I really enjoy using items from around the home and recycling them into playthings for the toddler twosome and i know many others do too so i am going to try and do a weekly feature on thrifty activities… for art and craft, for toddler play and fun, for things to wear or eat or even when enjoying the outside and all it has too offer!
This week we have had some fun turning used and washed plastic bottles into Paint Squirters! His Patient Self has been bringing home a lot of juice bottles from work as freebies (slightly out of date but that’s why we get them!) We have so far used them for discovery bottles and shakers filled with rice to add to our toddler band instruments, but i wanted something that would challenge the toddler twosomes’ fine motor skills……so introducing… Homemade Paint Bottle Squirters.
I also had a few empty tomato past bottles that i had been saving for inspiration to strike and this was perfect!
The tomato paste bottles already have a hole although the name brand bottles have a stopper in them so harder for the girls to squeeze. The juice bottles i simple drilled a hole into the lids. We have started using them in the bath now too and we drilled a few holes in each lid to make more of a shower effect.
Easily filled with water and my trusty edicol vegetable dye and the activity was ready for the outside!
Lots of investigating of lids first….how do they open? What will happen? How do i get the coloured water out?
Once they began squeezing the patterns they began to form on the tray were bright and mixed easily….
The juice bottles were the favourite as a little easier to squeeze i think…..
They had to work out first that they needed to tip them before the paint would come out…. great for problem solving skills and reasoning!
Tara soon figured out that the paint was running to the corner of the tray and squirting into the puddle caused lots of splashing and splattering! Ruby was really fascinated with the lid and I could see her thinking about how it worked….
At one stage Tara decided she needed to line all the bottles up before proceeding…..
Ruby needed a lie down with the chookie after all that paint action and thinking!
Tara continued to make a mess!
Ruby suddenly discovered she could shake the bottles and water squirted out the top!
Toddler on a mission…out of the way… I have bottles!
We moved the activity over to the fence where i had stuck some paper up….great fun squirting to make patterns although took some practice to master the different angle…..
I turned around to find Ruby had created a masterpiece on the sandshell lid!
Back to tray just to splash in the paint! You can never be too messy!
The patterns they created were quite unique and the seemed to enjoy changing them every time they squirted!
Tara decided she would paint her planks….and then requested a towel to clean up her ‘mess’. She loves to clean…watches her Mum too much i think!
Thought I would show this shirt to illustrate why I love edicol dye… I washed this with my homemade basic laundry detergent and it came out with not a drop of paint left! Tara however needed a couple of soaks in the bath before she became a little less smurflike!
This activity kept them busy for over an hour outside and we have extended it to bath play as well now. They found all sorts of things to ‘paint’ outside with their homemade squirt bottles and it was an easy activity to make and clean up!
Do you enjoy making fun for your kids with items you have recycled from around the house? I’d love to read about your ideas! I hope this thrifty series will inspire some readers to realise that you don’t need to spend a lot of money buying fancy craft items and tools to have fun with children…let’s look around the house and see what we can find!
I hope you give the squirt bottles a go (you can use food colouring instead of edicol if you don’t have it!) Send me a link in the comments if your children end up messier than mine….it would be a challenge !
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.