A big shout out goes to my friend Tami for yesterday's Camp Sweatshop science experiment/history lesson. She turned me onto this site and this post in particular. The best thing about it, however, was not so much the end product, but that after this activity and this activity, I had cornstarch and food coloring a-go-go in the pantry, all just calling out to be used.

If you too, have lots of cornstarch and food coloring, you may want to consider making sidewalk paint also.

Here is the cast of characters you'll need:

Put two tablespoonfuls of cornstarch in each muffin spot.

But make sure to do it outside because your feet will look like this.

Now, add two tablespoons of water to each.

Stir with the most inconvenient stirrer possible, a chopstick, but do not attempt to get a better one because it means getting your big butt off the step and tracking cornstarch back into the house. Besides you gotta make them work for it.

Now add anywhere between four and twenty-nine-teen drops of food coloring to each, depending on how you like your colors. Or how much food coloring you have to waste.

Stir some more. Have I mentioned what a pain cornstarch and water is to stir together? Consider the description of the cornstarch properties here. The harder you stir, the harder it gets to stir. And I seem to have a problem remembering that, so I try to manhandle the cornstarch. Which it does not like and rebels against. If you stir slowly, it will just melt into your hands and mix up... but it seems like it takes forever so you will try to push it. And then it will really end up taking longer. But if you're me, you will not get this through your thick head and so you will end up exerting way more energy than necessary.

Repeat with each. Now you have a lovely painter's palette of sidewalk paint.

Give them used paintbrushes from the last time you painted the kitchen and let them decorate the driveway.

Realize almost immediately that there is not nearly enough paint to do anything significant with and put the camera away so you can begin making large batches of each color. Then realize the paintbrushes do not spread the paint on our very poorly finished driveway and show them how to drizzle and splatter the paint around instead.

Then give them an art history lesson about Jackson Pollock. Laugh as the older one says, "You mean he painted PICTURES like that? Paintings that go in a MUSEUM?"

Then after all three of you are covered with cornstarch splatter and food coloring, enjoy the return of public bathing.

Oh and you can pull out the fort pieces you bought three years ago at a garage sale and promptly forgot about if you like too.

Because they will have a blast...

...for about five minutes and then The Dormouse will have to ramp up the action by turning them into a shower...

...for the little sister to enjoy.