It’s no secret that raising a toddler is not always a picnic. The tantrums, frustration with communication, and lack of understanding morals can make any day a challenge. While I definitely have my work cut out for me some days, there are also a lot of wonderful aspects of my toddler TJ getting older that are super great! He’s getting better at communicating, for one, and it’s just wonderful to see him interact with his new baby brother with affection! It’s also incredibly rewarding to see him embrace and begin to understand concepts like numbers, letters, colors and shapes– we’ve been talking about them for a while, and I’m so happy he can recognize many of them now! (And now I don’t have to feel like I’ve been talking to a wall for the past months…)
I’m also super excited that TJ is getting to the age where he can somewhat understand and appreciate artistic activities and crafts we do together. I was browsing the web the other day, looking for some ideas involving art, when I stumbled upon a variation of this little gem and knew we had to try it! This activity combines the fun and learning benefits of messy sensory play with the opportunity to actually create a piece of unique and interesting art.
Now, first off please know that if you have to stop yourself from wincing when you the term “messy play,” you’re not alone! I know and love the benefits of messy play for toddlers; I just don’t love the benefits for my house so much… However, messy play is a great way to mix up our day every once in a while– and TJ almost always loves it! Also, I’m a fan of this activity because you actually get some sort of result from the mess rather than just, well, a MESS. If you’re looking for a relatively simple idea for some great messy play, this activity is gold. Not only is it fun for toddlers, but it also helps teach motor skills, spatial awareness, color recognition, and creativity.
Materials (This post contains affiliate links.)
That’s it! You and your kiddo can decide together where to hang up their masterpiece for the world to see. We hung it on the wall right above TJ’s craft table in his room! TJ loved this activity and enjoyed getting to show it off to Daddy and Grandma when she came to visit. I loved watching TJ create and getting to introduce him to art! This was the first time we did an activity where TJ felt pride in the result, which warmed my heart. I’m a huge supporter of creative activities for young minds, both to teach and to help them develop their appreciation for art. I’ve seen art in many different forms help children express themselves when words don’t cut it, and it personally got me out of my shell when I was a painfully shy fourth grader. I plan to kindle my boys’ love for creativity early on, and hopefully they will continue to love it as they grow!
Anywho, TJ had a blast with this activity. We’ll probably whip this one out some other time too– maybe we’ll have to paint a bright and cheery scene to counter the winter blahs of January! I’m excited to see what TJ does next!