Toddler Activity: Earth Day Painting

To celebrate our Earth on its special day, Mila created a beautiful Earth Day Painting.

Is there a huge possibility that more paint ended up on her than the canvas? Of course! But she had a lot of fun talking about the Earth and describing what she was painting.

As for me, I loved watching her creativity and seeing how much she actually notices the world around her.

Reliving curiosity about everything is the best part of parenting for me. Mila has taught me how to love our Earth and everything around us so much more deeply. It makes huge, paint messes like these not feel a burden to clean up. She makes life fun and happy.

I absolutely loved that proverb when I was looking information up about Earth Day. Being a mom and wondering what Mila’s future will be like made me have a connection with it. This proverb is just so powerful.

Anyways, thinking about Earth Day and her creativity led us to doing a painting.

If you want to do what we did, here’s what you’ll need:

This activity is super simple. I promise we had every intention on making neat little earths.

To prep, just grab something circular shaped that you don’t mind getting paint on. Then pour green and blue paint beside each other.

All you have to do is instruct your child to dip the ball in the paint and put it on the canvas.

The ball is way easier to paint with than food!

At some point, Mila decided she didn’t want to paint with the ball anymore. She dipped her finger in the green paint and slid it across her forehead.

I have no idea why this popped in her head, but I just let her do her thing.

I would NOT suggest letting them finger or hand paint if you’re unprepared. Paint went all over Mila’s clothes and the picnic bench. She was covered too.

But it was okay and washed off. The memory of watching her paint was way worth it.

She described she was painting rainbows and grass. The earths on the top of the canvas were clouds and the sky. She had a whole story for her artwork. It was the cutest thing.

The best part was how proud she was of her painting. When my mom came to pick Mila up, she showed off her work.

I love that she’s able to learn, but always put her twist on things.

As always, if you end up doing this activity, let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram: @greyskies.rainbowhighs.

Check out some of these other Earth Day and natured inspired activities Mila and I have done. They’re a lot of fun!

Toddler Activity: Ocean Pollution Cleanup

Water sensory bins are perfect ways to help toddlers understand the world around them. For Earth Day, I wanted to talk to Mila about keeping our world clean. A perfect way to get her to connect was through an ocean pollution cleanup activity.

Since Mila loves the beach, I wanted her to know how not throwing trash away can hurt other living things environment.

Obviously, toddlers can’t understand the concept of the whole world at this age. We still want to teach them about their actions and the results after.

To connect Mila with ocean pollution, I used some toys and trash she sees every day.

Here’s what you’ll need if you try this water sensory bin:

  • A container – I reuse plastic storage drawers
  • Trash or unused crafting materials
  • Ocean animal toys
  • Reusable stickers
  • Strainer
  • Spoon

I placed Mila’s reusable mermaid and ocean stickers to the bottom of the container first. Also, I added some seashells and her favorite aquatic friends we have around the house.

Then, I filled up the container about half way.

We talked about how ocean animals (and mermaids of course) lived in the water. That all the oceans were their home. I asked her what makes a home? She said a clean place to have fun.

I’m pretty sure she saw my bowl full of trash at that moment.

After that question, I started throwing trash in the container. She definitely was a little confused. I told her sometimes the oceans get dirty because trash doesn’t get thrown away and other things don’t get recycled.

Soon, her ocean friends home were riddled with pollution. Until, I gave her the opportunity to cleanup!

I asked her if she wanted to help the ocean out and of course she agreed.

She used the spoon and strainer to fish out trash. Some of the trash was her fruit snacks, caps, and old ball she had in our house.

Honestly, her face seemed a little disgusted by all the trash. Somehow, she pushed through that phase and still had fun playing in the water.

Little by little, her hard work paid off. The ocean pollution cleanup was done!

We continued talking about trash and the ocean. She asked to do the activity again, and was still very concerned about saving her friends.

This water sensory was a great way to put environmental cleanup in Mila’s hands. She felt like she was helping the world around her and it might help teach her to do just that.

We love the Earth and connecting with all parts of nature. Activities, like this, can help our child love our world even more.

To find some other Earth Day activities, check out what these moms have planned:

If you liked this activity or do it in the future, let me know in the comments!

Toddler Activity: Nature Scavenger Hunt

With Earth Day coming up so soon, there’s a ton of crafts and activities circulating online. The best thing you can do with your child is get outside!

No matter if it’s walking on a trail or exploring your backyard, connecting with nature is good for you and the Earth. There’s so much healing that happens when you have fresh air and the grass under your feet. You might need to get a few more baths and showers, but totally worth it.

One way Mila and I keep busy outside is by doing a nature scavenger hunt.

This little board was easy to make. All I did was reuse a piece of cardboard and painted on different colored squares. To help with word recognition, I made sure to write the corresponding color.

To get the clips to stick, I hot glued them on there.

Mila is at the age where she can do this all by herself. So, it’s fun to make two to see the different items each collect.

In the past, I’ve picked up trash to show her how it’s harmful. Even though it’s colorful, I tell her that it doesn’t belong. We talk about what belongs in nature and she tells me trash belongs in the garbage. It’s also a great way to talk about recycling too!

The best part is just being outside.


Although we spend a ton of time out there, this activity extends play and lets us have other discussions too.

We love the Earth and want to make sure we can always spend our time safely outdoors. It may sound a little extreme, but keeping the world around us clean. Educating Mila about that is important to me since she loves it so much.

If you live in Ohio, like us, this might not be the best week to get outside since we’re expecting SNOW! But, this activity can be done on other days than Earth Day too.

As always, if you and your child do this activity, let me know in the comments below.

Toddler Activity: DIY Seed Bombs

With Earth Day coming up quickly, Mila and I have been making Earth friendly DIYs. Our favorite is seed bombs! They are messy and fun to make, but they lead to a summer of beautiful flowers.

Since we love picking flowers, this is a win all around!

This recipe comes from the Kids Art Box, which is an amazing subscription service that has activities curated for your child with all the supplies.

Here’s what you’ll need to make seed bombs:

As I said before, this can get quite messy, but toddlers love it!

Mila was able to help with every part of the activity. It’s a great way to help them with their motor and life skills by pouring and mixing. Plus, we counted everything we could. This is also a great time to talk about Earth Day and how we need to protect our Earth.

Anyways, back to how to make the seed bombs!

First, mix the dirt, flower, and water up until you get a sticky concoction. Once it starts sticking to the spoon and forming together, add the two packets of seeds too. Mix them evenly in the mixture.

Then either use cookie cutter to form shapes or make little balls.

Let them dry out. I would definitely recommend waiting two days for them to dry out and then plant.

It’s really that simple!

Mila loved helping out with this project. It was a great way to talk to her about how plants and flowers grow. Actually seeing the seeds helped her understand where plants came from. In our “Identifying Parts of Flowers” activity, seeds were the biggest confusion for her. This DIY helped cross that bridge!

Another great idea to use with seed bombs is to give to family members. With Mother’s Day here, they’re a great DIY present for aunts, grandmas, and other motherly figures!

If you try this activity out or have any suggestions to make these seed bombs better, let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: Safari Animal Hunt

With rainy days ahead, there’s a ton of fun, indoor activities you can do with your toddler. Since Mila loves zoo animals right now and hide and seek, I’ve combined the two to a Safari Animal Hunt!

You can easily do this activity too! It’s a great way for toddlers to learn about different animals, find hidden objects, and be creative in hiding too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

I made this printable for Mila and she used it as a matching sheet for the animals she found. You’re more than welcome to download and print to use. We used a full sheet of paper, but they can easily be made into half sheets.

I make sure to challenge Mila in saying all of the animals full names. Her favorite to say is hippopotamus and it’s just as cute to hear her say it too.

Next time, I’ll have to make a water animal hunt. It could be a really cool sensory bin!

All you have to do for this activity is have your toddler cover their eyes or go into another room. Then hide all the animals around a single room or your house. We did just one room to make it a little easier for Mila. You can hide at whatever difficulty rating you think would be best for your toddler.

Then, have your toddler put the printable in the middle of the room. Instruct them to find the different animals and match them to the paper.

After they find everything, have them tell you what animal is which.

At this point, they may want to hide their animals for you. Mila had a blast at hiding her animals for me. It was fun watching her try to keep her hiding places a secret.

This is an activity that can last for a while.

It might be good to find out your toddler’s hiding spots. Especially if you’re missing markets, crayons, and scissors! You learn as much about your toddler as they do about safari animals.

If you do this activity, let me know in the comments!

Before you go, check out these other indoor activities you can do with your kids.

5 Tips to a Successful Garden

Last year, Mila and I tried our best to maintain a toddler garden. With a little practice, we’ve found five tips that really help our garden grow and thrive.

I will admit, we’ve acquired a few houseplants since our go at it last year. It’s really helped up understand what plants need to grow. Germinating seeds are a little more tricky than having houseplants, but it’s the same principal.

We ended up buying an herb kit from the dollar store to practice. It costed $5 for the seeds, soil, and container. I thought it was a great deal. They’re a little wonky right now since they’re growing towards our grow light, but they’ll even out soon!

Here’s what we did to make them sprout.

Warmth

One of the best things you can do for your seeds is to plant them in a warm environment.

At this point, they don’t need a ton of sun. Windowsills can be really cold in April, so keeping them in the kitchen or another warm room of your house is perfect. This will help promote them to germinate and sprout. They also grow quicker when they’re warm.

If they get too cold, they’ll freeze and won’t be viable to sprout.

Humidity

Besides warmth, the other most important component of starting seeds is humidity.

If the heat in your house is on, your home probably doesn’t have a humid environment for the seeds. But, there are easy ways to create it.

The easiest way is to use saran wrap. After you plant your seeds and spray water on them, just tear off a piece of saran wrap and put it over your containers. This and heat will create a humid environment that your seeds will thrive in.

It may not be the prettiest sight, but it really does help!

You could also use plastic takeout boxes or Tupperware to create the same effect too!

Shallow Planting

I think this is where Mila and I messed up the most last year!

Your seeds do not need to be buried in your soil mix. They need to be able to feel the warmth and humidity. Last year, I put them further down and although some sprouted, it was too deep. This year, I mostly spread the seeds on top of the soil and gently pressed them in the soil.

It took them a shorter amount of time to sprout this year and they’re really thriving. I believe this tip was the biggest factor there.

Patience

Gardening and growing herbs and vegetables from seeds take a lot of time and patience.

It can take up to two weeks for seeds to sprout. If they get overwatered or it’s too cold, they can end up rotting and not even sprout. There’s a lot of components and science to starting a garden.

This garden is a great time to talk to your toddler or child of any age about patience. They’ll be excited to check and see if their plants have sprouted every chance they can get. Once they finally start to, your child will be so proud of their efforts. You will be too!

Love

They say plants grow better when listening to happy music. Think how much they can grow from kind words and love from you.

Gardening truly is a labor of love. Not only to the plants, but with you and your little ones too. There are so many teachable moments and just teaching your child that something can grow from the love you put into it sticks.

I might not be the gardening guru, but these tips have helped us out this year. Mila is so excited to see her garden grow!

When our plants get bigger and it’s time to switch pots, I’ll update with those tips too.

If you’re wondering if you should start a garden, you most definitely should! Start small and see what works for you this year. By next year, you can take on more if you’d like. Either way, it can be a fun and ongoing experiment with your kids.

Before you go, check out how these other moms garden with their children:

As always, let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks. Or you can let me know what you’re growing this year.

Toddler Activity: Tea Party and Manners

Who said tea parties HAD to be fancy? In this house, we have pajama tea parties sprinkled with lessons on manners.

Mila has recently entered the pretend play stage. She and I play with certain toys and do different voices all the time. Since she has a few tea sets, she’s been asking to have a tea party.

Well… minus the tea. Turns out, she’s not the biggest fan of tea, but she loves chocolate milk.

When I told her we’d be having a tea party for brunch, she went and grabbed her tea supplies and a few friends too. I grabbed everything else.

Here’s what we used to have a successful tea party:

  • Brunch food
  • Tea cups with chocolate milk (oh the irony)
  • Kindness Rules!
  • Stuffed animals
  • Play tea pots
  • A BIG imagination

For our sandwiches, I used a heart cookie cutter to make them a little festive. Mila took noticed and loved that. She also loved the macaroons and veggie straws. Everything she ate, she had her pinky out

We did a grazing board because for some reason Mila will eat more this way.

She had the option to dress up in dresses, but she insisted it be a pajama tea party. How could I refuse?

Our little party started with Mila making everyone ‘tea.’ With a tasting promptly after.

She ate and fed her friends. I was informed of what was in all the different tea pots she used too.

Her tiger, baby, and blue Mickey Mouse were the guests of the century. They say quietly mostly, but they did help teach Mila a lot about manners.

A tea party felt like a perfect time to talk to Mila more about manners and being kind. We have these talks fairly often, but it was a great opportunity to demonstrate table manners.

First, we read Kindness Rules! We love Hello!Lucy and their set of books. Their My Mom is Magical is one of Mila’s favorites. We read it completely through and stopped on the pages that talked about eating nice and neat.

They used a wolf and the main character as examples. The wolf ate messy, but the elephant was full of manners.

To demonstrate messy and nice eating, Mila’s animal friends happily volunteered.

Her tiger ate messy without using utensils. Mickey Mouse used every manner and ate without making a mess.

I asked her to tell me the difference between the twos eating styles. She laughed wildly at the tiger, but ended up saying Mickey’s style was how she wanted to eat.

She continued eating, using her manners and making sure to remember how to eat neatly.

We took the time to talk about kindness words. I quizzed her on when to say please, excuse me, thank you, and so on. Kindness Rules! gave her a nice refresh and visuals on how it can be mean when we don’t use manners or are not kind to one another.

Overall, we had a fantastic tea party brunch. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was memorable in so many ways.

Does your toddler like tea parties? If not, what’s their favorite way to pretend play?

Also, I’m taking suggestions on different teas Mila would like. Let me know in the comments.

While you’re at it, please, check out these bloggers take on tea parties too:

Toddler Activity: Identifying Parts of Flowers

If your toddler is anything like Mila, they love flowers. Spring is the perfect time to not only go and pick flowers, but to learn and identify parts of flowers too!

After learning about the water cycle, it was an easy transition to learning about flowers. While reading the Little Raindrop Book, Mila noticed that flowers and plants were a part of a raindrops journey. Since I have a ton of plants, she connected how our houseplants get thirsty and that they needed water to live.

So, we reread the book, talked about what makes a flower, a flower, and made a fun craft too.

To do this activity with your child, you only need a few supplies.

Before beginning this activity, there’s a little prep to do.

First, cut out pieces to make a stem, flower, leaves, sun, and dirt. I did basic shapes, but you can be as creative as you want. For the flower, I left it white so Mila could paint and personalize it.

Then, cut squares for your child to actually label the flower. There should be six squares. Label them with these: sun, flower, stem, leaves, dirt, and roots.

There are a few ways to introduce this activity to your child. Mila interacts with flowers and plants everyday at our home and through the book I mentioned. Your child might enjoy going outside and actually seeing flowers before doing this.

After you talk to your child about flowers, it’s time to set up the activity.

I first had Mila paint her flower with watercolors. Since we’ve been in a creative mood, she loved this part!

After that was finished. I had Mila tell me what she remembered about flowers.

To get to the main part of the activity, I asked her a few leading questions. The first was where do flowers live. She instantly said dirt, so on our paper we laid down where dirt would be. Then I asked her what part of the flowers lived under the dirt. Roots! This is a difficult question and I think she only knew this through my plant propagations.

We glued down half of the ‘dirt’ and then drew roots underneath the other half. This makes this project interactive.

With the dirt and roots set, it’s a little easier for them to figure out what comes next.

Mila ended up putting the stem, leaves, and flowers on by herself. She helped me glue the pieces of paper and placed them where she wanted them to go. For the sun, I asked her what gives the plant life. the sun and water. She placed the sun in the top corner and said that was in the sky.

We used the little pompoms to talk about seeds. Since seeds are in the middle of the flower, we put them there. Although we didn’t talk about seeds, I did extend her learning and told her seeds go in the ground. Then I told her they sprout roots and flowers from that one little seed. She seemed pretty amazed by that.

After it was all laid out, I made her go through all the parts to label them.

As she stated what part of the plant was what, I glued down the appropriate label so she could see the words by them.

Overall, it was a fun activity that she’s really proud of. She’s showed everyone who’s came over.

Make sure to check out these seven spring books that can help you talk to your toddler about flowers and spring. They all have beautiful illustrations and I know toddlers and young children will LOVE them.

If you tried this activity, let me know in the comments. I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram at @greyskies.rainbowhighs so I can see everyone’s creations!

Before you go, check out how these other mom incorporated flowers with their kids:

Toddler Activity: Stormy Clouds Experiment

Rain rain, go away, come back another day! Or if you insist on staying, it’s a perfect time to introduce the water cycle to toddlers.

Mila LOVE experimenting. I try to tailor to her learning style as much as I can. She would prefer doing an experiment every day, but that’s not always possible. Thankfully, teaching her about rain and the water cycle gives us an amazing opportunity to get dirty and make what she calls Stormy Clouds.

This experiment is fun for both toddlers and adults. It not only talks about the rain cycle, but you can incorporate color recognition, the Scientific Method, and motor skills too; so much learning packed in one rainy day activity.

Here’s what you’ll need to make stormy clouds:

I’m going to first start off by saying this activity can get messy. Whenever there is food coloring, it somehow gets everywhere. I’d recommend placing a plate, mat, or some sort of paper under your big jar. Of course, food coloring will clean up, but it’s nice to just take some precautions.

Once you get an area where you’ll experiment set up, fill a big clear jar with water. The jar I used had a lip on it. I filled it up to the bottom of the lip so it gave me some room to put the shaving cream.

Next, mix your food coloring with water in little jars and bowls. Your child will be either scooping the colored water with a spoon or using a pipette. I used very small Tupperware containers for this step. For the water/food color combination, I used 8-10 drops of food coloring and eyeballed the water. I wasn’t too scientific about the measurements!

Then, add shaving cream to look like a cloud on top of the BIG jar of water. I did this step after the food coloring because Mila would not have had enough patience to wait for all of the colors.

After you’re set with the cloud, have your toddlers start spooning or dripping the dyed water over the could.

It takes a little bit for the water to penetrate through the cloud, but once it does, it’ll look like rain drops are coming out of it. Mila enjoyed using purple the best since it was easier to see. Although, it was fun to do a huge mix of colors.

Throughout the experiment, we talked about how clouds make the rain and then it goes down to Earth. I’m not a huge science buff, so I turned to Little Raindrop, which is a cute book that talks age appropriately about the water cycle! It has adorable pictures and tells the story about a single raindrop. Mila got this when she was one and it was too advanced for her. At almost three, it’s perfect!

Even if your child is not interested in learning about the water cycle or even into rain, the activity is fun to just make a mess and play with colors. I showed a group of adults this activity and they enjoyed it too. It really is fun watching the shaving cream turn different colors.

Next time it’s raining or anytime you want a hands on activity to do with your child, this Stormy Clouds Experiment is perfect!

If you liked or tried this activity, let me know in the comments!

Check out these rainy day activities from other moms!

Toddler Activity: Egg Rescue

If you’re stuck with abundant amount of plastic eggs from Easter, let your toddlers play with them! This Egg Rescue is fun for active toddlers who like to work with their hands.

Mila loved ripping through and tearing all the tape off the eggs. It was fun to watch her too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic Easter Eggs
  • Washi Tape
  • Candy, little prizes, or change.

This activity takes a little time to set up. It’s worth it because they get really into it.

Fill Easter eggs with whatever stuffing you’d like. Think of leftover eggs from Easter Egg hunts!

Then, tape them on to whatever table.

Next, have your toddler rip the tape completely off. I made Mila tear off every single piece of tape before she could open the egg. It made her be precise in how she did it.

When they have all their tape off, it’s time for the surprise. Mila had no idea they were filled and was so excited! I let her open the eggs all by herself too.

This activity has so many important motor skills that they use. I also had Mila tell me the color of the egg she was opening to get some color recognition in.

Although I think I spent more time prepping, it really was a lot of fun to watch. She even taped down some of the eggs to keep practicing.

The star of the show was the quarter though!

Mila was genuinely excited that the egg gave it to her. Plus, she got to use her piggy bank which is ALWAYS a treat.

Overall, this is such a fun activity. I think it’d be awesome to do if it was a rainy Easter or in the days following. Since they’re mostly plastic eggs, reusing them for other activities and saving them for next year is great for our world!

I hope you liked this activity and if you try it out, let me know in the comments.