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Beat the Heat with Messy Play & Art!
Sometimes the summer heat can feel endless, but why not embrace it?! Melissa from @momma_teaching is sharing some heat-busting messy play and art ideas with us today and they are so much fun! Melissa is all about raising creative kids, a passion born from her years spent teaching. Be sure to swing by her Instagram feed for endless inspiration!
We’re having a heat wave in Los Angeles right now, so I’m inspired to share some of my family's favorite creative activities that will help you to beat the heat!
1. Sponge Necklace
This sponge necklace is a chic piece of wearable art that will keep you cool despite rising temperatures.
• colorful sponges
• sharp knitting needle
• BBQ skewer
1. Help your child to cut different shapes from the colorful sponges. Poke holes in each one with the BBQ skewer.
2. Thread a knitting needle with yarn.
3. Let your child string the sponge shapes on the yarn.
4. Snip and tie a knot when your necklace is the right length.
5. Dip the sponge necklace in water, put on your necklace, and head outside to play.
Your clothes will get wet but this accessory will definitely keep you cool!
2. Flower Water Play
Water play is a necessity for all of us in Southern California when the temperatures start to climb. This simple activity will definitely extend the amount of time your littles play independently, and it’s super easy to set up!
• food coloring
• plastic tubs
• measuring cups and spoons or recycled containers
1. Add a few drops of food coloring into a plastic tub.
2. Fill with water.
3. Cut flower blossoms off the stems and sprinkle them on top of the water.
4. Lay the cups and containers next to the tubs and invite your kids to have an awesome time playing!
This is SO engaging and is a great sensory activity which is good for brain development.
3. Frozen Treasures
You can do this activity with pretty much anything you have around the house. It will keep your kids hands-on and entertained for ages!
• balloons or Tupperware containers
• treasures (eg. flower petals, leaves, rhinestones, seashells, little figures from the dollar store...)
• play (or real!) hammers or other tools
• squirt bottles filled with warm water
1. Tuck some treasures into a balloon or place at the bottom of a Tupperware container.
2. Fill with water.
3. Freeze overnight.
4. Free the ice block from the Tupperware or balloons, and display in a tub or water table with the tools and squirt bottles.
5. Invite your kids to explore.
Kids always find this excavation work to be super engaging. They’re also being exposed to science concepts as they work their fine motor muscles, which is a total win in my book!
These next two are my FAVORITE SUMMER ACTIVITIES!!! We ADORE messy play. Kids learn so much when they’re doing it and make THE BEST memories. But they’re a little scary for some people because the mess is HUGE. Never fear, I’ll be sharing my tried and trusted cleanup tips at the end of this post!
4. Slide Art
Toddlers are always obsessed with balls and this activity sure embraces that passion! That's why I try and incorporate it into every Toddler Art Playgroup.
• different colored paint
• kiddie pool
• double sided drop cloth from Home Depot
• kiddie slide
• variety of balls
1. Tape a double sided drop cloth to the slide and the bottom of a kiddie pool.
2. Fill tubs with different colored paint.
3. Roll balls around in the paint until they’re covered.
4. Roll them down the slide and create an awesome collaborative masterpiece!
I love watching the joy and concentration on their faces as they watch the patterns that different balls leave on the canvas as they experiment with speed, gravity, mass, and motion.
5. Body Prints
Simple. Joyful. And the best way to get a gazillion Instagram likes. 😂
• double sided drop cloth from Home Depot or large piece of cardboard
• different paint colors (sometimes I do a mixture, sometimes just a vibrant color paired with white)
• paint brushes, rollers, squirt bottles (optional)
1. Invite your child to squirt paint all over the canvas (drop cloth) alongside you.
2. Let them take the lead. Enjoy their enthusiasm, focus, and playfulness. Use the rollers or brushes or whatever you have to paint your own and each other's bodies.
3. Before you know it you'll literally be rolling in the paint!
This is, hands down, my daughter’s favorite activity that we only bust out for special occasions. I always join in because she gets such a kick out of painting my feet/arms/legs as well as her own. We experiment with splatter painting and get lost in the sensory experience. Every family should try this at least once!
Tips for Easy(ish) Cleanup
1. Fill a kiddie pool with water BEFORE you do anything else, and make sure you have towels and plenty of rags within arms reach.
2. After said activity, turn on the sprinklers and play with your kids under them or have fun spraying each other with the hose.
3. Hop in the kiddie pool and scrub off as much of the paint as you can.
4. Dry off.
5. Head into the house for ANOTHER bath or shower.
All of the steps above aren't necessary for us to clean off the paint, but as you can see, we really go all out when we decide to go messy!
Please tag me (@momma_teaching) if you decide to go big and messy with your next painting project! There’s nothing we love more than seeing paint-covered families spending QT together!
Thanks so much Melissa for sharing these awesome ways to beat the summer heat and get creative with your loved ones! Our kids love the frozen treasure and flower water play activities, but we've never tried making sponge necklaces before! We are also DEFINITELY going to give some messy art a go!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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