Ask most grown ups, and they’ll likely say potion making was a cherished memory from childhood. With just a splash of water and containers to fill and scoop and from which to pour, kids can create potions by combining, mixing, mashing, and shaking together natural items found in the yard or at the park. With some added art supplies and some supervision from a trusted adult, kids can have hours of fun playing at potion making.
Gathering The Essentials
To make this an easy enjoyable activity for kids and caregivers alike, it helps to have some supplies on hand. Think plastic food containers, measuring cups, jars, bowls, spoons, and ladles to keep those little hands busy potion making. Add too, their naturally found items like grass, twigs, and flowers with cups of sequins, glitter, or food coloring.
Many Ways to Play
Encourage your little one to use ground-up sidewalk chalk in their potions for added color and activity. The following activities are good for hours of creative fun.
- Bubbling Brew for Pretend Play: Combine playtime and science in this fun activity that combines the classic homemade volcano experiment with the magic of potion making. Adding vinegar and baking soda will dazzle kids by introducing magical bubbles into their creations. They’ll have a great time and you’ll know they’re learning about chemistry too.
- Magic Petal Potion Making: Combining purpose with free exploration is what drives critical thinking and problem-solving skills in children. Adding sensory play to this mix makes for its own kind of magic in a child’s development. Making potions gives children an opportunity to practice the highest-order thinking skills of analysis and creation. Follow the steps in this potion making process to activate learning skills through play that will last a lifetime.
- Mud Kitchen Potions: Kids and mud make for a classic playtime combo. “Getting their hands dirty” has been shown to have physical and mental benefits as well as offering a great opportunity for creative play and development. With just a few herbs, sticks and stones, mud potion making can provide hours of opportunity for kids (and adults, too).
A Host of Hidden Benefits
Spending time outdoors benefits children in many ways, from increasing a child’s sense of self-worth and confidence in their abilities, to providing the freedom to learn creative problem solving —as well as increasing their Vitamin D absorption.
Potion making makes the most of these benefits by activating children’s curiosity of the world around them with the joyful exploration of nature in their own yards and favorite parks.
Moreover, these activities enhance your child’s ability to integrate their senses. They see their potion taking shape and changing as they mix and mash and smell the items as they go into the potion. They feel the different textures their potions take on as they work, and hear the sounds of splashing, mixing, and laughter.
Working together, these functions help develop critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to organize and remember. So, while the kids think they’re just having fun making goop, they’re really developing the cognitive abilities that will be critical to their functioning as adults.
Let’s Get Outside!
This rich sensory experience creates memories and creative thinking skills that last a lifetime. So gather some containers and scoops, offer some extra ingredients from the kitchen or the craft box, and watch the fun of pretend potions your kids can make unfold before your eyes. Again, the kids will think it’s just playtime, but you’ll know it’s so much more. Potion making is a mix of experiential learning and cherished childhood memories in one truly magical combination.