Painting With Water

toddler activity
No, I am not using child labor to spruce up my house, this activity will amaze you at it’s simplicity and how much kids LOVE it. I used to do this with my class on nice days when they would get stir crazy inside! The key to making this last is to wait to introduce the different brushes and sponges.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some water, and a variety of paint brushes ( make sure they are clean you don’t want to really paint your house). painting with water supplies
  2. Dip your paint brush into the water and start painting! Fences or other unpainted works the best because it will darken when “painted”.painting with water
  3. While you are painting with your child, point out the dry wall and the wet brush and ask them what happens when they paint it. painting with waterLittle exchanges like this are fantastic teaching opportunities. Remember though if they just want to do it in peace, let them you can always recap later.painting with water 3
  4. When your child starts getting uninterested- in a insanely enthusiastic way introduce the next brush. I know that this is hard for people who aren’t used to being surrounded by small kids , but a little enthusiasm goes a long way- feel free to fake it too .My son loved the roller- I gave it to him last and ended up having to go grab a coffee cause he played with it for almost 20 minutes alone! ( by grabbing a coffee I mean from my kitchen , not Starbucks). painting with water 5
 

Backyard Car Wash !

car wash for toddlers

This is a fun activity for a nice day! Kids love to do things they see grown ups do and the clean toys are a nice side effect!

  • Gather your materials. What you need for this is a bowl or bucket of water, some dish or hand soap, some wash clothes or sponges, a dish towel and the toys you are going to wash. I like to use sponges because they are easy to cut small enough for toddler hands.backyard toy wash
  • Put the soap in the water, and get some bubbles going.backyard car wash soap
  • Grab a sponge and clean those cars!backyard car wash
  • After sponging them down make sure you dry them well and I let them sit upside down so no water gets stuck in any crevasses.backyard car washing game

Need Truck themed books to go along with your car wash? We have a bunch of fun ones to suggest!

 

Sponge Painting For Toddlers

toddler art projects
Simple but beautiful this sponge painting activity is a great choice for any age but especially fun for toddlers. My son isn’t afraid of getting paint anywhere ( or opposed to tasting it) but for kids not as eager a sponge with a long handle like this one is great for this activity.
 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint ( at least 2 colors for a cool effect), a plate, paper and most importantly a fun sponge like this glass scrubber!sponge prints for toddlers
  2. Pour a few different paint colors onto a plate.sponge prints for little kids
  3. Dip your sponge in and have fun.sponge printing for toddlers My son loved this activity, possible too much!sponge paint fun
  4. Do make sure the paint you are using is non toxic, and watch carefully that they don’t bite the sponge and choke.Do not laugh at your child’s antics, it will only encourage them, as will picture taking, trust me I know!sponge painting with toddlers is fun
  5. Keep offering new paper if they are interested, my son made 3 beautiful paintings ! Also older children can wait until the paint is dry than make pictures like flowers, fish, bugs or aliens out of the prints!sponge printing

Arrrrr Matey!

Newspaper Pirate Hat


  1. Gather your materials. You will need one section of the news paper ( min 4 pages) , a stapler ( I can not find mine so I used some left over snowflake brads) and something to decorate your newspaper with. We are using the do*a*dot*art paints I reviewed yesterday.
  2. Have your child decorate/ paint both sides of the newspaper. I actually really really like using the dobbers cause they dry FAST!
  3. Fold the paper in half, and the corners down.
  4. You may need to tape the corners down if the newspaper is thick.
  5. Now fold the bottom up, and secure with a staple, or if you are disorganized like me and can’t find your stapler, get creative!
  6. Pop it on and go pillage something!

Song!

Click Here for a Pirate Song Arrrr !

Books!


” Pirates Don’t Change Diapers”
by Melinda Long is a really touching look at older siblings, inside a funny book about pirates. The pirates need Jeremy Jacob’s help finding their treasure, but he needs their help babysitting his baby sister. My favorite part of this book is when Jeremy Jacob realizes that the baby is gone and he gets really worried . Also even when he is offered up his choice of treasure, he picks something for him mom, how could I argue with that?

“Pirates Ahoy” by Hilary McKay is a interesting book, the book revolves around 2 cousins and their day at Gran’s house where they play pretend. I like that this book is about pretend play, most kids now days don’t get enough chance to do this, but the test is awkward and seems too sophisticated for the general premise of the book. The author needs to pick one age group to target and go for it, the story itself suits younger kids but the wording and the figurative language used is above most preschoolers heads.

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!

Paper Plate Tortoise



  1. Gather your materials. For this craft you will need a paper plate, some paint and paint brush, some paper, glue , scissors and crayons.
  2. Paint the outside of your paper plate, I am using a foam brush because it minimizes mess , and isn’t that always a plus with young children?
  3. While your child is painting the plate ( and possibly your table too) fold a piece of paper in at least 4, draw a shape of your choosing. I chose hexagons but any shape would do. Some shapes are hard to find in the real world so incorporating them into a craft like this is a great way to learn.
  4. Cut the shape out.
  5. Glue the shape on to the painted plate to create a cool shell!
  6. While your child is gluing the shapes on , fold another piece of paper in 2, and draw the outline of four feet, a tail and a head. If you want you can have your child color these and add eyes and a mouth too!
  7. Cut these out and glue them on the inside of the paper plate.
Books!


” A Mama for Owen” by Marion Dane Bauer tells the true story of a baby hippo who was orphaned during the 2004 tsunami. Maybe because I am a mom but this story brings me close to tears every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations will keep your children interested as you read this ultimately heartwarming story of adoption.

” The Foolish Tortoise”

by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle is a tale about a tortoise who decides that his shell is holding him back- only to discover that being slow isn’t as bad as he thought!

“Owen & Mzee – Best Friends”

by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee. The Text is simple and perfect for toddlers. I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something we don’t often see.