Now, I want to share with you all another little trick we use with our kids here at our house. You see, I don't believe that band-aids are feel better stickers. They are far to expensive to be wasting, so unless I see blood, you don't get one. You can, however; have an icepack.
Except, free ice in a bag is messy and too cold for little boo-boos. Keeping small bags of peas doesn't really work for us as we cook frozen peas often, and finding peas that a child took to bed with them and time forgot when they worked their way under the bed is really not fun. The cute gel packs are nice, but they can freeze solid or break open, especially when a little teether uses one for biting. Instead we use a little trick I learned when our oldest daughter entered daycare.
These simple reusable, kid friendly ice packs only need three things:
|A soap-free sponge|
|A zip lock bag (we use sandwich bag size)|
|~1 Tablespoon of water|
When we first made these, I had trouble finding sponges that didn't have soap in them so if you have the same problem, the preparation is slightly different as getting the soap out of the sponge takes a bit of effort (if you worry about the icepack getting bit, getting the soap out may be a priority for you as it was for me.) In which case you will have a wet sponge and can avoid adding additional water.
So to assemble you simply cut sponges in half, add the water until it's fully absorbed and the sponge isn't really wet. If you don't want to measure water, get the sponge wet and squeeze out all the water that you can. Seal the damp sponge in the zip lock bag and place in the freezer.
In our family, we have a bottom freezer and we keep a row of these colorful ice packs in the door rack so that the children can clear their own tears or help an injured family member (not always a sibling, the kids have brought me many an ice pack too!) to get the comfort of a soft, mailable, and cool ice pack that is safe to be placed directly on the skin.
If your ice pack is too cold, when it thaws, remove some water by squeezing. If it's not cold enough, add a little water to the sponge, they do dry out over time, and the bags wear out and need to be replaced over time. Still, we made the first packs in 2006 and still have about 3 still in circulation. Tonight we made 6 more.
As a change this time I had the kids make them. I cut the sponges, but gave all the supplies to my 6 and 3 year olds. My husband got them some water and a measuring shot glass and showed them the Table spoon line. They had wonderful fun making new ice packs, practicing their measuring, and figuring out the best way to get their halves of sponge to absorb the water.