Spray some shaving cream onto an old cooking pan, on a tray, or straight onto the table and let your kid at it! Once it’s smoothed out, they can draw pictures, shapes, letters, numbers, etc… in it. (You might want to set some ground rules so that the shaving cream doesn’t end up everywhere… i.e. keep the shaving cream on the table, no clapping your hands hard or slapping the shaving cream, etc..)
You can also do this activity on shower/ bath tub walls, and let your kid stand up and draw.
If your child learns well with hands-on sensory activities, this is a great way to practice letters, shapes, numbers, and their name.
** Shaving cream usually smells strong. If you use a pan or tray, the smell may seep into it. Two solutions are to clean it with baking soda when you’re done, or to line the tray with aluminum foil (which actually looks pretty cool underneath of the drawings).
This might not be the prettiest activity, but it’s totally fun! When your sidewalk chalk gets left out in the rain, you can use it to draw on windows. If you know it’s going to rain, leave a piece of chalk out on purpose! It’s a great rainy day activity!
You can also have your kiddo dip dry chalk into water, instead of waiting for rain. Between the dipping and the drawing, it should keep them busy for a while!
-Talk with your kid about how water changes the chalk. Compare and contrast a dry piece of chalk with a wet piece.
– Use this activity to practice drawing shapes, writing letters and writing numbers
Even the littlest kid can move a brush around on paper! Use watercolor paper, watercolor paints, and a wide brush. If your child is like mine, they’ll love to mix colors together until everything is brown… an easy fix is to give them color choices that mix well together. It can also be helpful to paint one color at a time, letting the paint dry in before painting the next color.
-Matte one (or more) of your child’s paintings and hang it up in their room (or anywhere in your house!). You can even have them paint in colors that compliment the colors in their bedroom.
-Matte/ frame a painting and give it as a gift
–Watercolors are a great way to learn about and discover how colors mix together to make other colors. Use two primary colors to create a painting that has both colors, as well as the secondary color created when they overlap.
Make your own stamps out of potatoes! You’ve got a couple options for how to do this. The easiest way is to use small cookie cutters (think Christmas cookies). You cut the potato in half, then press a cookie cutter down into the potato, as far as it will go. Use a knife to cut away all the potato around the cookie cutter (leave the cookie cutter in the potato until you’re done). When you’ve sliced away all the excess, pull the cookie cutter out, and you’ll have your stamp!
The harder way to do it is to cut a shape into the potato. Use a knife with a pointy tip, and use the tip to draw the shape. Next, cut the shape into the potato using only the tip of the knife, by pushing the tip in and out. Cut at least a 1/4 inch down, and a little deeper if you can. Once your shape is outlined, carefully cut away the excess potato from around your shape. This method allows for unique shapes that you don’t have in cookie cutter form.
Once your potato stamp is finished, you can either use a brush to put the paint onto the stamp, or you can squeeze some paint onto a flat surface and press the stamp in (the way you would press a real stamp into an ink pad). Now you’re ready to stamp!
-Use your stamps to make cards (we made the ones above for valentine cards)
-Make letter stamps, number stamps, or shape stamps to practice recognition skills
-Practice color recognition by using shades of one color in your stamp picture
This is a craft you can do even with little little kids, since all they need to do is rip some paper up! We used cotton for snow, just because cotton is fun.
Tear strips of brown paper for the trunk and branches (or let them draw the tree), and then tear up the leaves (if you little one is having a hard time, start the tears for them) and glue them on.
This can be an excellent language activity:
-Help your child to come up with adjectives that describe each season
– Talk with your kid about how each season looks, sounds, feels, smells, and even tastes (winter tastes like Christmas cookies!)
-Talk with your child about the different things that happen in each season- holidays, birthdays, vacations, snow, rain, etc…
Time to think outside of the box! With your kiddo, find a few toys of theirs that you can use instead of a paintbrush. Play kitchen toys work great. Plastic knives can become palette knives, cups become circle stamps, etc…
Kids LOVE being allowed to use things for what they’re not supposed to be used for, so fun is a guarantee on this one. Encourage your kiddo to play around with how they can paint different ways with each object (i.e. thin lines, wide lines, etc…)
If you want to practice shapes, the plastic shape sorter toys work great as shape stamps!! You can also work on color recognition by doing the whole painting in shades of one color.
Have your kiddo trace shapes (help them if you need to) and cut them out. On a separate piece of paper, have them make sea and sky (use paint, chalk, crayon, etc…), and some cotton clouds if you’d like. Then they’re ready to glue the shapes on to make their sailboat!
Use this craft to build shape recognition, as well as color recognition.