Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mess free, inside friendly toddler activity. {HOW TO}

So Winter is here which means more days inside & less messy (fun) activities outside. During the Summer LuLu loved painting outside and it was so easy & simple, we would paint & eat fruit then hose off & then jump in the pool. Well, yesterday was rainy & very cold & I don't see us having days where we can have lots of messy fun outside for another month or so - I've been testing out craft activities that can be done inside - so without the mess, so no need for a hose off. So I've been Pinteresting away searching for fun ideas.
This is one idea I found, I also did my own spin on it as well. I like this craft because the mess is contained - it looks messy & is fun - but there is no mess!

Ok, to start off with you need a few basic supplies & most people would have these laying around especially if you do craft with your kids...
  • Large ziplock bag (27cmx33cm)
  • A4 piece of paper
  • 2 (or more) different colours of paint
  • Masking tape
Yep, that's it. 
Now I did this 2 different ways as I saw it done both ways online. 
The first time we did it I didn't slip the paper in, so it was just bag & paint and I stupidly added glitter. If you want to add glitter make sure it is super super fine - dust like glitter. The glitter I used was a bit sharp and ended up piercing the bag towards the end. I like having the piece of paper in there. But if you wanted to tape the bag to a window/glass surface I would leave the paper out so the light could shine through better. 

The steps for both simple;
  1. Get ziplock bag, if you are using a piece of paper - slip it in.
  2. Squirt paint in puddles on one side.
  3. Seal bag.
  4. Tape to flat surface.
  5. Have fun!
2 different ways - LuLu enjoyed both!
Also just an additional note you will also want to make sure your child's nails have been trimmed, sharp little nails could pierce the bag and result in paint leaking. 
LuLu really enjoyed this, she loved squishing the paint around and we drew patterns and talked about the red & blue colour and how when they mixed together they turned purple. 
This craft is super basic & clean up is as simple as untaping the bag and tossing it away. 
Towards the end LuLu enjoyed scribbling over the bag with a blunt crayon - it created lines & patterns. She loves to draw so she enjoyed this after the novelty of the activity wore off. 

My own version of this craft that I decided to try is more of a colour sensory bag. Basically I made a basic goopy glue type substance and added in a bunch of fun craft pieces (pom poms, felt shapes etc).
For this craft you'll need;
  • Boiling water
  • Cornflour
  • Jug or bowl
  • Whisk
  • Ziplock bag (22cmx22cm)
  • Craft decorations or anything you wish to add into the bag - I made sure what I was adding in I didn't care about and could be just thrown away at the end.
  • Masking tape. 
I picked up all these items for just a few dollars from the cheap shop. I like keeping odd craft materials on hand as I never know what we might be up to! 
Now the steps for this one are just a little more time consuming, but still super basic & it is even something you can whip up while your little love naps or watches a short TV show. (Now I apologise for the fact I have not recorded actual measurements, I kind of just kept adding water/cornflour until I got the correct consistency & amount) 
  1. Add cornflour to your jug/bowl. I was using a Pyrex jug & I just tipped in the cornflour to about just under the 100ml line. (Once again sorry I didn't measure it correctly) 
  2. Add in boiling water & whisk away.
  3. Whisk & add water until you reach a fairly smooth, whitish goopy substance.
  4. I found about 350ml was a good amount for a 22cmx22cm bag.
  5. Pop jug into fridge for about 5-10 minutes just to cool the mixture slightly.
  6. Once cooled pour into bag, taking care as the goopy liquid may still be hot. 
  7. Add in fun craft items. 
  8. Tape to a flat surface.
  9. Have fun!
What you add in your bag is totally up to you! Whatever you have is fine.
With this activity LuLu once again had a lot of fun, she liked pushing the little balls around & discovering the felt shapes under the glue. It was a spur of the moment decision to colour in the masking tape border (which is why it isn't very neat!) and then we started organising the craft items in colour coded groups next to the colour on the border. Once they were in the groups & in the right area I would ask LuLu where certain colours were, she is getting very good at identifying colours. 
But that is the way a lot of our craft activities go - we start off we the basic idea and then just go with whatever happens & change it/add to it what suits us. 
Discovering all the fun things hidden in the squishy liquid!
Craft activity turned colour lesson! 
To change up this activity you could add in food dye at step 2-3 for a colourful liquid. But only add a small amount as you don't want it to become too opaque. Even some glitter at step 7 (I did this). This is the same mixture I use when making homemade paint. You can really add in anything to the bag but I really must stress to make sure it has no pointy/sharp edges as it will pierce the bag.
Also this bag stayed taped to the play table for almost a week and almost every morning she would pop out to the sunroom playroom to have a play with it & push all the stuff around. 

Both of these activities are great for toddlers, LuLu really enjoyed them. They are fun but at the same time if you sit down & do the craft with them you can discuss colours & textures, so it is also educational & also a sensory activity. But if you just let your little love do it themselves it is still fun & can be a great activity for them to do while you are making dinner or doing some work!
Like I said, I am a huge fan of this activity for the cooler months. Painting inside when it is cold is difficult, but by doing this LuLu still gets to have fun with her paints & colours but the mess is contained & clean up is very simple. 

What activities do you in the cooler months? I would love to hear your suggestions. 
The weather was absolutely dreadful here yesterday, cold & rainy - not that I am complaining I actually like days like that. But keeping an active toddler who wants to play outside all the time entertained inside is challenging sometimes, so I hope this simple & clean idea gave you some inspiration! 
My garden yesterday. Very cold & wet.
Thanks for reading! 



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