If there’s anything that might help us survive this pandemic with small kids cooped up in the house for days on end, it's got to be an activity that can keep your little ones entertained for more than 30 minutes... just imagine the possibilities of 30, quiet, minutes!
We (and probably most of you too) have at least three different Pinterest boards full of "fun and easy" activities that we never got to do. They either take too much time to prep, require way too much clean up, or they don't actually seem like something that would entertain ourkids for long (aka, not worth it!).
So, that Pinterest board just sits there collecting activities...and dust.
So when we found these four activities, we were ecstatic to see they check all of the boxes:
✔️Minimal effort to set up
So if you’re anything like us, and have been looking for fun, easy, activities for your kiddos, here are four of our favorite (edible) activities that your kids will love:
2-Ingredient Edible Paint
Length of entertainment: 30 mins to 1hr (depending on how much yogurt is eaten).
Clean up job: The "paints" wash right out! 🧹🧹
@claireeburgdorf is one of my favorite mama friends on Instagram who always has the best tips for Baby Led Weaning and playtime ideas. This edible paint is super easy to set up, guarantees for some serious fun and minimal cleanup.
What you need:
- Yogurt of any kind, even Greek yogurt.
- Baby food of any color. You can swap that with a drop or two of food coloring.
Set up: Brush (optional) and large paper. To hold the paints, you can substitute those small cups with a muffin tin or small bowls - any small container will do!
Click on the post to see how it's prepped, and I think this caption from Claire perfectly says all that you need to hear: "...once Oakley realized I wasn't yelling at her for eating it, she went to town 🤣".
Length of entertainment: ENDLESS!
Clean up job: Minimal, nothing a vacuum can't sweep 🧹
Every child loves play-dough. But you know what adults don't love? Having to drop another $20 to replace that clump of playdough that cannot be revived from the multi-colored, driedout massthat’s somewhere under the kitchen table collecting dust bunnies...
Tip: Don't want to wash out the pot and repeat with the next color? Pour the ingredients without the colors in different cups, one for each color, then add the color and use hot water instead of the stove. Voila! 👌
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons oil ( Claire used avocado oil because that was what she had)
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 1 package of Jello (sugar-free works best and the Jello makes it smell so delicious!) *For the white play dough I didn’t add any Jello*
Mix all ingredients in a pot and cook over low-medium on the stove. Stir frequently with a whisk first to remove the clumps and then switch to a spatula. Once the dough starts to gather together into a ball (about 7-10 minutes), press your finger on the dough, if it does not stick to your finger, you can take it out of the pot!
Store in an airtight bag or container and you can use it for up to three months!
Noodle Sensory Play
Length of entertainment: 30 mins+
Clean up job:Minimal 🧹
There's a lot to love about the talented @crystal.ita. She's a homeschooling mama and the owner of @kingsleyandpeaches. She has got SO MANY ideas for sensory play that when I first thought about putting this blog together I immediately thought of her.
In a child's early years, sensory play can be especially fun and beneficial because putty, play dough, and other hand manipulatives are classic occupational therapy tools for fine motor work and sensory play. Not only are they fun, but they can also be used to work on a whole host of developmental skills, such as hand strength, finger isolation and dexterity, bilateral coordination, imaginative play, and much more.
This noodle sensory play is super fun and can be incorporated with different themes depending on what you have in the house. All you need are:
- Cooked noodles/spaghetti, mixed separately with different food colors.
- Optional #1: Gelatin
- Optional #2: Animals, or any toys in the house.
You can start by just introducing the noodles (and gelatin, like the video above) and let your kiddos just explore the new sensations and textures. Then you can introduce different themes every time to keep it interesting.
Here's a more elaborated version Crystal did, adding (uncooked) lentils and farm animals.
Length of entertainment: 30 mins+
Clean up job: Moderate 🧹 but Crystal shared it’s actually easy to clean. Shaving cream actually helps clean surfaces, so it's a win for kiddo and a win for mama!
This activity requires little assembly and tons of sensory fun! All you need are:
- A large, deep container
- Shaving cream
- Optional: Blue food coloring, blue jello/ice cubes, sea animal figures.
Judging by Kingsley's reaction, it's safe to say it was A LOT OF FUN 🤩
What are some of your favorite activities? Let us know in the comment or tag us on Instagram @_nightingalebaby to be featured!