Messy play is an incredible thing: while having tons of fun, children are also developing skills and learning things! The benefits of messy play deserve their own blog post, but some of these include developing fine motor skills, problem solving, promoting creativity and even helping to develop teamwork skills.
With Valentine’s Day coming up it makes perfect sense to combine messy play and crafts – this way fun is had, skills are developed and a gift for a loved one is produced. I hope that one of these two messy play crafts will be something that you’ll look forward to doing. I guarantee you that cleaning up afterwards won’t be an issue after seeing how much fun your little one had!
Foam and paint Valentine’s hearts
I won’t lie, this landed up way messier than what I anticipated! The amount of fun that was had was worth every drop of paint. This activity was so simple to set up (you only need a handful of items), and kept the toddlers entertained for a good hour/hour and a half.
What you will need
- Cardboard/hard paper cut into heart shapes
- Shaving cream
- Paint (we used fabric paint and finger paint
- Paintbrushes (if the children would prefer to use them)
- A covered area or somewhere you don’t mind getting dirty
Spray some shaving cream into the container and then pour some of the paint into the shaving cream (we used red, pink and some blue). We left them to play with the mixture for a while. When they’re ready to do the craft part, you can add another layer of shaving cream and paint if you’d like. Each toddler got their own heart shape and could dip it in the foam/paint mixture, or paint the heart with a paintbrush. If there’s any excess foam on the heart, you can simply scrape it off and leave it to dry. Once dry, you can write your message to your loved one on it.
If you’re looking for something a little less messy, then this activity is great. This is a nice activity because it helps promote creativity – the heart can be decorated as the child desires. I feel it also helps channel the independence that all toddlers experience, as with this activity they are able to do just what they would like to.
What you will need
- Any stiff material to cut a heart shape (we used styrofoam)
- Paint and paintbrushes
- Any materials you want to decorate the heart with
We simply painted the styrofoam heart and majority of the material hearts, and then waited for these to dry. The initial plan was to leave the material hearts white, but Emily wanted them painted as well. Once everything was dry, we stuck the material hearts on to the styrofoam – simple and straightforward!
These activities are really a very simple way of getting your child to get involved with some messy play, while creating a little keepsake. Depending on how old your toddler is, they’ll also be able to learn a bit more about gift giving.
Remember, this is messy play so don’t expect any of the crafts to be necessarily neat and tidy!