Let’s face it, toddlers have a lot of energy! Keeping their busy hands and minds occupied and happy can be a challenge while at home. At Genius, we like to incorporate messy and mess-free activities in our centres to keep our little learners engaged, content and learning. With today's fast pace of life however, we understand that messy activities can sometimes be a headache at home.
Fear not! There are so many fun, clean and engaging activities will keep your toddler busy and happy. Check them out below.
Children love to create, but some creations can be messy. Not this! To make your jewellery, you only need a piece of string or thin elastic and some large beads, pasta or cereal (like cheerios or fruit loops). This is a clean, tidy, fun activity but also great for fine motor skills. Put your beads, pasta or Fruit loops into a bowl and tie a spoon to one end of the elastic, so the beads, pasta or fruit loops don't fall off. Then your little learner can begin threading their necklace or bracelet. The fun spin on this one if you’re using cereal or cooked penne pasta is it's edible; your toddler will love that!
Cardboard Box Colouring
Children love cardboard boxes, and the bigger, the better. If you have had something delivered lately, you will have a box lying around. If you don't, you can visit your local hardware store, and they will be happy to donate one. Many stores have empty boxes at the front that you can help yourself to. Crayons are great for this as they don't stain clothing and won’t create dirty hands. Simply sit your toddler in the box and help them create a beautiful design inside or outside the box. Once decorated the box can be used as a hat, a robot body or a vehicle to sit in!
Balloons offer hours of cheap and mess-free joy. Most families will have leftover balloons from a birthday party, and all you need to do is blow them up and get creative. Balloon tennis is a great game and assists toddlers with their hand-eye coordination. Use a couch or chair as the net; it's time to get competitive as you bat the balloon over the top. Another entertaining game is the challenge of keeping the balloon off the ground (known as keepy uppy if you’re familiar with Bluey). This activity is excellent for developing your toddler's balance and coordination as a pre-cursor to sports. You could even section off a room and fill it with as many balloons as possible for a 'balloon pit' that you invite all your child's soft toys into. The opportunities are endless.
Stickers are a favourite, and creating unique artwork with them is so much fun. Again, this is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. For this activity, you will need a piece of paper, a marker and some colourful dot stickers, which you can pick up at your local supermarket or craft store. You can draw the outline of a house, a truck or a flower, and your toddler can cover it with colourful dots, making a multicoloured piece of art they will be proud of. You can even decorate your previously decorated cardboard boxes!
This activity is fabulous for teaching your toddler colours. All you need is a piece of white paper and some coloured markers. Simply draw and colour in a circle of each different colour onto the white piece of paper and write the name of the colour under teaching word association. Point to a colour and ask your toddler, 'can you find something yellow' they will delight in racing around the house trying to find a yellow object. Next, they might need to find something red. Much like a treasure hunt, they will love this game and delight in ticking off all colours from the treasures they see in the home.
Have a Disco
What toddler doesn't like moving to music? A disco is super fun and energetic activity the whole family can get involved in. You might choose to have a theme for your disco and dress up or just put on your favourite songs and bust out your best dance moves. Everyone can choose a song, and you can dance to your heart's content. Each family member could have a turn selecting a dance move everyone needs to copy and then pass control to the next person. Don't be surprised if you hear shrieks of laughter and see some very unique dance moves! To take this disco to the next level head to a darkened room and give each dancer a torch to dance with.
So, when messy activities seem like too much hard work, we hope you will enjoy using one or all of these super fun, toddler-specific activities. No mess, more FUN!