I have found that however hard I try to set up activities for the boys, the ones that really absorb them are the ones they set up themselves!
I found a packet of water retaining crystals (the type used to keep plants watered with a squishy feel like jelly). I put a few in a cup as I thought it would interest Joplin to see how much water he could to add that they would still absorb. I also encouraged him to get his hands stuck in to feel it but he really didn't want to! However he found an assortment of bowls both from the cupboard and left over from breakfast, and started to mix up a concoction with old cereal, water, milk, berries and bits of left over toast! I quickly moved the cooking area to the mini paddling pool after the 3rd cup of water was fetched, and found a few more ingredients as he continued his 'cooking'!