A weekend of love is coming up. And if you are looking to share some hearts, pinks and reds, and a little – very accessible, very mess-friendly – treasured crafting session with your tot, here are a couple ideas that Rad and I have been having fun with. (We turned the weekend into a week. And, if you count card-making, this love-stuff started weeks ago.)
Three ideas here are all based on paint (I’m sorry, did I say this wasn’t messy? Maybe I should have said easy to clean.) Neverthless, this is super-easy, make-at-home, washable, (and I suppose edible, but it would be really gross) paint. Then, the three fun and simple things we did with the paints would be good for babies and toddlers alike.
This is a recipe you will see frequently across the Internet. Equal parts flour, salt and water create a (slightly gritty) base for any food colouring of your choice. For example:
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup flour
Whisk together the flour and salt then add the water, mixing completely. Divide mixture into separate bowls for separate colours, then add your food colouring drops.
(This made enough for our afternoon of fun but it’s so quick, you can easily whip up more if you feel the recipe yielded a little less than you were hoping for.)
Also, as I mentioned, the texture is not entirely smooth – that’s the salt shining through. But, it didn’t change the quality of our 1-and-a-1/2-year-old artwork. It dries great and, the gritty texture adds artistic character. 😉
For babies – and toddlers – give this little keepsake project a go. Paint baby’s feet – one at a time – with your paint, and then, press his or her foot at a slight angle – you’re making one side of a heart – against a piece of paper. (There was no way I was getting Rad to stand up in the perfect position, with only one attempt available, so I just stuck his foot in the air and stuck the paper to it.)
Paper Towels or Cloths (Dry and Wet)
(Not completely impressed with this project.)
Have a wet paper towel and a dry paper towel at the ready and wash off that cute foot. (Our paint came off so easily and there was absolutely not even a hint of a stain. Cool.)
Repeat with the other foot.
Now you have a heart shape that you can photocopy if you are going to send this out on a card (unless your baby is up for multiple paintings) or you can frame the original up for Valentines Day. (I would still colour photocopy it if you can, that way you can stash one away in a memory box. I can’t tell you if this paint lasts for years or not.)
I’m just going to put it out there – reusing toilet paper rolls kind of creeps me out. It shouldn’t. It’s just, it was in the bathroom.
Nevertheless! Crafting supplies are needed! So, round up empty toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half and press them into the shape of a heart, like this:
Then, hand it over to your toddler with some paints and let them dip and decorate.
Ziplock baggies. Check. Paint. Check. Little one ready to squish colours around. Check. All you need for some sensory play. We chose white, pink and red for our week of love, sealed up the baggie and watched the colours co-mingle.
(My friend Diana gave me the heads up to this fun little activity and she tapes up her baggies. I found it didn’t spill out, but at that, Rad wasn’t too crazy about the activity when we did get around to it. So, it might be worth a little tape. Thanks D.)
Happy Valentine’s Day!
(p.s. Please post your favorite, crafty Valentine’s Day activities!)