The toddler activities I like most are the sort that can be done in ten minutes, bring great joy and are uncomplicated to pack away. It doesn’t mean that we won’t get carried away and let the activity become more expansive. But I like things that are easy to wrap up if the mood is not right. And bonus points if said activities require little-to-no purchasing of new items.
I don’t know what sparked this week’s lightbulb moment, but I remembered that I had a tin of watercolours in the cellar and a pad of watercolour paper sandwiched between display books of certificates and old diaries on my bookshelf. I’d purchased these materials during some past burst of creative exploration which had faded, and now they were just lying around waiting for inspiration or recklessness.
I rounded up supplies while putting together a game play in my head. I’d use an Artline marker to draw simple pictures on the paper for my daughter to colour in… A small reused plastic container would hold water and I’d put it on a tray to contain any spills. I’d wait and see what happened, knowing that disaster could surely be wiped away with a mere sponge…
And you know what? It worked beautifully and my daughter and I both loved it. It wasn’t that messy and the colour pay-off was very exciting compared with crayons. We’ve since done some more pages with pictures – honestly, you could even draw simple shapes if you’re not much of an artist – and I definitely plan to add this to our weekly rotation of home activities.
A few notes:
We used a basic watercolour set in a tin like this one, though any set will do. Using dried cakes of paint limited the mess. I let my toddler experiment with the provided brush, which was fine.
We used this watercolour pad. Again, any brand will do. Watercolour paper is very thick and can hold the water that comes off the brush, so I would recommend using this over printer paper.