Do you hate messes? Do you want to do crafts and other hands on activities with your toddler but you hate the mess that follows? If so, you’re not alone. Despite the many fun pins on Pinterest, there are parents who just don’t want the mess that comes with doing arts and crafts with toddlers.
However, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of ways and tools that let your toddler express herself artistically without creating a mess. Here are some of our favorites:
Paint with Water
Give your toddler a chalk board. Rather than coloring with chalk on the board, which can get messy and dusty, simply give her a little bowl of water. She can dip her finger or a brush in the water and “paint” the chalk board.
Another variation of this is to paint with water outside on the pavement. She can even use something as large as a paint brush used to paint trim in the house to make a large picture.
Paint in a Bag
I love this idea! Fill a zippered, plastic freezer bag with paint. (Just add enough to cover all the sides and have a little extra. You don’t want the bag to be too full. Make sure to take most of the air out of the bag when you seal it.) Then simply tape the flattened bag to a table, and let your child finger paint. He gets to make a design without messing his fingers or the table.
A variation of this is to put several different paint colors in the bag. Then he can experiment with both painting a picture and mixing colors, which can be a great lesson in learning primary and secondary colors!
Finger Paint in the Tub
The mom at Chalk in My Pocket created an easy recipe for bathtub puffy paint using just soap, water, and dye. Once the paint is made, your child can paint it on the side of the bathtub wall. When she’s all done creating, simply shower her (and the tub) off. Your toddler has had a fun time, and you just washed the mess away. Plus, this is probably one time you can get your toddler to take a bath without a fight!
Another variation is to put shaving cream and dye in a plastic bag. Let your child mix the colors together, and then snip off a small corner of the bag. She can paint the shower walls with this, and it easily washes off when she’s done.
Water Color Crayons
This has to be the cleverest idea, ever! Give your toddler watercolor crayons and let him paint a picture. (Use paper specifically for water painting.) Once your toddler’s picture is done, give him a paint brush and a small bowl of water. All he has to do is rub the wet brush over the area he colored with the crayons, and it turns into paint! No mess, and yet your child gets to experiment with the fun of painting.
For more fun activities, follow our Pinterest page.