18. Salad Spinner Painting

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“Mommy, what’s that?” is what I often hear when I bring out the salad spinner to wash greens (which is more rarely than I care to admit.) The spinner is irresistible to a little boy who loves machines of all sorts. Combine it with tempera paint and it’s even more fun. We found that less paint actually worked better than more for getting the spin effect, although it’s hard to tell that to toddlers whose motor control and impulse control aren’t fully developed! I cut paper plates to fit inside the bottoms of the spinners. One of the mom members of our toddler art group suggested taping paper, cut to fit, to the inside of the spinner itself as a second way of creating art. I may add liquid starch or even water to make the paints thinner next time, so they spin out better.  A lot of paint drips out of the bottom and collects on the sides, so we had brushes on hand for traditional painting as well.  My 18-month-old niece was entirely fascinated by the process and could have spent an hour at the table. I bought my spinners at Goodwill.

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