Thursday, November 8, 2012

Toddler Activity: Water "Painting"

We've been working under the assumption that "a busy toddler is a happy toddler" these days, and it has been getting harder and harder now that it is cold enough out that I refuse to take Genevieve out with Josie during the day (once Josie gets outside, she needs to be out there for two hours, MINIMUM, and no matter how much I bundle that baby, there is no way we are doing that. Sorry!)

The other problem we are having is ... I never thought I'd say this ... she loves reading too much. We could read ALL MORNING, and then when it's time for nap, she's not tired at all because she didn't do anything active or new or exciting. 

I know it sounds terrible, but I have been "saving" a few new activities for days when we REALLY need them, and I thought today, after a two-day nap strike and so many meltdowns that I can't even begin to count, was worthy of one I had been saving.

Behold! Water "painting" on construction paper!

She LOVED IT. (Sorry about the quality of the pictures ... I still haven't figured out how to get a good picture in front of our big picture window. I love having all the natural light, but my camera isn't handling it well, and I don't know anything about photography, so I can't fix it.)

That blob on the bottom is a cat. Is it just me, or can you totally see it?

And when she was done, she went over and got the pile of white paper and bucket of crayons and continued with her artwork. So, all in all, she spent quite a bit of time occupied with this activity.

After a while, she did start "painting" her face and dipping her hands in the cup, which I was totally fine with, but if you don't like water messes, you might want to toss down a garbage bag before starting this activity.

I had to add this in, too. After coloring for a while, she was about to try to "paint" on a plain white piece of paper with the water. I told her, "It won't work on that paper," and even though I had not explained it to her, she said, "Oh, only on the COLOR paper!" and went back to painting on the (colored) construction paper. :) Love my little genius. 

I was hoping this, combined with her normal play, AND the exercise play session we had (45 straight minutes of jumping, running, spinning, jumping jacks, and even sit-ups, without even stopping once), would make her tired enough for her nap after a two-day boycott. I also gave her a nice pep talk at lunch about how awesome naps were and told her after she woke up she could sing a special song about how rested she felt and do a special "after-nap" I-feel-great dance ... NO DICE.

We're taking it up a notch tomorrow, activity-wise. I'll keep you posted.


  1. We loved water "painting" on the sidewalk during the summer when were kids. Mess free!

    1. Yes, a cooler mom might let her play with real paint every day, but as I just spent OVER AN HOUR in my laundry room tackling stains in the past week alone, we will use magical water paint whenever possible. :)

  2. I hate to break it to you, but none of my kids napped regularly after the age of two....

    1. Yes, yes, I know it's coming, but she went from three hour naps to nothing overnight. And when I let her out of her room yesterday, she came over with glassy red eyes, rubbed them, and said "I'm tired." I'm hoping it's just a regression and she will go back to naps, because she certainly needs them!


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