Toddler DIY: No-Mess Abstract Art (+ A Messy Way)

Often, I get stuck in a rut with the kids. We'll just be doing the same sort of stuff, day in and day out, going on errands, cleaning the house, playing at the train table or pretending to be dinosaurs. I'm not good at planning activities with my kids - if it requires prep or makes a huge mess, I'm out. 

But I do love to paint. So recently when we were stuck inside on a cold, rainy day, I got out the paints to work on a few of my own pieces of art, and let Eli join in on the fun while Colette was napping. We first started out with a no-mess method I had seen on Pinterest - and it could not be easier for any of you mommas looking for a simple, no-mess craft for your kiddos. And it turns out some pretty cute abstract art for very little work!

Basically, just pick a few colors that go well together, squirt them out onto the paper, pop it in a plastic bag and let your kid go to town. 

I had to encourage him a little to really smear the paint around, "Get the paint in the corner! Shake it up! Move it around! Dance with it!" Which was effective not only in making a better finished product, but was quite the show to entertain me in the process.
Since I had all the plastic down and the area prepped already for my own paintings, I let him go crazy with a few pieces of paper taped to the wall. (Quick tip: If you use regular paper, it will curl up under a lot of acrylic paint, so be sure to grab some "mixed media" specialty paper from any craft store's paint section.) I also gave him a little water to water to mix in - but honestly, I'll probably skip that next time - the paint was fun enough - and spraying the water off the paint brush was a little too fun for him, if you know what I mean.

Of course, if your toddler is anything like mine, he'll ask for a snack in the middle of - well, anything and everything we're doing. And today was no exception. When I told him he could have a granola bar while he painted, he was downright giddy. 

I've found a new mom-obsession with FLYJOY bars - have you heard of them? They're perfect for kids because not only are they heathy, using all natural ingredients (certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified, kosher certified and vegan) and my kids love eating them, but they ARE NOT MESSY. Just like that painting in a bag up there - no mess, no stress. I can't tell you how many times I've given my kids other brands of granola bars only to find my kids covered in crumbs with a ring of chocolate or fruit around their mouths when I go back to them. FLYJOY bars hold their shape and don't crumble or leave a mess. Plus, I feel good about what they're eating - the perfect kid snack in my opinion. 

Eli chose cashew cookie dough (because of the word "cookie," obvi), and he munched on it the rest of the time he painted.

Later, when I asked him which one was his favorite, he held up Blueberry and struck this pose, no lie! Blue is his current favorite color, so it makes sense.

Once the paintings were dry, I framed a few of them up, and one of them landed in his bedroom - which I revealed last week. It's adorable to see how proud he is to see his art framed and on display - definitely worth letting him make a little mess for one morning! 

How about you? Are you a crafty mom? Have any no-mess art activities to share? I'd love to hear them so I can try them out!

If you'd like to try FLYJOY bars as a snack for your kiddos, use code ART25 for 25 percent off your order at FLYJOY. 

Thank you to FLYJOY for sponsoring this post.


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