Camp Sweatshop shall now officially be known as Camp Cornstarch

*seriously, how funny would it be to do an entire production of The Vagina Monologues, replacing the word "vagina" with "cornstarch" throughout? No? Just me then? Kayforgetisaidanything.

Today's Activity: Making Moon Sand

There is approximately a gigaplex of websites that have this recipe and you can find it with a quick Google search. Let me say this about them all: not really worth the effort. I played with the ratios over and over and never could get it to come out like the kind you buy in the store. The best I got were some tightly packed snowballs that gave me tendinitis and lasted until a butterfly flew overhead and disturbed the air current with the flapping of it's wings resulting in a wind that completely destroyed the integrity of the balls. In the end, I let the girls mix the orange and purple together to make a lovely shade of brown and then dump it in the wading pool. So, unless you know someone more crafty than I who can show you what you're doing wrong, or you have a veritable plethora of cornstarch, I wouldn't make this for a birthday party gift or to impress the other moms. The process was fun though and it was a great sensory stim activity, so what am I complaining about? It kept them busy for a good twenty minutes. Note to self: next activity should last at least twenty-one minutes; otherwise we are going backwards in this adventure.

To two parts cornstarch,

add one part water. Now mix. See previous entries about mixing cornstarch. Patience is required.

Now add three parts play sand or craft sand, or whatever is cheaper because I'm pretty sure there's not a single difference between the two except for how much they're willing to charge for it.

Did I say it comes in colors? It does.

Mix. Or better said, give it to your children to mix because you are so totally OVER this cornstarch crap by now.

Mix some more. Yell at children for wiping it all on their clothing. Realize it's completely unrealistic of you to expect them to make something that has the word "sand" in its title and not get completely filthy and grubby and covered with... well.. sand. Then tell them to do whatever they want with it. Take a handful and throw it at them when they don't believe you. Start a monkey-fighting sand fight.

Shake sand out of ears and hair and complete mixing.

It starts to look like biscuit batter after awhile.

Try to make two separate colors of sand and keep them apart. Realize almost immediately it is also completely unrealistic to ask them not to mix the sand colors since clearly the sand is dark matter and not only does it want to rejoin all the bits of itself that were spread apart during the big bang, but it also wants all the grass and hair it can find too and the shortlings are simply helping the universe along. Who are you to argue with physics according to toddlerhood?

Take a handful of the mixed sand and squeeze into a ball. Then watch it fall apart like... well... again... sand. Try again but squeeze tighter. And then tighter. And tighter still. And a little bit more now. When it feels like had it been a piece of coal, it might now be a diamond, stop squeezing and you will have small balls like this:

Then weep silently as the youngones take all your hard work and dump it into the wading pool. Not because you care about the sand, but because you will now have to clean all that sand out of the pool.

One week left until school starts. If I live through the next seven days, you can find me kissing a nurse in Time Square.