Large kitchen sponges are easy to buy cheaply and in bulk, so consider stocking up the next time you’re at the store. I love keeping a few in the craft bin because they always come in handy, and not just for watery outdoor summer play.
Veronika and I found two fun ways to play with them this winter afternoon! First, I cut several of the sponges into strips so they made almost a soft foam version of Jenga blocks! I showed her to stack these into layers, and she loved helping add to each strata as our tower grew taller.
And of course she loved knocking the sponges over.
She also came up with her own way to stack them, simply one strip atop another, and I loved watching her concentration!
Note: If building up the Jenga-style towers is too tough for your toddler, you can also make simple shape blocks. Aside from the obvious opportunity to talk about shapes or short by shape, toddlers will no doubt find many uses for these soft (danger-free!) blocks.
They were great fun for hauling around in her dump truck…
…or teaching an early intro to simple patterns, like alternating pink and blue.
When the stacking was done, we still had a few sponges left over so I wanted to use them for more of an artsy craft. Sponges make perfect “stamps” for painting and since we’re so near to Valentine’s Day, I cut them into heart shapes.
These made great prints, and Veronika was especially intrigued with the fact that the color that appeared on the paper wasn’t the yellow or blue of the sponge…
…but red paint! So this accidentally turned into a quick lesson on cause and effect.
Want more ways to play with DIY sponge blocks? Check out what big brother Travis was doing with them 4 years ago!