Non-Messy Craft Time – With A Toddler *Gasp*

I know, sounds crazy, right?  Well, it’s possible, and it’s possible to do something that you don’t have to just throw away.  Let me explain…

There is an activity floating around the mom-o-sphere that calls for taking a Ziplock, filling it with paint, taping it to the table, and letting your kids push the paint around in the bag. It’s good for, uh, something? Hand eye coordination?  Texture play?  I don’t know the important parenting playtime names (I’ll work on it).  It looks like this…

Image from The Hippie Housewife

Image from The Hippie Housewife

If you’d like to see how they did this, go here.  basically they taped a bag to the table with a white piece of paper underneath so the kids could draw in the paint.  It’s a very cool idea, and they even keep the bags around so they can pop them out whenever and keep playing.  That’s a nice way to pull out something quick when you need to throw dinner on the stove.  I love it!

My problem was that I wanted to keep what my daughter made.  I’m a wee bit artsy, so I think it’s super important for her to also love art.  Mainly so I can have a buddy who is always ready to paint, draw, make something out of clay, or crochet.  (Hey, a mom can dream, right?)  So, here was my idea.  I decided to put a small canvas in a large ziplock, have E pick a few colors, and have her go to town.  It looked a bit like this…

Put canvas into ziplock

Put canvas into ziplock

Add paints!!

Add paints!!

Smoooooosh the paints around.

Smoooooosh the paints around.



Realize you need work on removing from bag, smile because it's still awesome.

Realize you need work on removing from bag, smile because it’s still awesome.

So, the final product got a little smeared as I was taking it out of the bag, but at least half of it is still intact, plus it still looks pretty cool.  I’ll just tell her it was a collaboration effort from the both of us.

Once it was dry, I wrote her name and the date on the back and hung it up in the hallway. I now have a piece of E’s art that I can keep forever, and absolutely ZERO mess on her, my table, my walls, the dogs, or the couches.  I’m calling it a win win win win win!

Hope you all enjoyed!  If you decide to do this with your littles, I’d love to see the final product!


5 thoughts on “Non-Messy Craft Time – With A Toddler *Gasp*

  1. This is a nice idea. Even I am looking for something not messy to play with sometimes.
    Question: How was the ziplock? Did it open a bit while your toddler was painting?
    I can imagine my toddler doing this, but with the way he moves, the ziplock might open. 🙂 he paints on his own, though, but I would love to try this one.

    • I had no issues with the ziplock opening, but I could imagine it happening. Try using two bags, one with the zipper part up, then the second with the zipper part down. That should definitely keep any leaks from happening!
      I haven’t tried real painting yet, but I hope to as soon as it’s not 100 degrees outside every day! I have a special “oh well” outfit just waiting for a paint party!

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