Toddler-Safe, Edible Finger Paint!

Painting is one of those awesome sensorial activities that I always want to incorporate into my one-year-old’s playtime. But being one year old, my guy is teething like crazy and still has a habit of putting his hands in his mouth quite a bit. Therein lies my hesitation with letting him use traditional finger paints. Even the “non-toxic” ones.

But did you know there’s a way you can let your little one paint, without having to worry about whether or not he eats the paint?! The solution is so simple, it’s ridiculous. And it only requires 2 ingredients:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Liquid food colors

That’s it.

Whip up the cream in a big bowl using a hand mixer. I usually add a few pinches of sugar to my whipped cream, but this time I didn’t. Divide the cream into smaller containers, depending on how many colors you want to make.

Squirt in a good amount of food coloring into each container – like 10 drops or more. I don’t even know, I didn’t count. The more drops of color, the more vivid the “paint” will be.

Mix the colors into the cream, making sure to thoroughly rinse the spoon after each color.

And there you have your beautifully bright, good enough to eat, finger paints!

Noah was SUPER cautious at first, but then he went all in. And then the inevitable happened 47 seconds later…

THE TASTE TEST.

Many bites followed the first. Safe to say this activity is toddler-approved.

Extra finger “paint” can be stored in airtight containers and kept in the fridge for up to two days, just like regular whipped cream.

HAPPY PAINTING (AND EATING). Xo

Toddler Fine Motor Skills: Tape Escape!

I have seen this activity on Pinterest and on many other blogs, so I can in no way, shape, or form take credit for this. But I had always imagined it as an activity for older toddlers, at least 18 months or so.

My son will be 13 months in just a few days. I wouldn’t have even introduced this activity, but I already happened to be using masking tape for another activity in his room and he just seemed SO fascinated by it. I figured, why not?

The best part is that this took about 45 seconds to throw together. Yes, it was that fast! His hands were on it before I had even set the tray all the way down.

He didn’t really peel the tape off in a careful Montessori fashion, so much as pull it off with each little animal. But he did somewhat peel the tape off of the animals after removing them from the tray.

As a Montessori mom and teacher, I am all for simple, quickly-put-together activities that promote engagement, concentration, and fine motor skill development. He liked this activity so much we did it again a second time!

This activity was a 10/10. Simple, fun and educational – which if you ask me, is the trifecta. The wide masking tape was perfect for his little 13-month-old fingers. To make it more challenging for older toddlers, you could use thinner, stickier tape, and smaller toys or figurines. The farm animals I used are pretty chunky and were easy for him to just pull right off.

If you’re looking for some fun toddler playtime activities, I definitely recommend that you try this out!

What my son got for his first birthday

A little over a week ago my son turned one year old. Given that we are under a stay at home order, we could not have a real birthday party for him. However, that did not stop the gifts from coming in the mail. For over a week he got at least three packages a day! Not all of his toys were Montessori-approved, but I was able to order some things for him myself and give my family a few ideas.

So without further ado, here is a list of 6 “Montessori-esque” toys that my one year old got for his birthday, and really seems to enjoy. Hopefully this list will be helpful to someone else out there who is trying to integrate Montessori into their one year old’s playtime, and doesn’t have an idea of where to start.

  1. B. Toys Wooden Shape Sorter Hammering Bench, $9.99 from Target

    This toy is great for fine motor skill development and shape discrimination. There are four shapes in this toy: three different cylinders, a rectangular prism, a triangular prism, and a hexagonal prism. Noah hasn’t quite grasped how to use the hammer on the shapes yet, but he loves matching them and inserting the shapes with his hands.

2. Melissa & Doug Vehicles Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle, $19.69 from Target

This puzzle has chunky knobs, perfect for little hands that are still developing fine motor
skills. These wooden puzzles are so cute and a great way to introduce vocabulary! Noah
can’t put the vehicles in their respective places yet, but he is at least trying. This is
another toy for him to grow into.

3. Land of B. Wooden Puzzle, $7.99 from Target

Not quite as simple as the Montessori three-shape puzzle, but Noah had already mastered
the single circle puzzle, and again, I was looking for something he could grow into. This
puzzle is brightly colored, and can be used to teach shapes and colors. He has already
mastered putting in the circle, star, and triangle pieces. Only the heart has been causing
him frustration.

First Book of Colors Padded -  BRDBK (First 100) by Roger Priddy (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1

4. Priddy Books First Book of Colors Padded, $5.99 from Target

I am a book worm. I love to read, and buy WAY too many books for Noah. We have been
reading together since before he was two months old. And being a Montessorian, I love
that the Priddy Books have real images.

5. Skip Hop Fox Print Explore and More Xylophone, $14.49 from Target

Yes, I know, this toy is made of plastic. But come on, how cute is the fox! I love Skip Hop
products and Noah has had so much fun with this Xylophone. He loves musical
instruments and this was a great addition to his collection. Plus, it has a string, so he loves
to walk around pulling it behind him.

6. Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon, $79.99 from Amazon

Noah is already walking, but these Radio Flyers are amazing for practicing those first
steps. Noah loves to push things around and put objects into containers so this wagon is
perfect for him. Many of the products I’ve put on this list focus on fine motor skill
development, but this one is geared towards gross motor skills.

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Disclaimer: I am not paid in any way to provide my opinions of these products. This list is simply for your information. As a first time mom, I have found myself researching “Montessori activities for ___” every time my son has gotten a month older. As a Montessori teacher and mom, these are the gifts my son received that I feel are most aligned with the Montessori philosophy.

They are educational, engaging, and promote the development of concentration. We have fun playing with them together, and so far they have provided many opportunities for learning.

I hope this list helps you in your search for toddler Montessori toys! I’m sure we will be exploring many more products in the near future, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Have a great day!