Becoming a parent means mastering a new kind of math: Keeping-Your-Kid-Entertained-ometry. They didn’t teach you this in school, but it’s something you pick up pretty quickly. Coloring: 5 minutes. DIY slime: 12 minutes…plus 15 minutes of cleanup afterward. Basically, you’re looking for ways to fill an afternoon indoors, minute by minute, without accruing too much cleanup time afterward (because your sanity hangs in the balance).
Brooke Desir’s “Invisible Painting” craft will give you a solid 30 minutes of fun—maybe longer—and it’s relatively mess-free. Plus, it feels like multiple projects in one: You and your kid draw mystery sketches with white oil pastels on paper, trade sheets, then “reveal” your sketches as you paint with watercolors. Curious to see how it works? Check out the video above for a full demo, and visit Union Square Play for even more ideas to entertain your kids.