9 Tips For Finger Painting With Your Toddler

finger painting for toddlers Of all the questions I get one of the most common is “How do you deal with the mess?” This is often followed by “I just can’t do messy stuff with my kids.”  If messy things really honestly upsets you I am here to tell you that it’s not worth the upset. If you will spend the whole time cleaning up after them, telling them to not do this or that it’s not worth it as an activity at your house. That’s OK. We all have our limits and not allowing messy art in your house doesn’t make you a bad parent.

If you are just nervous but eager to try it than these tips are for you. Over the years these have been my go to ways to make messy art like finger painting a wonderfully creative experience for my kids without me budding in every two minutes with a wipe interrupting their play. When we break up their play with wipes and cleaning up under them what we are saying is ” What you are doing is wrong, let me fix that.” or ” This is annoying me, let me make it right.” Sure this won’t register with every kid but most pick up on it and by nature most children want to please us. If we are going to let them be creative we need to find ways to make it work for all of us so we aren’t stepping in constantly.

These tips will help! These are old pictures of my now four and a half year old daughter, she was just under two when we did this activity.

finger painting with toddlers

1. If possible strap them in. If you use a booster seat for meals use that same chair for the activity. When their hands are covered in paint you don’t want them free to roam. If this isn’t an option position yourself so that you are between them and the area you do not want them to reach until their hands are clean. For us that’s the family room ( specifically the new couch)  only a few feet away from the kitchen where we were creating.

2. Tape their paper to a cutting board, or right to the table if the table is easily washable. This prevents the picture covered in paint from hitting the floor and other things on the way down. toddler finger painting tips to avoid mess

3. Dress your child in old clothes/ Pajamas. Little toddlers and smocks don’t really make a great pair. Avoid the dramatics and just let them wear something that you don’t care if it’s stained.

4. Use an old table cloth to protect your table. If you need to protect your floors try a shower curtain under your child’s chair.  happy tips for toddler finger painting

5. Give them control and let them have small dishes of paint to explore with. Toddlers are on the verge of a lot of new independence and giving them some control during activities is a great way to support this development. You don’t need to direct this activity at all!

6. Have extra paper ( and anything else you are using) on hand so you don’t have to leave them unattended for a second. tips for finger painting

7. Have wipes or a wet wash cloth, and a towel ready. Also don’t unbuckle the booster until after they are all the way clean.

8. If they are super messy my favorite trick is to have a big old bath towel ready and wrap them up in it, and go directly to the bath. toddler finger painting

9. After the painting is dry display it with pride! This seems obvious but it’s really important. Children need to their their art to complete the process. They are artists and should be proud of their work!

 

 

Need a great finger paint recipe? Try this one that your child can help make with you in the kitchen! Click on the image to find out how to make it.

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Easy Painting Activities For Toddlers

art ideas for toddlers I was digging through my own archives the other night as I was lesson planning for my preschool class and found a bunch of posts I’d forgotten about. I found exactly what I needed for my lesson plans and decided to share some of what I found with you as well. These easy painting activities for toddlers are all great for children who are just starting to explore with art. They are open ended, easy to do with one or 10 kids, and let children explore. For more art ideas for toddlers ( and big kids) make sure you are following us on Pinterest and Facebook! 

Do you have a favorite art activity to do with toddlers? Link it up or tell me about it in comments. My children aren’t toddlers anymore but I am always looking for new ideas for my classroom.

art activities for toddlers

Cork Printing
Fly Swatter Painting
Baby Block Painting
Painting with Bugs

toddler painting activities for daycare
Sponge Painting
Pumpkin Printing
Letter Cookie Cutter Printing
Bath Poof Painting

easy painting ideas for toddlers
Splat Painting
Toy Track Painting
Cookie Cutter Prints
Garden Vegetable Printing

toddler printing and painting ideas for preschool
Pot Scrubber Painting
Rubber Duckie Printing
Feather Painting
Painting With Water

painting ideas for young toddlers
Animal Track Paintings
Glass Sponge Painting 
Potato Masher Painting
Painting With Sound

10 Things To Pack In Your Carry On If You Have Little Kids.

 

carry on must haves for family travelLike many of you we are preparing for holiday travel and when our good friends at Little Pim asked us to share with you why we like their products so much one of the first things that came to mind for me was how awesome they are for travel.  We restrict screen time at home but when we are on a plane for hours our goal is everyone arrives happy and hopefully in the same clothes they left in. Little Pim and other must have carry- on items help us achieve that goal. So here is my list of 10 things to make a plane ride more peaceful with your preschooler.

1. Snacks. I pack a big bag of snacks with varying degrees of interest for my kids. There are protein bars , crackers, squishers, and more treats like fruit snacks. I am not opposed to bribery if the situation calls for it. I am opposed to spending three times the amount I would at the grocery store at an airport shop. Even if bribery isn’t normally your thing kids can be unpredictable when under stress and traveling is stressful for a lot of kids, so being ready for anything isn’t a bad idea.

2. Good books that let fidgety kids move – lift the flap books for young preschoolers, coloring books , or choose your own adventure ones. Books that have just a titch of extra novelty can be the tipping point to sitting still and getting engaged while they are stuck in a seat. If you normally read to your kids before bed/ nap and you want them to sleep on the plane going through their regular routine on the plane is super helpful.

3.A tablet or iPod.  For our family the rule is read first then screen. On the plane this isn’t just my tactic for less screen time it’s a battery saving tactic too.  Before getting on board clear off any apps you don’t want your kids using ( pop them into the cloud) and have only educational ones like Little Pim’s Spanish App for iPad , Kindle or NOOK or their Word Bag App for iPhone/iPod .

4. Headphones made for kids to listen to music or use with devices like a tablet or iPod.

5. A buddy to snuggle with. I know it’s scary to think of losing your child’s lovey but if they nap or sleep with it usually take the risk and bring it along it can help your child feel secure and calm.

 6. Extra undies, and pants, and shirts, and tights… you get my point. I usually pack PJs because they are all in one and easy to squish into a side pocket.

 7.  A plain notebook and writing instruments washable markers and crayons are our favorite. Drawing to music is fun and quiet. If you are nervous about letting your kids color on the plane you could use a coloring book app like this one instead.

8. Stickers. They are cheap , promote fine motor skills and you can use them to make up stories, make pictures for whoever is at the arrival gate picking you and your tired kids up, or just free art time.

9. Extra plastic bags. I usually stick 8 Ziplocs in various sizes in my bag. They hold wet/soiled clothes, half eaten snacks, my hand sanitizer after someone broke the lid off… the uses are endless just trust me when you need one and it’s handy you’ll thank me.

10. Wipes. I know wipes are terrible for the environment but they are so great for travel. They can wipe faces, bums, are gentle on a raw runny nose ,and if the flight is terrible and you end up in tears you can use them to take off your mascara before it runs to your chin.

 

BONUS- A good night’s sleep. For days before you go even if you are scrambling to get ready while maintaining your already busy schedule, make sure your little ones are getting enough rest.

 

What is in your carry-on when you travel with your kids?

 

As stated above this post has been sponsored by Little Pim but the research was done by me on many flights with my two kids!

 

LEGO printed wrapping paper – Easy Christmas Craft

lego print wrapping paperOn Monday we went to my son’s school book fair and while each of my kids chose a book to read right away they also chose one for each other to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree. Instead of using plain old bought wrapping paper my daughter made some using LEGO Duplo and paint.  I love how simple this easy Christmas craft is, it let her explore with abandon , mix colors ,and create something fun to give to her brother.

 

Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( easel paper works great), LEGO Duplo, a dish, paint, and painter’s tape. When it’s time to wrap you’ll also need scissors, tape and a ribbon. lego print wrapping paper for christmas

Start by taping paper to the table with painter’s tape and pouring some paint onto the dish. lego printed wrapping paper for kids

Invite your artist to come explore and make some wrapping paper. Lego wrapping paper

My daughter started slowlego painted wrapping paper but when she warmed up she was off her chair and banging the Lego down to make a fun sound on the table.lego painting wrapping paper craft

We let it dry by peeling the tape off the table and using it to hang the painting on the wall. Let dry. lego wrapping paper craft

When it’s dry trim the tape off and wrap up something special! lego painted wrapping paper craft

 

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts For Toddlers {and tips for parents too}

Hello! If you are new here check out No Time For Flash Cards on Pinterest and join our Facebook community for more great ideas.

easy toddler crafts for thanksgThanksgiving is on Thursday but it’s not too late to plan some fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for your toddler. These activities were all done with my kids when they were toddlers ( 18 months – 3 years old)  but have been repeated when they were older so rest assured that older siblings will love to join in on these easy Thanksgiving activities too. Check out our tips below to make these crafts even easier and more successful with your children.

toddler turkey

Toddler Turkey Craft

This post is filled with advice for crafting with toddlers from accepting mess aversion to choosing good tools like plastic plates but this is my favorite –>

Tip: If your child uses a booster for meals pop them in it when you are doing messy art too. This will relax you so you can both enjoy creating without worrying about Jr. running for the living room covered in red paint.

bubble wrap corn craft for thanksgiving

Bubble Wrap Corn.

Explore the texture of the bubble wrap and have fun with this easy activity. Be prepared for aversion too. My son hated it the first time so we rolled with it . Later we followed this favorite tip for success.

Tip: wrap the bubble wrap around a rolling pin for easy printing.

toddler craft for thanksgiving

Turkey Sun Catcher

Use glitter glue for a lower mess glitter craft.

Tip : Use baby wipes for messy hands if a sink isn’t right there. They have saved use from many big messes.

pumpkin-painting-for-toddlers

Mini Pumpkin Prints

We use mini pumpkins as decorations throughout the fall. A few days before Thanksgiving cut one open and paint with it.

Tip: For kids that aren’t keen on wearing smocks find a few tee shirts at a garage sale that you don’t care if it’s stained forever and wear those on painting days.

3d turkey craft

3D Handprint Turkey

This has never been our most popular Thanksgiving craft but my kids loved making it so I love sharing it.

Tip: When doing handprint crafts with toddlers that call for multiple hand cut outs layer multiple papers under tracing and cut instead of tracing their hands multiple times.

acorn craft for toddlers

Torn Acorn Craft

If you aren’t ready to hand your child scissors yet this activity is great. Tearing paper still builds hand muscles that are required for later scissor and handwriting skills.

Tip : Pre-cut strips of paper that are manageable for little hands.

thanksgiving sensory tub

Thanksgiving Sensory Tub

Mess is hard for a lot of parents. I get it because I try to keep my house in order too and kids have a way of following behind us and messing up what was just cleaned. Sensory play is so valuable for kids as they explore cause and effect, measurement, imaginative play, and more.

Tip : If your child is prone to dumping sensory materials have them sit on a carpeted floor. The materials won’t scatter as far ( or be as much fun to dump) and will be easy to vacuum up.

messy art for toddlers

Turkey Baster Painting

Painting with turkey basters is fun and squeezing the bulb is actually great for hand strength too. Yes it’s messy but the post is filled with tips to minimize it including –>

Tip : When painting with tools like a turkey baster after painting pop the kid and the tool into the bath and let them get clean together. After the bulk of the paint it off in the bath you can put the tool into the dishwasher for a final clean.

thanksgiving thankful activity for toddlers

Thankful Box

Toddlers may not be able to read and write yet but they can express likes and dislikes. Use a thankful box to teach them to show appreciation for those things they like by modeling.

Tip : When teaching abstract concepts like being thankful to toddlers including a concrete activity like making the box or decorating a jar for the tokens of appreciation to be kept in can create a connection that simple talking about being thankful may not.

corn craft

Confetti Corn Craft

This post is a perfect example about being flexible with toddlers. My son who was 3 at the time wanted to include his construction vehicles in the play. With a a few simple additions I was able to include them in and the craft took on an element of imaginative play too.

Tip : Be flexible and let your toddler have some control over their creation.

 

What is your best tip for crafting with toddlers?