12. Glue + Sand Drawing

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I drew the rocket ship and he sprinkled the sand. Quick and easy! I lined a deep tray with a large piece of paper to easily funnel the leftover sand back into a container. We found the colored sand in the floral section ta Michael’s. It had a bit of an odor, so I was glad we did this project outdoors.

11. Corn Syrup Painting

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Another idea from MaryAnn Kohl that we decided to try. The drops of food coloring were quite beautiful as they spread out into the thick corn syrup. We clearly don’t mind mess around here, but it was pretty sticky. My son stuck his hand in it to make a handprint and then stuck his syrupy tagboard onto the window. They are drying very slowly; we’re on day three and the thickest bits are still soft to the touch. But it’s beautiful – clear and shiny like glass!

10. Egg (Yolk) Painting

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Before motherhood, I began to study the ancient art of Byzantine iconography. We mixed our own egg tempera paints from egg yolks, water, and ground mineral pigments. So I was excited to try this idea – painting with egg yolk and food coloring – when I stumbled across it in Preschool Art by MaryAnn Kohl. However, my son was mainly interested in cracking the eggs and said he ‘didn’t like this paint’!  It would have been less slimy and the food coloring would’ve mixed in more smoothly without the egg white in it, of course. Some of it dribbled on the patio and was also very slippery, so he fell and skinned his knee. Not one of our more successful toddler art activities. The dogs, however, were quite enthusiastic. Perhaps we will try again when he’s a bit older.

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9. Frozen Ice Blocks

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A friend did this activity for one of our art groups – frozen chunks of colored water with plastic animals suspended inside. Once frozen, they can be dumped into a bin with smaller ice cubes. Children can then use spray bottles full of warm water to melt the ice and try to free the animals inside. I did this for another event and was amazed at how well it occupied all the children, from ages 2 – 8, while their parents visited. I used recycled containers to make the blocks.

8. Watercolor Table

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We have a large cement patio that is perfect for messy toddler art. A small table with cake watercolors is a permanent fixture and will likely show up often in this blog. My son can putter as he pleases, mixing colors in little cups of water, adding sand and potting soil to his painting when the mood strikes. At this age, the watercolors seem to be more about experimenting with liquid and color mixing rather than painting on paper, but it’s still so fun to see him playing. He most often mixes up little cups of ‘coffee’ for us. I love that he can do this outdoors, and will be able to for most of the year where we live.