A bowl of soapy water, a spoon and cup with an extra bowl for them to transfer the water into (covered with a towel) of course, is one of the easiest ways that you can entertain your toddler. They will spend time playing in the water, small splashing and transferring the water from bowl to bowl using the cup and spoon as scoops. Plus, the mess doubles as an easy way give the table a good clean.
Fuzzy Ball Toss
Grab a package of fuzzy balls from the dollar store (large and extra large sized). Next, use a couple of plastic cups and set them up while you’re at the floor or table. Take turns trying to get the fuzzy balls into the cup by tossing them, picking them up, or using the cup to scoop up the balls. You can start to introduce sorting and seeing how many you can fit into each cup by using different sizes. Don’t have fuzzy balls? Cotton balls work!
Shaving Cream Paint
I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about shaving cream paint. Mix together shaving cream and food coloring to create a colored bath time paint that rinses right off of the shower walls with water. It keeps the kids around here busy for at least forty-five minutes each time I make up a batch of different colors, and give them different sized brushes.
Paint with Water
Do you have a chalkboard at-home? Bring out the paint brushes and use water to create designs on the chalkboard, washing it at the same time. This is an easy way to create something without the mess – especially if you’ve spent the morning cleaning up the messes created by toddlers at-home.
Melting Ice Berg Playing
Freeze small toys in ice cubes (watch closely for toddlers that like to put things in their mouth) and dump the ice tray into a bowl of warm water. The ice will melt, but provide toys like scoops, spoons and tweezers that can be used to pick up the ice and the small toys that are melting inside. Use larger containers (whipped cream, etc) for larger toys younger children are going to play with and put the ‘cubes’ into a tupperware container.
Rice and Beans
Dried rice, beans and a scoop with cups to fill the beans have entertained Violet on countless occasions while I am sitting beside her working. As an added bonus, you can find a great sale on bulk beans and it’s easier to clean up than sand when you’re playing indoors during the winter.
No Mess Window Painting
This is one of my favorite activities for toddlers, and preschoolers. Start with a large sized freezer bag and fill it with a few squirts of paint around the top, bottom and middle of the bag (different colors). Seal the bag and use tape to tape the bag to the window at their height. No mess finger painting is going to become one of their favorite activities.