Forget tablets, gaming consoles or fancy sporting equipment, sometimes you can keep the kids entertained with the simplest of items. Taking everyday objects and turning them into something more can light up the imagination of kids more than any video game. We think cleaning products are a perfect way to show kids the power of creativity and keep them busy on a rainy afternoon.
Disposable gloves are great for kids who don’t like getting their hands dirty, and coloured child-sized gloves like the Ansell Kidz Multipurpose Gloves can also inspire imaginative little minds to help with cleaning up. There are also so many uses for sponges, we could write a book (or make a very long video). Save yourself a trip to the toy store or craft shop – we have some ideas to inspire you to get the most out of everyday items in the home.
From The Easel To The Bath
If your children are really dirty after a crafting project, pop them into the bath with the used gloves and watch them fill up the gloves and explore volume (and maths) as they squeeze the water from one part of the water balloon hand to the next.
Incorporate some fun cleaning play in the bath by having a Wettex sponge cloth handy. Watch how much fun they have wiping down tiles and glass. And whilst they may not be cleaning effectively, they’re developing habits for later in life.
Fun With Sponge
You can make all sorts of toys and clever crafts from Vileda sponges, scourers and dish wands. Fill a Handi Dish liquid dish wand with a water-based paint and use it as a brush on large paper art works, outdoor walls and fences or on driveways.
Try making a Wettex carwash for your junior driving enthusiast by cutting two Wettex into “fringe skirts” and attaching them both to a 2-4 litre ice cream container with opposing sides cut out to accommodate the Wettex skirts. The kids will get to hose down and soap toy cars as they swish them through the carwash for a fun experience cleaning their toys.
Cut out shapes from a sponge – triangles, squares, circles, hexagons, etc. – dip them in paint and make shape pictures with these ‘stamps’ to help your tots learn simple geometry. Using sponges to paint improves fine motor skills, whilst squeezing out and cleaning sponges after play also improves skills as they use muscles large and small in their hands and arms.
Make sail boats out of sponges and watch them sail through bubbly waters in the bath. Or use them in the pool when the weather warms up to encourage swimming and water confidence.
Use Kidz Multipurpose Gloves for finger painting then incorporate the gloves into your masterpiece. Your little masters will create an artwork with a sculptural, 3D quality that will inspire lateral thinking.
Fill a glove with plaster of Paris to create hand sculptures the children can paint and decorate as gifts.
Decorations are a snap with gloves that protect little hands. For an animal-themed kids’ party, cut out circles from a cardboard box and have the kids paint them as cow masks. Then cut out sheep shapes and have the kids glue cotton balls on the cardboard (they might need some help with black marker for the details). When you’re finished with the gloves, try blowing up pink Kidz gloves to make cute pigs, and yellow gloves for chickens. Use a black marker to give your blow up animals some personality.
For a creepy themed Halloween party, add hand-shaped ice blocks to a bowl of punch. Fill a glove with water, tie off or secure with a laundry peg and freeze for up to a day.
Save up all your old kitchen gloves for a crafting party. Fingers of pink gloves make pretty flower cups to hold pearlised beads. Cut gloves into uniform shapes, add some beads and help small hands to thread them onto glittery string for DIY jewellery and lasting memories. You could even add lollies for the party guest to make their own wearable lolly bag.
Book Week and Halloween
Make Ice Queen Elsa’s outfit, using a little crafty know-how and the Kidz blue gloves. With a little sparkly blue fabric, some glue, a little white netting and some costume jewellery, you and your princess can make an outfit from found materials, and even use the blue Kidz gloves to finish off Princess Elsa’s look for an outfit she’ll remember because she helped make it herself.
Channel Monsters Inc. to create a friendly freak with a sleep onesie (or over-sized yellow PJs) stuffed with a pillow around the middle, gumboots and yellow Kidz gloves for ears.
For your mini superhero, use sponges to create the muscle-bound look under long-sleeve t-shirts in the colour of junior’s favourite hero. Glue sponges to each shoulder, a couple on the chest and make a “six-pack” on the stomach of an old t-shirt. Wear long sleeves over the top, add a mask and matching leggings, and your superhero is ready to save the day!
The best part about using everyday materials for kid-friendly fun is being able to re-purpose items that might otherwise become landfill once they’ve come to the end of their original lifespan. By finding another creative way to use these items, you’re also helping teach kids about the importance of recycling and caring for their environment.
A safety precaution about gloves and sponges – they are not toys and may cause choking if children are left unsupervised. It is important during each of these activities for close adult supervision to be present.