Mess free first painting!
We all love the idea of having our baby or toddler create beautiful paintings, but the mess can be a bit off-putting, especially when you have your hands full doing everything else for them. This activity will let your child create a masterpiece with minimal mess and you can set it all up while they’re napping if need be. They are a great sensory experience for younger children and you can introduce language around colours too. (You can also wash out the bag and use it again to reduce waste).
I created these with my children when they were about 9 months old, in colour schemes that matched their bedrooms, and framed them. They are also great for giving to grandparents or making into cards for birthdays etc.
For this activity you will need:
- Coloured washable paint, make sure it’s non-toxic and child friendly
- One large re-usable sealable bag
- White paper
Once you’ve chosen your colours (or let your child choose them) place blobs of them onto the paper – remember the colours will mix together.
Carefully pop the paper, with the paint on it, inside the bag and make sure it is totally sealed. If you’re concerned about mess you could also tape it.
Once your child has finished, carefully remove the artwork from the bag – gently blowing into the bag can help. Let it dry, name and date it then display it for all to see! Turn the bag inside out and wipe clean to use for another day.
This is a great activity for younger babies to do during tummy time. By putting the paint bag on the floor and having them move the paint around with their hands.
Mosaic language/storytime activity
Wooden shape sorter:
I love wooden toys, they are really hard-wearing and they look beautiful in your child’s bedroom or play space.
They are also a great learning tool for your children across a wide age range. Wooden blocks can be used for language development, to talk about shapes, colours, descriptive words around fit and manipulation. They are great for motor skills and teaching your child about patience too. For younger children, they provide a shape to hold and feel (and possibly chew!) for the period before they can sit up confidently and pop them in the right holes.
I’ve created a video of my youngest son using the shape sorter we have (you can also enjoy my older son asking questions in the background), as his language improves I’ll be asking him to identify the shapes and colours…it takes a lot of self-control to hold back from telling your child how to fit the shapes but they soon work it out 😊
For babies you could use an empty formula tin to post different shapes into a larger hole.
Mosaic Sensory Activity
Sensory baskets are a wonderful way to provide your child with a sensory experience using items from around the home. You can change items regularly to provide variety and add to the basket as your child matures and can play with smaller or more complex items. As your child becomes a toddler, these baskets are great for providing an activity while you are otherwise occupied i.e. making lunch – you just need to change up the contents every now and then.
The aim is to use things you already have around the home, to keep the activity sustainable, and create a handy toy that makes your child happy and stimulated but is also easy to tidy up! While your child is playing with the basket you can discuss textures, colours, smells and sounds with them as well as showing younger babies what the textures feel like.
Other items you could use include:
- Kitchen utensils including spatulas and silicon cake cases
- Wooden shapes
- Different materials i.e. silk, cotton, wool
- Shakers (if they are homemade make sure they are glued shut)
- Items from nature including shells or fir cones (make sure they’re clean and don’t have any seeds that could be a choking hazard.
Hope you love the activities,