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home>>family>>activities>>fun & fast activities

10 Fun & Fast Activities for Toddlers and Their Parents

by: Deborah Shelton

1. Balloon Tennis (paper plate; wooden paint stir stick; craft glue; balloon) Glue the wooden stir stick to the paper plate. This is your tennis racquet. Blow up the balloon, tie the end, and let the games begin!

2. Touch and Feel Book (construction paper; glue; materials of different textures, e.g., small piece of sandpaper, cotton balls, velvet, bubble wrap, felt, wax paper, etc., stapler) Glue one textured material per page of construction paper. Staple the pages together. Have your toddler close her eyes and tell you what each feels like (rough, soft, etc.). Young children will enjoy discovering the many textures of the world around them.

3. Bread Art (white bread; food colorings; small drinking cups; milk; new paintbrush; toaster) You will need a drinking cup for each color you wish to use. Pour a small amount of milk into each cup. Add a few drops of food coloring to the cups (a different color for each). Using a paintbrush, paint designs or pictures onto the bread. Don't soak the bread. Use just enough "paint" for the picture to show up. Now toast the bread for edible art!

4. Animal Walk Parade (radio; silliness) First, choose your favorite animal. Form a straight line, Turn on the radio and walk the way your animal would walk. If you're an elephant, use your arm as a trunk. Giraffes, stretch your neck out and hold your head up high. Birds, flap your Wings to the music.

5. "People Who Love Me" List (paper; pen or pencil) Sit down with your toddler and make a list of all the people who love her. (Parents should limit the time spent on this project because, after all, doesn't everyone love our children? This list could take hours!) When you're finished, frame the list or have it laminated, then hang it in her bedroom. Have her refer to the list whenever she feels blue.

6. No-Bake Banana Crunch Cookies (bananas; graham crackers; Ziploc baggie; butter knife; rolling pin) Place 3 or 4 graham crackers into the baggie, and gently crush the pieces with a rolling pin. Peel a banana, and then slice it into small circles. Drop the banana circles into the bag and shake, coating each slice with crumbs. This simple treat is sure to become a favorite!

7. Yummy Finger Painting (package of instant vanilla pudding; food coloring; muffin pan; spoon; paper plates) Prepare the pudding as directed on the package. Once it's ready, spoon the pudding into a clean muffin pan. Add drops of different food coloring to each (mix 2 different colors to make wilder colors). Stir each until the color is consistent. Now, "paint" yourself silly on the paper plates. Yummy!

8. Sun Spots (blueprint paper, available at office supply stores; small objects such as leaves, flowers, buttons, rubber bands, keys, etc.; clipboard; lots of sunshine) First, attach a piece of blueprint paper to the clipboard. Place a collection of small objects onto the paper. Leave space between objects when arranging. Set the clipboard and its contents outside in direct sunlight for several minutes. Bring your project inside and remove all of the objects. Beautiful artwork compliments of the sun!

9. Sheet Murals (white bed sheet or pillow case; tempera paint; squirt bottles such as a clean ketchup or mustard container, or clean spray bottle; water) Hang your canvas (sheet or pillow case) on a clothesline. Fill the squirt bottles with water and just enough paint to color the water and not clog the spray. Shake well to mix. Now stand a few feet away from the sheet and spray your art! *Note: If you're doing this project indoors, be sure to put down a sheet of plastic to protect the floors.

10. Colored Ice (plastic ice tray; water; different colors of food coloring; freezer) Fill the ice tray with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to each square, and then freeze. This may help children who don't drink enough water. Add a few cubes of colored ice to their bath water for even more fun!

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About The Author
Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with craft ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more! http://www.fiveminuteparent.com
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