My daughter is OBSESSED with Raised Salt Painting. With a little glue, salt, and watercolor paint, kids can turn an ordinary piece of paper into a three-dimensional work of art. So when she asked to create a winter raised salt painting, I knew just what to do.
We decided to create snowflake salt paintings in a size that’s just-right to become an ornament on our Christmas tree. It’s simple, fun, and- once laminated- takes on a snowglobe-like quality that your kids are going to love.
My daughter is a bit of a perfectionist. She is super hesitant to attempt art projects she thinks won’t work “right.” It’s a delicate balance between teaching her to take risks and allowing her to create something she’ll be happy with. So sometimes I ask her to wing it, but other times (like this time!) I created a printable snowflake template for her to use.
If your child is less fearful of art activities, feel free to give them less structure. Ask them to create their own snowflake designs, or even to just experiment with different shapes and colors. Either way, your kids are going to get the incredible art, fine motor, and sensory experience that this winter themed raised salt painting provides.
If you’ve been watching our stories on Instagram, you’ll notice we’ve been making a real push to get process art into the hands of more children. Art activities for kids seem so daunting at first- people are afraid of the mess, or don’t know where to start- but they don’t have to be complicated. With a little inspiration, and a tiny bit of prep, you’ll be able to get some easy toddler art projects under way in no time.
Process art activities range from the very simple (think an easel with little pots of paint) to the more complex (like our recycled materials painting wall, see below). The beauty is that you and your kids get to decide how elaborate your process based art projects are going to be. The idea is to keep art invitations for toddlers fun, simple, and creative, and to let the kids take it from there.
So if you are looking for some exciting process based art activities for kids, we’ve got a few ideas that you can do this week, with materials you’ve already got on hand. Collect some supplies, bust out the paint, and you’ll be watching your kids create and explore art in a whole new way in no time!
I spent some time as a preschool art teacher, so you better BELIEVE I was bound and determined to get my kids excited about art from an early age. I had big ambitions about art projects for babies, and I expected I would spend much of my time coming up with cute crafts for toddlers. I even pictured them with little paint brushes in their chubby little hands. And then the day came when I handed Lila her first paintbrush, lovingly dipped in non-toxic red paint- and she stuck it right in her mouth. We THINK these things are going to be amazing. But when it comes to art for babies, sometimes we need to tone down our expectations just a little. Or, at the very least, come up with alternatives that won’t have our toddlers spitting red paint all over the living room floor.
One of the easiest compromises to make is by swapping out typical paints with edible paint for toddlers. Pinterest abounds with plenty of non-toxic options to make your own paint (often involving flour, corn-starch, and the like). We wanted to move beyond paint that simply won’t hurt them. We’re bringing you an art experience that integrates sensory play, taste exploration, and color experimentation in a truly edible fashion. Our yogurt fingerpaint art activity is sure to fill some time with yummy fun for your littlest Picassos. It’s a process-based art project your babies will love.
Because I am both a lazy mom and a former preschool art teacher, I make a point to do process-based art projects for toddlers at least a few times a week. I just can’t with a ton of prep, so keeping the materials simple is the way to go for us. And I want my kids to express themselves, but let’s be honest- I’d really love to have some cute crafts for toddlers to hang on my fridge, too.
So imagine my dismay when Abe took the beautiful colors I presented him during a free-painting session and mixed them all into a muddy brown. But that muddy paint got me thinking, and I quickly set up this toddler boys’ craft that even my rough and tumble little guy loved.
Add to it some toddler sensory play, and you have yourself an hour full of fun toddler activities without much prep at all. And you’ll check a few items off of your Toddler Daily To-Do List while you’re at it!
This project has three parts to it, but you could easily choose one or two to focus on and it would still be a hit. First, you’ll let your toddler mix colors. Then you’ll engage in some hands-on painting with unconventional materials. Finally, you’ll finish up with some soapy, sudsy fun. Read on for the full details!
Another Saturday, another week of Mothering under our belt, another Saturday Six. Enjoy!
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1. Crafts and Cabin Fever
We’ve been housebound a lot recently thanks to rain, ear infections, and the dreaded flu. When we get cabin fever, we like to bust something out of our secret craft stash! This week, we looked forward to a break from the rain with this Hide and Seek Rock Painting kit that we can take outside when the clouds part! And you can’t go wrong with ANY of the craft kits from ALEX Toys! (But this one’s on sale for 50% off right now!)
2. We LOVE Low Mess Meals
Have you ever noticed how many delicious “One Pan” dishes there are on Pinterest? But then they’re all “We SAID one pan, but that’s really only if you have a cast iron skillet, and if you don’t then you need to use a regular skillet and then transfer into a baking dish, and I realize this changes EVERYTHING because you were really planning on this dinner when you pinned it and we lied to you about that one dish thing?”
Yeah, we’ve noticed it too. So Christine finally bit the bullet and bought this cast iron skillet and now she’ll never get screwed by Pinterest again. Well, until she tries to do some “kid friendly craft” that proves to be anything but…..
3. National Puppy Day
Is it any coincidence that Chad sent Christine a picture of puppies on National Puppy Day and suggested that one join the family? Spoiler alert: She said No. Or, more accurately, “HELL NO!” I mean, they’re cute and all, but puppies? Stay tuned and she’ll fill everyone in on the ten reasons she gave him for absolutely, under to circumstances, adding another family member let alone one covered in fur that will never be potty trained.
4. Christine is Having MAJOR Problems with Co-Sleeping.
Mainly, her kids all want to and she doesn’t. It’s like having a newborn again with all the shuffling kids back to their beds all night long. Or they stay and rub their feet on her all night long, which is worse. Christine and Chad considered getting an obscenely giant bed like this one from The Ace Collection, but knows they’d still end up getting pushed off the edge somehow. The struggle is real.
And if you haven’t ready any of that, well, now you have something to do while you drink your coffee! Or wine. We don’t judge.
6. Tragedy at Jaymi’s House
We love Abram, we really do, but we were not loving the way he threw Little Blue Truck across the room when he was done reading it peacefully. And we especially did not love the tragedy that befell the TV screen when it happened.
Help Jaymi not feel alone! Comment with the biggest tragic accident that’s happened at your house! And have a great weekend!
This week was the highest of highs (Universal Studios! Finally feeling well! Lots of drop-off playdates!) and some fairly low lows (No sleep! Overcooked dinners! All the shaving cream everywhere it shouldn’t be!). But in a week of chaos, here are six things that still managed to catch our eye.
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1. Our Favorite Wallet is Now Available in Black
We may own like six All About the Benjamin Wallets between us, but we most definitely need two more- because now it’s available in BLACK. This wallet has all the pockets and sections you’ll ever need- and if there happen to be any other Dave Ramsey enthusiasts out there, we HIGHLY recommend it for your envelope system.
2. We Were Featured in Two Amazing Round-Ups
The world agrees- The Salty Mamas write posts worth sharing. (Is that braggy? Pretty sure that’s braggy. But anyways. We’re gonna go ahead and brag.) Check out the post we are featured in at SuzanneHines.org , where she is giving out some amazing Spring Break travel tips (and sharing our flight and road trip posts). We were also flattered to make the cut for Friday Favorites over at Misadventures of Megan, where she’s asking her readers which of the 7 Types of Moms You’ll Meet at an Indoor Playground they are.
3. We Got The World’s Cutest Necklaces
Are these necklaces A.) Crazy Adorable B.) Super Punny C.) Made By a Crafty Mama we know IRL or D.) All of the Above? Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed D, and then go buy a “Donuts are My Love Language” necklace for yourself. She also takes custom orders if you’ve got something else in mind!
4. Jaymi is Getting a New Camera
After years of debate, Jaymi’s finally pulling the trigger on a DSLR. She’s thinking of getting a refurbished Canon Rebel T6 from Amazon, but you’ve got a few days left to dissuade her if you know of a better one. Also, you can look forward to crisper, cleaner images for upcoming blog posts, so woot!
5. Marbled Shaving Cream Shamrocks
We took our Marbled Shaving Cream Art concept to the kindergarten St. Patrick’s Day party, and it was actually not a nightmare. Yes, a 12:1 ratio is not the ideal ratio for shaving cream and paint laden projects, but we DID IT, and the kids totally loved it. As a bonus, the whole classroom now smells like squeaky-clean shaving cream instead of five year old toots and gluesticks, so we’re gonna call it a win.
6. Spring is Almost Sprung!
We’re more than ready to usher in spring, and we’ve only got a few more days to wait! We are so excited for our April plans- birthday celebrations, strawberry picking, and a staycation at Great Wolf Lodge are in the works- and we are just desperately hoping the weather catches the memo. We’re ready for sunny days and blue skies for our outdoor adventures!
So now you know what we’re looking forward to this week, we want to hear from you- what are you most excited about in the coming days and weeks? Drop a comment below!
2. You may have heard that we won free Chick Fil A for a year, but we ALSO won a free Valentine’s Day Meal. Seriously y’all, we are SWIMMING in free chicken. You may not be willing to sleep in a parking lot for free chicken (because…well…REASONS), but PLEASE tell us you have the Chick Fil A One app installed on your phone. All you have to do is scan when you order, and you’ll get points that add up to free items. And if you’re anything like us, those orders- and those points!- add up fast.
3. Have you done one of those kid interviews that’s been floating around Facebook recently? We did them with our kids, and the answers were equal parts hilarious (Q: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A: A grown up. So I can make the rules) and so sticky sweet we could die (Q: What Makes You Happy? A: Hugging You). Our friend at All in A Dad’s Work asks his kids questions like these on the regular, and their answers are super insightful, and also sometimes super funny. We particularly liked this week’s questions. Go check them out!
5. We busted out our Marbled Shaving Cream Art at a playdate this week and it was a HIT. Each kid made five or six hearts a piece, and it totally stopped them from fighting was a great way to get some art in. And can I say, I kind of felt like super mom handing it off to their Mamas when they got picked up. We recommend busting out the green paint and some shamrock-shaped cardstock to bring it into the new season.
6. Our cruuuuiissseee is coming uuuuuuup! Look for some themed posts that will be going up this week, and get your rainbow tumblers ready. We’ve got a fun DIY headed your way so you can either A.) Cruise with your momsquad in style or B.) Have a virtual drink with The Salty Mamas.
As a preschool art teacher, I have to say that I strongly favor process-based art for kids. The research all shows that the true benefit of art for kids comes from the process of making something- mixing colors, experimenting with lines and swirls, and getting hands-on experience with creative expression. Your average Valentine’s Day art projects for kids, with their prescribed colors and shapes and outcomes, are typically not in line with process-based activities.
I’m also a mother. I want some art for my dang refrigerator, gosh darn it.
So I’ve created this fun, process based art activity that will end with a product that you can display. By limiting the colors you present the kids with (pink, purple, and red for example), you can ensure that this process based Valentine’s Day art project stays on theme- and the kids will be none the wiser.