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 letthe games begin!
  2. Touch and Feel Book (construction paper; glue; materialsof 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 eyesand 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 drinkingcups; milk; new paintbrush; toaster)You will need a drinking cup for each color you wish touse. Pour a small amount of milk into each cup. Add a fewdrops of food coloring to the cups (a different color foreach). 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 thepeople who love her. (Parents should limit the time spenton this project because, after all, doesn't everyone loveour children? This list could take hours!) When you'refinished, frame the list or laminate it, 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 gentlycrush the pieces with a rolling pin. Peel a banana, andthen slice it into small circles. Drop the banana circlesinto 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 vanillapudding; food coloring; muffin pan; spoon; paper plates)Prepare the pudding as directed on the package. Once it'sready, spoon the pudding into a clean muffin pan. Add dropsof different food coloring to each (mix 2 different colorsto make wilder colors). Stir each until the colour is consistent. Now, "paint" yourself silly on the paper plates. Yummy!
  8. Sun Spots (blueprint paper, available at office supplystores; 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. Leavespace 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; temperapaint; squirt bottles such as a clean ketchup or mustardcontainer, 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 tocolor 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 colorsof food coloring; freezer)Fill the ice tray with water. Add a few drops of foodcolouring to each square, and then freeze. This may helpchildren who don't drink enough water. Add a few cubes ofcoloured ice to their bath water for even more fun

About the Author:

Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent:

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