Another activity that I wanted to try was cotton ball smashing. Who doesn't like playing with a hammer?
I found this idea at Time for Play. I also prepared this the day before and the cotton balls softened overnight. Here's how you make this. Mix an equal amount of flour and water. The recipe at Time for Play says 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. I did 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of flour. I wanted to have more cotton balls for both of them to smash. While we were making it, I second guessed making more but when they were smashing, I'm glad I had more!
Once the flour and water is well mixed together, divide the mixture into smaller bowls and add food coloring. I had Natalie help me mix and then they got to each pick 2 colors. Then I handed them cotton balls for them to cover with the mixture. I covered my pans with aluminum foil and they dumped their covered cotton balls on the pan. I needed to use 2 pans (and they were pretty jammed packed) with the amount of mix I made. Bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. They stick to the pan when they first come out, so let them cool a bit before taking them off. I still had aluminum foil come off with the cotton ball but I didn't care.
The next day we tried to smash them and they just smooshed. I figured the balls weren't hard enough (they weren't hard enough when they came out of the oven the previous day) so I threw them back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so and they were perfect! So either I needed to bake them longer the first day or they need to be rebaked. Maybe it was also too humid?
Then we set about smashing them. N2 each have their own hammer. We sat out on the deck and the sat far apart. They each had a pile of cotton balls and they went to town hammering them. The mixture on the cotton balls crack open after you hit them with a hammer.