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 His Patient Self has been bringing home a lot of juice bottles from work as freebies (slightly out of date but that’s why we get them!)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.
Happy Whimsical Hearts says
Oh my! What glorious messy fun, I don’t mind messy play, but I’m not sure I could cope! Lol. Maybe I should challenge myself on this. And strangly I have been keeping some of those bottles too… mmm. I’ll think on it! I adore Ruby’s rest with the chook 🙂
Great way to use those bottles in a creative way. The girls look like they enjoyed squeezing the bottles and creating lots of patterns and colour mixing too. Very cute how she wanted to help clean up afterwards, they watch so much don’t they. xx
JDaniel4's Mom says
It looks like she explored painting every inch of the yard! What fun!
What a great mess! I love it! Just pinned this. Vicky from http://www.messforless.net
Ah look at that wonderful, messy, creative fun!!!
I love the mess…it seems to be what keeps them busy for longer!Thaks for stopping by Allison x
Okay, just the fact that you allowed them to explore like that without completely losing your insanity is totally impressive, my friend. Seriously, seeing all that paint splattered everywhere would send me into hysterics!!
I do have to say, though, it looks like they had a blast! And I loved that you could see this as a learning experience for them. I tend to forget that every little thing is a learning experience for children this young.
Nellie McCarthy says
What a fabulous activity Jode. It looks like the girls had a blast and I love that you used recycled materials. xx
Growing a Jeweled Rose says
This is such a great idea! The photos are fantastic! Love this!
Hannah Sommerville says
What a fabulous idea! looks messy but fun!
Thanks Hannah…it was messy but outside i don’t worry about! Good in the bath though too!
That looks a great idea. Yes I’m always using things to recycle for kids craft. Big ones are the plastic trays mainly for paint or glue – and toilet roll holders
I love plastic trays and toilet rolls!!..we are going to do some things with toilet rolls this week…very basic for those younger toddlers but still fun!!!Thanks for dropping by x
Kali at The Vintage Milk House says
Wonderful idea and wonderful MESS! I LOVE it! I could care less how messy it gets when they are outside! Thanks for sharing! I found you via Juggling with kids and am now following via GFC. I would love for you to stop by The Vintage Milk House when you have time! Have a wonderful weekend!- Kali
We are definitely going to do this and I am pinning it! Fabulous! I love how she is all splattered with paint!
Thanks for sharing on Family Frolics.
Thanks for dropping by and pinning Kerry!Yep the splatters were her favourite part i think!!x
Beth (www.livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com) says
LOVE it!! what fun =-) Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a GREAT week,
Fun Frugal Mommy says
Looks like lots of fun. Thank you for sharing on fun frugal friday.
That looks like a great activity for summer – you can then just let them squirt themselves down with the hose to get clean!
We did it a lot in Summer…but still having fun with it in Winter too…just need to dry off and change a little quicker lol! Thanks so much for dropping by x
Oh love this messy activity. So much fun and valuable learning!
Thanks Kaz…i love to let them explore and get messy outdoors!
How fun is this! Looks like they had a blast! 🙂 My little guys would love this! We’d love to invite you to join us at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! I know everyone will love your great kid-friendly ideas! Have a great weekend!
This looks like so much fun!!! Just wondering where you got your edicol vegetable dye from. I have found it online but it seems rather expensive?
Hi Laura…i’m not sure where you live but i order mine online from here…http://www.edartsupplies.com.au/products/227-edicol-dye-powder-50g
It is an expensive product and usually sold in large containers as aimed at child care centres etc but this is one of the few places i found that will sell in the smaller 50g containers. It ends up being cost efficient as you only need a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to a paint pot…it goes a long, long way!If not in OZ i would suggest calling the ones you have found and asking if they do smaller sizes!Good luck…i love the stuff!Just make sure it is edicol posder not tempera powder.