Toddler Activity: DIY Nail Salon

Mila can be such a girly girl.

One thing that she absolutely loves is painting nails. No matter if it’s her nails or someone else’s, she always asking.

I saw this activity last year and figured now was the perfect time.

All you need is:

  • Cardboard
  • Marker
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

I had everything had home and used old cereal boxes to draw the hands. To hold the paint, I used the caps of milk containers.

Next, I traced my hand and then drew finger nails.

To get her used to seeing her name, words, and numbers, I wrote them on the cardboard too. Before she painted, we counted all the fingers, told her which one was right and left, and spelled her name. She tells me her name is ‘la,’ which always makes me smile.

Then, I let her paint these nails.

She enjoyed mixing the colors and practicing painting nearly, at first. It switched from near to a little wild soon after.

This is a quick activity to put together, but it gave me enough time to do some work on the computer. Sometimes you just need five minutes of peace and this did the trick.

I will continue doing this activity with Mila. To help her with her pre-writing, I’ll make dotted lines that she has to trace for bracelet and rings. It would also be fun to do color recognition or teach the order of the rainbow here too.

Either way, this is DIY nail salon is fun and toddler approved.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Eight

I think every kid takes a few toys in the bath, but the amount my toddler brings… might be a little weird.

Last night during Mila’s bath, I counted: ten ponies, seven Barbies, a Barbie boat, six empty bottles, two bath books, a play broom, countless numbers, countless blocks, and all the bubbles that could fit.

To top it off, she asked me to get in the bath with her. Unless we took half of them out, there was no room for me to fit. She ended up chooses all her toys instead.

The amount she brings in is strange, but at least she has fun… right?

Toddlers are just weird.

Toddler Activity – M&M’s and Diversity.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

To honor that, I wanted to have another diversity talk with Mila. I figured to keep her full attention, I’d use her biggest motivation: m&ms. The girl loves them and always sneaks them. I guess I can’t blame her for that.

Anyways, m&m’s are a perfect way to showcase different skin colors, but we’re all human on the inside.

I lined her m&m’s up and asked her what colors they were. She told me all of the colors and I mentioned how all of them were all different. I talked about how people all have different skin colors too.

Then, I asked her if she would be sad if I told her she couldn’t have certain colors of m&ms. Of course she was. She told me she liked them all.

With that, I told her in the past, boys and girls who were black weren’t allowed to play with boys and girls with white skin. She seemed upset by this. Yet, i explained that some people judge others by their skin color.

Without giving her much more thought, I cut an m&m in half.

She seemed a little shocked, but I asked her if she thought the other m&ms looked the same on the inside. With a quick nod of her head, she pointed to another one and I sliced it in half too. It may be aggressive, but she liked it.

I told her that even thought people look different on the outside, we’re all humans on the inside. We have differences, but we still have the same emotions too.

Of course, as she gets older, these conversations will get more complex.

I’ll never claim to know what racism is like to experience. The only thinks i can do is teach my daughter to see people’s differences, but love them for their character.

Kids will change the world, but it starts with teaching them about diversity, even with m&ms.


Here’s some videos about Martin Luther King Jr. that Mila enjoyed this morning:

Toddler Activity – MLK Day Artwork

With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.

Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.

Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.

Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.

Back to the project though!

This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.

Things you’ll need:

I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.

This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.

I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.

That part really is that easy.

After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’

You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.

I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!

If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!

Toddler Activity: Fireworks Before Midnight Experiment

Let’s first start this off by saying… HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’re not quite there yet, but oh so close.

Mila and I did fireworks at noon, in case she doesn’t stay up. Its a little science experiment that I thought I’d share here. We did it a few times, if that gives you a time estimate.

It was fun and Mila loved helping too!

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Jar
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Oil

Yes! It’s that easy.

All you do is fill up the jar with water. Put the food coloring in the oil. Then, slowly pour it in.

The food coloring escapes the oil and creates ‘fireworks.’ Mila thought they looked like different things. It made me smile to know she’s connecting so many different things.

I took a video of our experiment and wanted to post it here.

Again, Mila and I hope you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Toddler Activity: 2021 Sticker and Writing Activity

Two posts in one day, oh my!

Anyways, Mila is getting more and more into drawing and tracing letters and shapes. I haven’t really sat down and did a full activity with her yet, so I wasn’t too optimistic about how this would go.

I made three different pages for Mila to do.

The first is a sticker activity.

Is anyone else’s toddler obsessed with stickers or is it just mine?

I knew if the other two activities didn’t work out, she’d love putting stickers on this big piece of paper.

All I did for this was tape two pieces together and write ‘2021’ in marker.

The goal of this activity is for your toddler to put stickers along the numbers. It helps them get the hang of the shape of the letter without writing it. Plus, they’ll be using motor skills by taking the stickers off and putting them along the lines.

She might not have put all of the stickers on the letters, but stickers are always a hit with Mila!

The next activity is writing. There’s a bubble number one. For this one, they just practice their numbers inside the letter. It’s just to get them familiar with it.

Honestly, this is more Mila’s speed. She did her best with trying to draw it and I think she did well.

The final page was way too challenging for Mila, but a good way to keep numbers familiar for her. I ended up asking which numbers were where and told her the letters too.

Overall, the sticker activity was a hit and I’ll continue doing similar ones for this stage. The other two I’ll keep doing similar things to see how she progresses with them. One day she’ll be a pro at them.

These can all be made with computer paper at home. The sticker activity gave me enough time to make food and wash dishes!

Hopefully, this can help give you some time to get last minute things done for NYE at home.

If you try this out, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know how it went!

Toddler Activity: DIY Countdown to Midnight Clock

To make the New Year’s Eve day a little more special, I made a countdown clock for Mila. It took a little bit of time, which is why I’m posting today.

You can definitely get help from your kids with this activity, but it’s mostly for adults or older kids to make. Kids of all ages can enjoy when it’s done.

Like most of our activities, I had everything at home. If you don’t, all of these items can be easily bought at a variety of stores.

The supplies:

  • Poster board or craft paper
  • Marker
  • Balloons
  • Confetti (I used scrap paper)
  • Tape
  • Candy or other fillings

The idea of this activity is to celebrate NYE all throughout the day. As each hour passes, kids can pop the balloon and have confetti and whatever else you stuff it with.

If they don’t stay up until midnight, then at least they get some excitement throughout the day!

This project was a little more longer and in depth than our usual ones, but I think she’ll love it when the day comes.

First, draw a big circle on your poster board or craft paper. Then, add the numbers around the circle like a clock. I wrote in the middle of it, but you can personalize it however.

Once that’s done, it’s time to stuff and blow up balloons.

You’ll only need twelve balloons and some come with confetti already in them. That would have been way easier, but I just made confetti by cutting up scrap pieces of paper. This takes a little time, but it looks cute all mixed.

If you are making your own confetti, have your child practice their cutting skills and help you out!

Next, stuff the balloons!

This can be a tricky task. I used a funnel, but there are others ways to do it too.

In addition to the confetti, I added chocolate hearts to the balloons. Mila loves them and she’ll be shocked by the surprise.

After this is done, blow your balloons up and tape them to your clock.

Hang your clock to a wall and enjoy popping them on New Years Eve! Kids who love messes will be excited to make one every hour.

I hope you enjoy this way to celebrate bringing the new year in! If you decide to do this activity, comment your experience. I’d love to hear from you and see pictures.

Toddler Activity: NYE Firework Painting

If you enjoyed last weeks Christmas activities, I have a few New Years ones too!

This first one is a firework painting. Mila loves to paint and experiment with how brushes work. That makes these DIY paint brushes even more interesting for her and toddlers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • Scissors (kid and adult)
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Paper plates

I had all of these supplies at home, but most everything can be easily purchased. Feel free to use whatever color of paint. Mila just picked these three and I added the silver in.

First, you’ll want to cut the paper tubes to make the brush. If your child is learning how to use scissors, guide and help them with this. You can also get this step done beforehand.

We did three different firework shapes to get different looks.

Then, we put our paint on paper plates. Mila poured the red, which might have been a mistake. One recommendation is to spread the paint around. This way when your child pushes down with their brushes, all the bristles get paint on it.

After you get all your desired paint ready, it’s time to start painting.

I let Mila know we were making fireworks because that’s how we celebrate the new year. She’s seen fireworks before, so she understood what they were.

Of course she doesn’t grasp the concept of a new year, but it’s fun to begin those conversations with her.

I did have to show her how to push down on the brush. She got the hang of it pretty quick!

It helped when I really pushed the bristles down to make them more flexible. They are quite stiff at first!

With their finished project, you can either write over top of it or just leave it. Mila ended up making two. The canvas will have ‘2021’ written on it and the paper version will be untouched.

I’ll update this post with a finished picture after her artwork is all dried.

This activity is pretty quick, but a lot of fun. Toddlers and young kids will love making their own brushes. Plus, what kid doesn’t like fireworks without all the noise.

If you try this activity out, let me know in the comments below!

Toddler Activity: Christmas Lava Lamp Experiment

Since I’m on a roll this week, here’s another quick and easy holiday project you can do with your child. Mila loved this activity, but I messed up with it. Oops!

We did this a few days ago, but it’s a DIY lava lamp. The white was supposed to look like a snowstorm and the red is just festive.

I’ll tell you the correct way to do it and how I messed up. Who doesn’t love learning from their mistakes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oil (you can use any kind, but I used vegetable)
  • Water
  • Alka Seltzer Tabs
  • Food coloring
  • Jars

I had everyone on hand, other than the Alka Seltzer tabs. You can find them about anywhere if you don’t have them.

The first part is where I messed up. You’re supposed to fill the jar up 2/3 of the way. I filled 2/3 of the jar with water. We make mistakes. Mine was just a big one for this experiment. It still worked though!

So, fill 2/3 of the jar with oil. Then combine your food coloring and water together to fill up the rest of the jar. Obviously, kids love to help, so they can definitely pour the oil and water into the jars.

Next, get your alka seltzer tabs out. Don’t let your child eat them! But, break them up in smaller pieces for them to put in the jar.

I personally did different sizes and let Mila put a full tab in there as well. I thought it was fun for her to see the difference in the reactions. You could even do this beforehand too.

Next, have them start putting pieces in.

In my one time experience, Mila thought this was cool. She wanted to put all of them in at once. I tried to tell her to do one at a time, but she’d sneak some when I wasn’t looking.

In the future, I’ll definitely do this experiment again… and do it the right way. It was fun to ask Mila what she was noticing. She immediately understood the tabs were making the bubbles. As she gets older, there will be more questions and observations I could ask her too.

As you can see, it is pretty cool! The red turned out way better than the white, but I think this is the oil/water issue that I had.

I hope you can do this fun experiment with your child this week. It’s always great to mix science in your routine at home.

Happy experimenting!

Toddler Activity: Salt Dough Santa

Okay, okay. I know it seems like we’ve been making a lot of ornaments around here, but they’re fun!

These salt dough ornaments are easy to do and make great, last minute DIY gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need for these:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Water (no set amount. I’ll explain!)
  • Paint
  • Glue *optional
  • Glitter *optional
  • Yarn/Ribbon
  • Knife

Admittedly, I have not had the best track record with salt dough. I think I’ve added too much water in the past. This time, they turned out great though.

First, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, if your child likes to help mix ingredients, they’ll think this is really cool. Add the flour, salt, and a little bit of water together. Then start mixing with a spoon or your hand.

Here’s where the water ingredient is tricky. I just kept adding a little bit at a time until it got to a play-doh consistency.

Next, Mila and I rolled the salt dough out into circles. To get the Santa shape, I told her to keep her four fingers together and she kept her thumb held a little out.

For this part, just press their hands in there. It will imprint nicely. I trimmed around her hand to get more of the shape. All I used was a knife!

I ended up getting four hand Santa’s, a ‘snow globe’ with two of her hands, and two little circular ornaments so Mila could paint however she wants. Then I stuck them in the oven.

They’ll need to bake in the oven for two hours. Then take them out and let them completely cool before you start painting.

If you’re child is older, they’ll be able to paint the Santa’s on. Mila likes to paint crazy right now, so I did this for her. I used red, white, and tan paint.

After the paint was dried, I put glue and glitter down where I wanted it. Then, I used yarn to complete it. You could use ribbon too!

Honestly, I think they turned out so cute. They were simple to do and Mila just loves them.

Happy creating and making with your child.