It's a seemingly forgotten item in your pantry, unless you bake all the time. That box of cornstarch might just sit there until you toss it, but using it to entertain your toddler is virtually free and can offer up hours of amusement while also promoting several aspects of your little one's development. So, use up that box of cornstarch, then stock up on more so you can continue with the cornstarch fun -- especially on a rainy day.
Most toddlers aren't going to turn down an afternoon of playing with slime, and whipping up your own will save you money. Plus, if your toddler eats some of it, she'll be safe from consuming toxic substances often found in play-dough and other similar materials. To make the slime, combine one-fourth box of cornstarch in a bowl with one-half cup of water. Let your toddler mix it together with her hands as you add small bits of cornstarch and water until the mixture becomes the consistency of honey. You'll end up with a combination of 10-parts cornstarch and one-part water, according to SteveSpanglerScience.com. For extra fun, hide toys or other objects in the slime and let your toddler find them. Be sure to supervise this activity and use objects that do not pose a choking hazard.
If your toddler loves salt dough, cornstarch dough is just as fun and costs mere pennies to make. Mix a one-to-one ratio of cornstarch and shaving cream in a bowl and let your little one squish it together to form the dough. Separate the dough into a few balls and tint each one with a few drops of different colors of food coloring. Give your toddler cookie cutters, sand molds and plastic utensils to shape, cut and form the dough.
Sand on its own is an entertaining way for toddlers to play. Add some cornstarch and the sand suddenly sticks together better and makes for easier building and molding. Stir a couple of boxes of cornstarch into your toddler's sandbox. Tint it with food coloring beforehand to make the sandbox colorful and exciting. When your toddler builds a sand castle or makes molds with the sand toys, it will hold its shape a bit better and keep meltdowns at bay.
If your toddler, like many others before him, likes to taste test his finger paints, it might be a good idea to make your own so you know his culinary daring isn't going to cause him harm. Combine 2 cups of cold water with one-fourth cup of cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil until it becomes thick. Separate the paints into small separate containers. Mix in food coloring until your paints reach the desired hue. Give your toddler some paper and a paintbrush and let him create to his heart's content.