The newborn phase is not my favorite. Am I allowed to say that? Even when you get an easy newborn, there is just not much you can do during those first few weeks. To make it even more challenging, I am not good at sitting still. I like having things to do.
You know who is even worse at sitting still? My 2 year old. She doesn’t understand why we suddenly can’t go to the park/out for frozen yogurt/to the pool. So I’ve had to get creative with ways to entertain her at home. Thanks to Pinterest, I have lots of toddler activities I’ve been meaning to try with her. I tested out three to see if they are actually toddler friendly. Happily, I already had all of the supplies for all three. I did all of the setup but didn’t step in for the final product because I wanted to see what the end result actually looked like.
All three of these projects need to be done outdoors, so the first step is to wait for the heat index to go below 100 degrees. I love my kids, but I would rather watch 6 hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse then sit outside in that heat to watch a kid throw some paint around.
Project Number 1: Bubbles + Food Coloring
I wanted to try this one because the pictures of the project looked so cool. All you have to do is mix bubbles with food coloring, and blow it onto white paper. That’s it! ￼ (Some tutorials also recommend adding a drop of dish soap.)
This was the actual product when she was done. You’ll notice that it bears no resemblance to the original post. Maybe this is because Maddie has the attention span of a goldfish—or perhaps she was just a little too young for this one. I think we’ll wait a couple years before we try this one again. She lost interest pretty quickly, so setup took longer than she was willing to work on it. I still think the pictures in the original post are awesome, so maybe I’ll try it by myself after she goes to bed. Just kidding. Maybe.
Project #2: Painters tape + Canvas + Paint
Set up for this one is also super-easy. You take a canvas, apply painters tape in whatever pattern you’d like, paint over everything, and then peel the tape off once the paint has partially dried. ￼
See how good I am at forming tape letters? I’m going to play the mama-to-a-newborn card and ask for grace when it comes to the lack of creativity. I’m tired, people. ￼
Once the Frist Center sees this post, I’m sure they’ll be contacting us to add this to their galleries. I know she’s only 2, but this is evidently best defined as modern art. Moving on.
Project #3: Cornstarch + Water + Food Coloring
This was—by far—my favorite out of all three projects, and we’re going to use it all the time now that I’ve discovered it. It was easy, cheap, and simple to clean up. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup cool water. Mix well. Add food coloring. Find a sidewalk or driveway and paint away! My only word of caution is that our green leaves a faint stain if left on too long, so wash it away quickly, or find a place that you don’t mind getting a little stained. I do expect it will fade fairly soon, but a warning is only fair. ￼ ￼ ￼
If nothing else, all three of these activities kept her occupied for a little while as the baby slept. It might not be the park, but it got us out of the house. For any other moms in the newborn/toddler trenches, stay strong! We’ll be back to normal soon enough. Or so I keep telling myself…