For many toddlers, the dreaded highchair is that boring place where Mom forces them to try mushy carrots or constantly utters the phrase “Stop playing with your food.” If your toddler dreads sitting in his highchair, turn it into a fun place to perform age-appropriate crafts.
1. Homemade Placemat
Use poster board, crayons or washable markers to create a personalized placemat for your toddler. Sit your toddler in his highchair and hand him some crayons or markers and let his imagination take over. Encourage your child to create an amazing piece of artwork on poster board cut to fit the highchair’s tray. If you’d rather create a mat to place under the high chair, go ahead and provide your toddler with the full piece of poster board to decorate. Once your toddler is finished, cover the poster board with clear contact paper. The next time your toddler sits down for dinner, set the placemat on your toddler’s highchair tray. Once he’s finished destroying his dinner, simply pull off the placemat and rinse it under the tap.
2. Making a Mess with Homemade Clay
Nothing sparks a child’s imagination like a lump of colored clay. Unfortunately, clay and carpets don’t mix. So instead of spending your afternoon picking clumps of clay out of the carpet or off the kitchen floor, create your own homemade dough. The recipe calls for a mixture of flour, salt, water and cream of tartar. Go ahead and add a few drops of food coloring before stirring the ingredients. The next time you’re struggling to prepare dinner, simply set your toddler in his highchair and pull out the homemade clay. Store any clay your toddler didn’t try to eat in an airtight container.
3. Painted Highchair
Turn an ordinary wooden highchair into the ultimate canvas for your toddler’s artistic genius. If you don’t have a wooden highchair, hit the local secondhand stores or thrift sales and purchase a sturdy model. Put your toddler in some clothes you don’t mind ruining and give him a brush and a variety of water-based non-toxic paints. Set the wooden highchair on a pile of newspaper in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, and let your toddler create a masterpiece. Once your toddler is finished, or he’s so covered in paint you can no longer see his skin, pull him away and allow the painted highchair to dry overnight. Cover the highchair with a thin layer of polyurethane sealant to protect your toddler’s artwork.
4. Macaroni Art
The next time you’re struggling to find a project that keeps your toddler engaged for longer than 30 seconds, set him in his highchair with a bowl of uncooked macaroni, a glue stick and a paper plate. Show your toddler how to use a variety of uncooked pastas to create some amazing artwork. Keep a watchful eye on your toddler to ensure he doesn’t try to consume his masterpiece, or take a huge bite out of the glue stick. Once the artwork is finished and allowed to dry overnight, display it on the wall behind the highchair.