If you’re a parent, you know how much energy toddlers possess….I swear my seventeen-month-old is a little pin ball, constantly bouncing around, up, over, under EVERYTHING in his sight (it’s exhausting just to watch….phew!).
I’m always looking for activities to keep him occupied (extra bonus points for activities that are QUIET!), and one day I spotted a great pin on Pinterest that featured several fun ways to keep toddlers busy. I gave it a looksy and discovered that I had plenty of supplies on hand already that could be made into the simplest yet still super fun activity for my little man.
So….one day after lunch, I raided my basic craft supplies and kitchen cabinets to come up with this easy toddler activity: Sticky Window Fun!
Toddler Activity: Sticky Window Fun!
A Little Pinspiration….
I found some Pinspiration from a post at the Teaching Mama blog about 20 ways to keep toddlers busy (so many great ideas!), and I put my own spin on a few to create this activity for my little man….and he actually was entertained with it!
- Glad Press’n Seal: I used this instead of contact paper because, well, it was open and right there in my kitchen instead of upstairs with my craft supplies (lazy, yes). Contact paper would definitely work just as well though.
- Cardboard Tube: I had an empty shipping tube laying around from a recent order of vinyl, but an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll would also work.
- Painter’s Tape: This was used to attach the Press’n Seal and cardboard tube to the door.
- Pipe Cleaners: I threw in a handful of these in different colors, textures, sizes, and thicknesses/fuzziness levels. I also wrapped a few around a pencil to make curly-q’s, and I bent some others just to spice things up and add some interest.
- Pom Poms: I filled a bowl up with poms in different colors, textures, and sizes.
- Felt Scraps: I had some small square scraps in three different colors that were left over from a Fourth of July wreath I made a couple years ago, so a handful of these were brought out as well.
- Paper Dinosaurs: These came free with the dinosaur washi tape I purchased on Etsy for The Cub’s first birthday chalkboard poster. Since they’ve just been collecting dust for the last six months, I thought this would be the perfect little project to use them with….and yet another reason why I nearly never throw anything away!
- Styrofoam Bowls: These aren’t necessary, just used to try and contain the mess. I used two bowls….one housed all the pom poms and the other was placed on the floor underneath the tube to try and catch anything that was dropped through it.
Setting Up The Sticky Window Fun Area
I set up our sticky window fun area on our backdoor while The Cub was eating lunch. All it took was tearing off a square of the Press’n Seal and attaching it to the door (sticky side out) with some painter’s tape, and also using some tape to attach the tube to the door.
I tested it out with a green pom pom and was pleasantly surprised that it actually worked! The Press’n Seal was sticky enough to hold the items firmly in place, but not so sticky that they couldn’t be easily removed.
When I plopped The Cub out of his high chair, he immediately walked over to the backdoor with intense curiosity and looked at me like “OOOOO Mama, what are we doing with this??” :)
Let The Fun Begin!
I had to of course demonstrate what the goal of this activity was to The Cub. As soon as I used a pom pom to show him how the newly added square was sticky and all these colorful and fuzzy odds’n’ends would stay put on it, he took to the fun like a horse to water! It was then, as the kids say, on like Donkey Kong.
[As you can see, he played this game with Frankie The Monster Blankie firmly grasped in his free hand….they’re BFFs.]
Not Just Fun….Important Skills Are Being Developed Too!
Of course this activity isn’t just about having fun….it also encourages exploration and introduces different sensory experiences, and it helps with balance and hand-eye coordination too. This is because The Cub has to squat down and bend to grab the goodies off the floor and then stand and reach back up to apply them. The pincer grasp is also being worked on as well.
Learning & Discovery (and Fun too!)
It was neat to watch The Cub consciously thinking about each item’s placement in order to get it to stick….surprisingly, there wasn’t much random plopping going on. I could almost see the little wheels in his head spinning as he thought through where to stick each item, and then make adjustments as necessary if something wasn’t working.
He would also periodically step back and admire all of this hard work….as you can see, he was very proud of himself. :)
Exploring The Cardboard Tube
The Cub would periodically drop an item through the tube (those bent pipe cleaners sure were tricky!), and I found it funny whenever an item would be let go and land in the bowl on the floor….the cause-and-effect surprised him every time! He spent most of his time on the sticky mat though.
Clean Up Is Fun Too!
The Cub was completely occupied with this activity for probably a good solid 40 minutes (which is like an eternity in Toddler Time!). It filled a nice chunk of time between lunch and his afternoon nap.
Once he started to lose interest and wander, I picked up all the odds’n’ends. He then moseyed back on over and started exploring the now barren sticky mat….then he proceeded to destroy it. I think he had just as much fun tearing it off the window as he did playing with it as intended!
He then wadded up the newly removed Press’n Seal/painter’s tape combo and tried to stuff it down the cardboard tube….
….then ran straight at me with it and tried to smash it onto my camera. :) “Take that, Mama!”
This activity could also be done on a table top instead of a door/window (minus the tube probably) and we’ll give that version a shot on our next go round. All in all, this was a very successful fun and developmental activity for The Cub to kill some time on….and it was also easy and inexpensive for mama here–double points!
If You Enjoyed This….
Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots of other fun Mom Life stuff, including more toddler activities, crafts, and keepsake ideas!
Thanks so much for stopping by!