More than a Highchair: 5 Activities to Use your Ikea Highchair Outside of Meal Times

More than a Highchair: 5 Activities to Use your Ikea Highchair Outside of Meal Times

It’s time to make dinner again- and you’re trying to figure out exactly how you’re going to do that when there’s tiny hands that seem to get into everything. 

Our secret weapon? 

The trusty Ikea Highchair.

Our favourite highchair has garnered high praise from parents, and not just for its affordability ($29 CAD!). Its sleek and minimalist design is easy to add beautiful accessories to, meaning you can personalize it to fit your home. 

But, did you know you can use your IKEA highchair for more than just mealtime?

We’ve rounded up some of the best activities to try with your child in their IKEA highchair outside of mealtime! These activities will allow you to have some space while cooking (making sure those little hands are away from the stove!) while still having your child close to you. 

Save this post and try some of these quick and easy activities the next time you need a little extra time (and quiet!) while making dinner. 

Please note that close adult supervision is ALWAYS recommended while kids are in their highchair. Please always ensure your child is properly strapped in, and that they are close to you. Some recommended activities include small parts, so please use your best judgment based on your child’s age. Children should always be under careful adult supervision while partaking in these activities.

Five IKEA Highchair Activities to Try:

Each of these simple activities is parent-tested, approved, and loved! 

Pro Tip: keep a container filled with the items needed for each activity in your kitchen cupboards. You’ll be able to easily pull it out and set up an activity without any fuss!

Edible Paint

Credit: This Playful Home

You’ll need:

  • Muffin tin (or other container with dividers)
  • Yogurt (preferably vanilla or natural, but your preference!)
  • Food colouring or puréed fruits to add colour (both optional)

We love how This Playful Home used a muffin tin to hold her edible yogurt paint! You can recreate this activity at home using your Antilop highchair to contain the mess. 

How To:

Divide yogurt evenly among the sections in the muffin tin. Add food colouring or puréed fruits to each section to create “paint” in different colours!

To make this activity easy to clean once the fun is done, place one of our Silicone Placemats on top of the Antilop tray before starting. Our placemats fit perfectly inside the Antilop highchair tray, saving you time in scrubbing the tray itself after! As a bonus, the silicone placemats can be easily cleaned with warm, soapy water (or can be placed in the top rack of your dishwasher after rinsing).

Your kiddo may need bath time after if things get particularly messy, but the “paint” will wash off easily with water!

Mess-Free Painting

Credit: The Mom and the Mum

You’ll need:

  • Large Ziploc bag
  • Construction paper (sized to fit inside Ziploc bag)
  • Various acrylic/washable paint colours

If the mess of edible paint isn’t for you, try this easy painting hack! Slide the construction paper inside the Ziploc bag, then lay the Ziploc flat on a surface (such as a countertop). Gently reach inside and squeeze small amounts of paint on the construction paper (too much paint inside the bag may make it difficult to “paint”). Seal the Ziploc closed, and place on the highchair tray once the child is seated and strapped in. Your child can now squish, squeeze, and explore the paint without making a mess!

Toy Tape Pull

Credit: Making Motherhood Matter

You’ll Need:

  • Scotch/Masking Tape
  • Animal/people figures

Set up some of your child’s favourite toys (animals, action figures, etc) and put some masking or scotch tape over it. Encourage your child to pull up the tape and free the animal, allowing them to play with it. 

Water Painting

Credit: Playful Kale

You’ll Need:

  • Paintbrush
  • Water (in a container)
  • Construction paper

How To:

Pour a small amount of water into a child-safe container (try using one of our open silicone cups!) Place construction paper and paintbrush on the highchair tray alongside the water. Once your child is seated and strapped into their highchair, you can demonstrate how to dip the paintbrush in water and use it to “paint” on the construction paper!

Pom Pom Sort using an Ice Cube Tray

You’ll Need:

  • Pom poms or cotton balls
  • Ice cube tray or muffin tin
  • Tongs suitable for a child (optional)

How to:

Loosely set the pom poms on the Antilop highchair tray alongside the ice cube tray. Either allow your child to freely play with these manipulatives, or demonstrate placing each pom pom in the various spots in the tray.

For toddlers, you can add a pair of child-safe tongs into the activity, and encourage them to group the pom poms in the tray by colour or size!

Which of these activities will you try this week?

Good luck- and enjoy!

Wilder Babe is committed to making parenting easier (and more stylish!)- check out our selection of IKEA highchair accessories here.


Painting Bag

Photo Credit: The Mum and the Mom

Edible Paint in Muffin Tin

Photo Credit: This Playful Home

Tape Pull

Photo Credit: Making Motherhood Matter

Water Painting

Photo Credit: Playful Kale

Pom Pom/ Cotton Ball Sort

Photo Credit: Confessions of a Homeschooler

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