the circle. Watch it spread!

The more alcohol you add, the further and more quickly it spreads. It also gets fainter, but you’d have to pour a lot of alcohol on to erase the colour altogether. Certainly, we never managed that!


(How much input did the kids have at this point? Mostly just watching and “ooo-ing”, but I did go hand-over-hand with the older children a couple of times.)

A finished circle!

A shirt of circles!

And then, because Mary is a curious and experimental sort, she began to wonder what would happen if you didn’t use the circle templates. What if you just went free-form?

I made vertical lines in several shades of green, yellow, and blue in a very haphazard way along the bottom of the shirt. Some long, some short, just to give the overall impression of grass, I guess. Then I dropped alcohol on it.

I love the effect!

Isn’t it adorable?
And so eeeeeasy!


Apparently, you heat-set the colours by tossing it in a dryer for 30 minutes. Now, I’ve done that to this shirt, but then I gave it away and have yet to hear how effective that was. My own tendency would be to wash it with dark colours, on cold, at least once, to see how secure the colours are.

But CUTE! I love this craft!

August 8, 2013 Posted by | crafts, daycare | , , , | 3 Comments

He’s a tosser

You know how I’ve said that Daniel is a tank? Built on the square plan? Obviously likes his food?

He is. He does. All that. A boy as solid as he is does not turn his nose up at food. Put food on his tray, his big blue eyes light right up.

FOOD! He knows what to do with FOOD!!!!

Throw it on the floor! (Of course. Why? Did you have a different idea?) And then my job, see, my job is to pick it up and give it back to him! So he can throw it again!!!!

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Much as he loves to eat, he loves to toss even more. Doesn’t matter what it is: cheerios, apple slices, bottles (toys, books, a jar of cherries) … put it on the tray, and within a second or two, it’s on the floor.

Isn’t this FUN???!?

Wellllll… no. Not when you’re over two years old or so. I am a loooooong ways past two years old or so. So very long past that this game is fun precisely… never. Not even the first time. Because I’ve seen this game so very, very, very, very, very many times in my life, you know? And I know that for the child, it just never gets old. I’ve tried indulging them, doing it for a while, assuming that eventually the child will decide it’s time to eat. It just never happens. Well, maybe it would, but I sure don’t know how long that would take. I’ve never had the patience to find out. This game, it does not grab me.

I do remember playing fetch with my eldest. I was a new mother, this was my much-beloved first child, and for a while, it was fun! It wasn’t the game, of course, it was my Love For My Child. Her eyes just sparkled with glee! And that chortle, when I dipped down below the high chair tray and popped back up again with whatever it was. So cute!!! I loved it! Her excited flapping when I plonked the item back on the tray. Beyond adorable. I laughed, awash with fond maternal adoration. My.Child.Was.SO.CUTE!!!!

I loved it. For about six repeats I loved it. Maybe ten. And then (proving that adult attention spans are woefully inferior to that of a 7-month-old, or at least mine is) I got bored. I had wrung every morsel of fun out of this game, and now? Now it was just tedious. Yeah, she was still sparkling, chortling and flapping. But me, I’d had enough of bending and stretching, dipping and plonking. Bored. Bored, bored, bored.

You know what? This game doesn’t get any more exciting with the passage of time.

She’s 25 now, so I think I can safely say that the last time I enjoyed Mommy Go Fetch was 24.6 years ago. Moreover, I now have five under-threes ringed around my table. Do I want them re-discovering the joys of flinging food? I do NOT. Can you imagine? Lunch times five all over the floor? The dogs would love it, but me? Not such a fan.

Not all kids play this game, of course, but Daniel, he LOVES it. Loves it, loves it, loves it. It is pretty clear that in Daniel’s wee mind, high chair trays were specifically designed with that game in mind.

Yeah. Whee. Fun.

His level of persistence and enthusiasm suggests to me that his parents are not attention-challenged like me. I suspect they play this game and love it, right along with him. Isn’t that so cute? (Really. I think it is. His parents are lovely people, almost as adorable as their son, and the picture of them all laughing together with delight at this mind-numbing simple game is truly a lovely one.) Sadly for Daniel, the game that is delight and love for the three of them makes my brain melt.

So here, when food is tossed to the floor, I sing-song, “No-no, Daniel! Food stays ON the tray. ON,” as I pop it firmly back on the tray.

Of course, Daniel greets the return of the food with glee, because I AM PLAYING THE GAME!!!! And then he dumps it on the floor again. Of course. And then, oh, poor, poor Daniel, then I say, “Oh, I guess you’re not hungry!” in the cheeriest of tones, and I lift him down and set him on the floor. “Away you go and play!”

He stands there, puzzlement turning to confusion morphing into dismay, as I continue feeding the others. You can see the thought process.

“Wait! That’s not supposed to happen! What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t she know the rules?!?! W.T.F???”

I give him a minute or two to wallow in all this before I pop him back in the high chair for round two. So far, round two goes pretty much the way round one did. Food on tray, food tossed from tray… only this time I don’t plonk the food back on his tray, not even once. No, this time we go straight to “I guess you’re not hungry after all!” No second chances on round two. Round three? There is no round three. After round two, he’s done with the high chair until the next meal or snack.

He’s still not quite sure what the hell is going on… except that it’s wrong. Just, just, just WRONG!!! The boy is flabbergasted. Gob-smacked, even. (And that? THAT I find entertaining.)

But, confusing or not, you know what? When you’ve missed out on morning snack because it was more exciting to toss it on the floor… by the time lunchtime rolls around, you’re much TOO HUNGRY to even think of tossing it on the floor.

Mwah-ha. My evil plan is working.

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Daniel, Developmental stuff, food | , , , , | 6 Comments

Back this aft!

“We are going bod-a-keen?”

“Yes, we are, lovie. Let’s get your snowpants on.”


We’ll be back in a bit. Serious bod-a-keen-ing awaits.

(Guesses welcome.) 🙂

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Canada, Noah, outings | , , , , | 16 Comments


Friday, Noah was a normal two-year-old.


“I hear a airplane. Where is it going?”
“I don’t know, sweetie.”

“Nissa has a poo?”
“Yes, she does.”


“We’re going to go to the 7-Eleven for Smarties for you, hon.”
“For when you do a poo. You know that.”


“Give me that, my dear. It’s too small for the baby.”
“She will put it in her mouth.”
“That’s just what babies do.”
“I don’t know. You used to put everthing in your mouth, too.”
“Beats me. Why did you do that?”


I think the phrase he’s searching for is “damned if I know”. Lacking that, he’s struck dumb. For the moment. But only for the moment, for it is clear that Noah has entered the Why Stage.

It’s not so bad: At least he listens to the answers.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Developmental stuff, Noah, the things they say! | , | 6 Comments

Why I love my job, reason #563,143,654

Anna makes her leaf belt. Don’t you just want to squeeze her all to goodness?

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Anna, crafts, outings | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments