My nephew is incredibly active and curious. Toys and gadgets don't keep him entertained for long. He wants to be exploring, dismantling, jumping, and moving. The two things he'll sit still for are Elmo music videos and videos of himself. While this really is cute and funny, I know it wears my sister out. She is a trooper though and has worked hard to find activities for him to do that will help keep his attention, focus his curiosity, and let him explore things. She's found things that work well...she's found things that don't work (she's kept a log of the various toddler/baby activities, which you can find here). Anytime I see something cool on Pinterest for her to try out with her boy I tag her in it. She probably gets tired of her obnoxious childless (okay...technically I do have a child right now, but I'm not really raising him yet...just growing him) older sister sending her activities and links...but what is an older sister for but to annoy and meddle? Two traits I found I mastered in my life (I'm typing up my old journals from when I was a kid...if I weren't already pregnant that'd serve as a pretty good prevention technique). Today's post has an activity I would have definitely tagged and sent to her on Pinterest. It looks like a blast. Sarah thought it looked like a great idea as well. Bubble Wrap and shaving cream combined into a fun kid's activity? What could go wrong?!
The Original Pin
Look how happy she is! It makes me want to play in shaving cream and bubble wrap. Ultimate slip and slide?!
Sarah says, "I was trying to get creative with sensory activities for my boys. Enter, Pinterest's "The Bubble Wrap Sensory Slide". The picture of the adorable little girl looking thoroughly pleased and shrieking with joy as she played in the bubble wrap and shaving cream had me sold...Shame on me for thinking this seemingly effortless activity would turn out like it was supposed to AND that my kids would actually enjoy it. I recruited my mom to bring us bubble wrap from work, went to the dollar store and stocked up on shaving cream and planned the showdown with the ever-fickle game of perfectly timing organized activities with nap time, meal time, potty time, daddy-comes-home time, bed time, etc. I put a notable amount of energy into making this deceptively uncomplicated project into a three-minute reality for my family."
"It is important to note that my children are familiar with both shaving cream and bubble wrap. This is how it played out:"
I'll just give you Sarah's play by play in her own words:
- Laying out the bubble wrap on the grass really just involved me chasing it around the yard as it blew in the wind."
- It took more than five 12-oz cans of shaving cream for "desired effect".
- The kids wanted *nothing* to do with that strange mess mommy made on the ground.
- After I enthusiastically demonstrated what they were supposed to do by jumping up and down, popping bubble wrap with my feet and using my best supportive and overdone, over-zealous mom voice to encourage their participation (and realizing it is way harder than it looks to stand on slippery plastic covered in shaving cream), I picked up each boy and set them right on top of the bubble wrap and made them try it.
- My 16-month-old sprung right up and off the bubble wrap like a wind-up toy the second I set him down. I'm pretty sure he levitated; irate baby #1.
- My almost-3-year-old stood up and fell down and stood up again then tried to walk but the bubble wrap stuck to his feet as he tried to walk away and it "followed him" - you can feel the passion in his fury in these pictures.
- The worst part of the bubble wrap sensory slide was every time you lifted your foot to walk or take a step, the bubble wrap would stick to your feet; it stuck to everything.
- It was over in three minutes.
- Side note: Food coloring plus children is a stupid idea.
- Thank you Pinterest, for underhandedly bringing me an experience of foolishness I never knew existed, in front of my children, husband and on-looking neighbors. Not cool, Pinterest...not cool.
Poor Sarah! All that hard work and excited anticipation for a let down. Magdelyn and Stephanie I'm sure could say, "I know how you feel!". Even though I don't have kids yet, I feel like I can commiserate as I do with with the teenage girls at church (I love them, but sometimes I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall). Having a highly anticipated activity flop is so disheartening. But kids' fickleness does have a plus...in a year, this activity could be the coolest thing those to boys can imagine. Or it could be a repeat trauma for all involved. I'd give out advice on how to help a kid like an activity like this or on how to try this activity again and making it a positive experience...but I'm pretty much a zero on the experience meter here. Oh I could make something up and still give out ideas and advice...but I don't imagine that'd be all that helpful, lol. Mom's out there...any suggestions?