Don’t we all love mess-free coloring activities? They are not only fun but save us so much time and trouble having to clean up after activities. They are great to use in rotation to other activities. Other than being mess-free – no preparation is also a plus because that saves you more time!
Not sure what types of coloring activities are both prep-free and mess-free? In this article, we will cover the essential coloring activities that every household should arm themselves which are suitable for toddlers ages 3 and up.
1. Crayola Color Wonder
The first one is Crayola color wonder products because they are superbly popular. Crayola is a brand that has been around for ages as they are well known for their reputation and quality.
There are so many kinds of Crayola coloring sets for every cartoon and popular character from Paw Patrol to Disney and all. Cost wise they definitely are not cheap but are worth the penny since kids love them.
These sets usually come with magic or invisible ink Color Wonder Markers that will not show on skin, furniture, or clothes. They are also non-toxic, safe, and as we know mess-free. They also come with all the materials and paper needed so there is no preparation required. They serve as a quick and easy boredom buster for young kids keeping them engaged and entertained.
When purchasing these, choose the activity sets with characters or cartoons that your child likes to inspire their creativity and imagination. The colors only “magically” appear on the Color wonder paper, thus the markers will not stain anything else like furniture or walls.
The other Crayola Color wonder product to recommend is the No Mess Scented stampers which are a fun addition for kids who like to play around with stamps.
The stamp set is very easy to use and does not dry out. It works the same way as the marker and only shows up on Color Wonder Paper.
2. Melissa Doug Water Wow (Highly recommend!)
These are lifesavers when it comes to needing a travel activity or quick activity to keep young children occupied. It is a great time filler for short periods when you need to engage in household chores or when you’re between schedules like commuting or getting ready to leave the house.
You just need to fill the water brush pen with water and it’s ready to go. When the water touches the book, the colored images “magically” appear until the water is dried up.
The books dry rather quickly so they can be reused over and over again until your child loses interest and wants to move on with other activities.
Buy a few of these and keep them on standby for emergency needs. They are also more wallet-friendly when you buy them in packs!
Another activity that is similar to these watercolor books is water drawing doodle mats. Usually, these are great for group activities when children can work on an art project together. You can just fill a water pen with water and children can doodle away. They usually include drawing molds, stencils, watercolor markers all in one set.
The marks will magically disappear after a couple of minutes and can be reused again. The drawing mat can be folded to a compact size making it portable for indoor-outdoor, and travel.
3. Wipe and clean activity books
These are a must-have too because they are so environmentally friendly as you don’t have to keep printing printables or activity worksheets. They can be reused again and again without additional cost.
There are lots of kinds of wipe-clean activity books such as tracing, puzzles, mazes, and other activities. We do recommend tracing activity types of wipe and clean activity books for children to practice handwriting skills.
A similar alternative to wiping and cleaning activity books is self-printed and laminated worksheets. By laminating or using a menu folder or plastic cover you can reuse the same worksheet multiple times.
It’s advisable to have multiple colored whiteboard markers paired with good quality dust-free, absorbent dusters when doing wipe and clean activity books.
Practice with Peppa is is a great set of wipe and clean activity books that cover letters, numbers, time, dot to dot counting, and words for toddlers. Each book can be quite costly when purchased from Amazon. If you’re able to buy from Taobao they are sold much cheaper than local bookstores and Amazon.
Peppa Pig (6 pack set of wipe and clean activity books) – Greater savings!
Dot-to-dot pictures (64 piece pack)
4. Mess free Water color painting activity
These produce the same effect as watercolor painting however you don’t need to use any paint as the paint is already incorporated into the paper. The colors will appear on the pages like magic, with just water and a paintbrush.
The only drawback of this activity is that you need to wait a while for the water to dry completely. However, you should be able to tear out each art piece to dry separately so your child can work on other art pieces.
5. Doodle drawing boards
Doodle books/boards are easy to erase mess free also intro the traditional doodle board.
There are also other types of doodle boards available in the market such as LCD doodle boards (with a black surface like a blackboard). LCD doodle boards are battery operated and are convenient, mess-free, and can be easily erased with a press of a button.
Another type of doodle board is the LCD Neon effect Drawing board which can light up in different colors with fluorescent magic markers. Having tried certain products, the ink can become really messy and difficult to erase and clean from the board. However, the glow art effect is quite appealing to kids because of the bright colors.
6. Other coloring activities
There are also many other mess-free alternatives to traditional coloring. Some may claim to be mess-free but are not entirely mess-free when you actually use the product.
So you would need to experiment with different activities to see which best fit you and your child’s needs.
Some examples are dotted markers and certain types of crayons which claim to be mess-free but could still be messy for some.
Always read reviews before buying products as it’ll save you the trouble of spending extra on something that may not be really mess-free after all.
Do you know of other types of mess-free coloring activities? Share the comments below!
If you’re looking for other toddler activity ideas, you can visit the site’s section on Toddler Activity Ideas.