Posts Tagged ‘free toddler activities’

Painting That Won't Make a Mess


Does your toddler or preschooler love to paint?  I think that painting is probably one of Hailey’s favorite activities.  But, there are some days when I don’t really feel like dealing with the mess that usually accompanies painting.  So, something that is just as much fun to a toddler or preschooler that doesn’t create a big mess of paint is painting with water.  On a warm day go outside and give your child a bucket of water and a paint brush.  Allow your child to “paint” the sidewalk, patio, deck, driveway, etc.  The only mess that might be created is a little water on your child’s clothes- which is fine for a warm day anyways.

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Sponge Painting


I have done several finger painting projects with Hailey and I decided it was time to try something different.  So we did some sponge painting.  Sponge painting is a great activitiy to try with a toddler.  Sponge painting can be done with all sorts of different materials but I picked a regular old sponge.  Since we are working on learning shapes I cut the sponge in half to make two squares.

A very easy set up:

  • Paper plate
  • Paint
  • Sponge(s)
  • Painting paper





Then I put Hailey at the table and just let her explore the paint and the sponges.

The sponges have an interesting texture and leave an interesting print on the paper.  Hailey enjoyed painting for quite a long time. 

Then she started finger painting on the plate that I had put the paint on.  Hailey was drawing lines on the plate in the paint.  So, I started writing letters for her since I am working on letter recognition with her.

Then Hailey wanted me to write her name and Brooke’s name.

Then we used the sponge as an eraser and wrote more names and letters.  She loved it!  When she was done we let the plate dry with Brooke’s name on it and it turned out great.

From this project I thought of a new project to do- we are going to finger paint on paper plates.  When Hailey is done experimenting I will write a letter on the plate and leave it to dry.  Eventually we will have the entire alphabet.

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The Letter B


This week we have started focusing on the letter B and we will continue to focus on it for two weeks. 

When I work on teaching Hailey a letter I try not to actually “teach” but rather look for those teachable moments.  When she brings me a book we can look for the letter B.  When she wants to color I can have a paper ready with the letter B on it and talk about the B while she colors. 

While we are grocery shopping I can point out all of the letters that are around us and make special note of whatever our focus letter is for that week. 

I have some foam letters and we play a hiding game with them.  I hide the letter and then say, “Let’s see if you can find the letter B.” 

There are endless possibilities for teaching letters.  For me, I think the important thing for toddlers is to have fun so that they think it is all a game.  Look for those teachable moments rather than trying to teach an actual lesson.  The lesson you are ready to teach when those teachable moments occur are the ones your child will remember.

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April Ideas


I try to do other things with Hailey, besides the crafts that I take pictures of to share here.  So, I thought I’d give a brief summary of the non-craft activities we have done or that I plan to do with Hailey this month.

  • I created cards with pictures of adult and baby animals on them.  Then we matched up the babies with their mommies.
  • We are going to plant some grass seed and take pictures as it grows.  (It’s still been a little bit chilly here, but hopefully we can start this in the next couple of weeks.)
  • Play matching and sorting games with these umbrellas.
  • I have a Randy the Raindrop story that I am going to use on a flannel board (that I still need to make).  I’ll take pictures of it when I actually do it.
  • Make dice with farm animals on them.  Then sing “Old MacDonald” and roll the die to see which animal we will use for that verse.
  • Raindrop writing- practice the letters in Hailey’s name using these raindrops.  The reason the raindrops are white is that is the color I am focusing on this month.

 That’s all for now.  I’ll be back to share more ideas as I come up with them. 

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