A child’s eyes light up when he or she sees something common used in a new way. Common objects like a cotton balls become a source of fun and exploratory learning. If you start playing simple surprise games with common household objects, your child will begin to look for creative connections in other parts of her daily activities. That is, she’ll learn, by following your lead, to think of multiple uses for one object—a key concept for good critical thinking…and it’s fun and virtually free. Here is a fun idea for cotton balls:

Cotton Ball Sculpting

  • Mix a cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) of water with a cup of flour until it becomes a smooth paste.
  • Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Dip cotton balls in the paste until they are completely coated.
  • Place the pasty cotton balls on the foil-covered cookie sheet in a fun pattern—such as, snowmen, letters, caterpillars, and snakes.
  • Bake your creation in the oven at 325 degrees (160 Celsius) for 20-60 minutes until hard and lightly browned.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, and then carefully remove your sculpture from the foil.
  • Continue to create your sculpture by painting it or adding glitter with glue.