The Simplest Toddler Activity E.V.E.R.

Today I introduced Gracen to mess-free sidewalk painting.  She loved it so much that she’d finally set down her brush, go running towards her sandbox, suddenly shout “More! More!”, and then turn right around and head back to painting.

I’m always surprised by how many activities from my Kindergarten teaching years can be adapted to entertain and engage my one year old (yay play-based learning!) This activity is something I did with my students to practice number and letter printing and recognition, but it is just as great when done simply for fun.  It’s incredibly simple, requires only two things, and has virtually no mess / clean-up.  What’s not to love, right?

The trick to mess-free sidewalk painting is that there is absolutely no paint involved.  All you need is a paint brush of some sort (I find bigger wall painting brushes work better than artist’s brushes, and rollers are fun too) and a container of water to act as paint.  The water will mark the sidewalk, and slowly disappear, leaving a blank canvas ready for more painting fun.

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With summer just around the bend, I think this activity will be in regular rotation very soon…  Bring on the heat!

Side note: We tried painting the sidewalk in both the sun and shade today and found a significant difference in how long our pictures lasted, so that could be something fun for older kids to explore.

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