Simple + Easy Activities for Little Ones

We are reaching the end of a sweaty, stuffy summer in Texas, and I'm definitely ready to see cooler temps (even though they probably won't show up until October!) and more routine around here. These last few weeks have been a lot of short outdoor playtime in the morning and indoor activities in the afternoon (it's just been too hot to go out, well, at least for this Minnesota girl!)

So, I've been trying out some new creative activities to help switch things up.

Before you think that I spend every day doing something creative and uber fun with my little guys--let me just tell you that most days my creativity is handing Luke the watercolors and letting him paint. However, it is fun to add to some different activities to the mix--so I'm going to share a few ideas that we've done lately that Luke (and Sam) have enjoyed :)

1. Shower Curtain painting and sponge throwing. It was inspired by this idea from Busy Toddler. Really, the only thing I did differently was let Luke paint his own design on the shower curtain (or a tarp would work too) before throwing sponges. I also thought writing letters, numbers, or shapes would add a bit of learning to the mix. We weren't so educational, but it was fun!

2. Pan and roller painting. This was inspired by Luke finding the roller in the garage and pretending to paint the walls. I simply made it a little more colorful by squirting paint on a cookie sheet and laying paper down across the table for him to roll on. ps. I buy this paper like this to make art projects 100% easier to clean up. Plus, it lasts forever and makes cute wrapping paper ;)

(poor Sam! It was so bright!)

3. Laundry basket web. I used a laundry basket and made a web with yarn and then plopped small toys on the bottom for Luke to grab with tongs. I thought Luke would absolutely love this activity, but it was a little "eh" for him. However, I think his younger self would have been much more into it. It was an easy activity to bring outside and at least kept him out of the dirt for a bit.

4. Water bowl. Whenever we go outside with Sam, I fill a big plastic bowl with water, add a few water/random toys, and let Sam splash his hands in it and grab for toys. It keeps him busy and cool without him getting too wet. Win-Win.

5. Print + Create Kits. Okay, okay--a little bit of shameless plug. But! We really have had fun with these this summer.  Luke was part of the creative and "product-testing" for many of the activities and they kept him busy. Plus, we had lots of chats about the Fruit of the Spirit, God's creation, and what we are thankful for. His favorite is definitely the outer space kit (he has colored the space ship coloring sheet at least 6 times), but I'm kinda partial to the Thanksgiving and Prayer set (How can you not love donuts?)

Since we still have many more toasty days to come, I'd love to hear your ideas or latest kid-friendly activities you've done with your kids--I can always use some fresh ideas!

Happy Friday!

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