As an artist one of my favourite things to use in our pieces is gold pearlescent powder, so I decided to try some in this Mermicorn Moon Sand to keep the toddlers entertained. Being a work at home parent is difficult because you feel pressured to do all the household jobs a stay at home parent would but have to balance that time with work. In the mornings before my little ones start nursery I try to do at least one activity with them and reply to at least half of my emails, tidy up the kitchen and prepare my shipping labels for the previous day’s completed orders. Messy play is ideal because it keeps them really engaged, you can see another messy play blog of ours here.
Being a work at home parent
Sometimes I think it would be easier to work out of the home but we wouldn’t be able to afford full time nursery fees; sometimes I think it would be easier to be a stay at home parent but I wouldn’t feel fulfilled mentally or artistically and we couldn’t afford that either! The grass is always greener. Our eldest, Ayla, starts school in just a few short months so that’s going to allow us to put Bastian into nursery 24 hours a week (instead of their current 15), and then my mum helps us occasionally on a Thursday and Friday which will be easier for her if it’s just Bastian. Also, with just one toddler at home I’ll be able to work during his naps or nap with him and work longer in the evening. If you’re wondering how I currently run a business and an eCommerce website and make every single piece by hand, I have help from Joanna, our admin manager, and Danielle, our resin artist. Danielle is a work at home mummy who started out volunteering for me to learn some new skills while she was pregnant and she knew I was struggling. **Trigger Warning** We’re both happy for people to know we met before an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting because we’ve both struggled with using in the past and I offered to make her a pro bono ring with her baby’s ashes. I started to show her some things such as drilling the cores on our charm beads and when we moved back to Bristol in 2016 she started to come over to help me as an apprentice. In May she started to take regular commissions from us and now does pretty much all of our resin work. I believe that if someone wants to work hard to succeed as a work at home parent, the only limit is their determination and ambition.
Mermicorn Moon Sand Toddler Messy Play
Messy play is a great way to keep toddlers busy having fun so that you can sit and drink a coffee in peace, update your business social media accounts follow Tree of Opals on Instagram here or get in there and have fun with them yourself. This mermicorn moon sand has an amazing gold glow to it that really caught the children’s imagination and gave it a wow factor. My favourite tip for sand play is to dust baby powder or cornflour on the kids after, to absorb moisture making the sand brush off straight away. Because of the cornflour in this mix it just comes of with a cloth and we ended up with less sand around the house than normal. Ok, they have glittery skin but who cares?
While they’re playing I like to ask Ayla open ended questions like, “tell me why you like playing with sand”, “what happens if you mix the blue and green sand” and asking her to show her little brother things like making towers. The most fun they had during the play was making the mixture up themselves as you can see here, “mix, mix, mix!”
Mermicorn Moon Sand Ingredients
play sand (from your local DIY shop)
gold pearlescent powder
(optional) food colouring, glitters, opalescent/mylar flakes etc
(optional) food flavouring such as parma violet* for a yummy smell
There’s no special way to mix this but you might find it easier to let them stir the cornflour (cornstarch) and gold pearlescent powder into the dry sand then add the water.
*please keep a close eye on your children at all times while they’re playing with this. If they’re likely to eat the sand then please don’t add the food flavouring