Well, my oldest son just turned 13 this month and I must confess a little that I miss having toddlers around the house. It was so much easier to get them into being crafty with me and they were easily entertained with anything that included glitter or paste! These days things around our house can be complicated and dare I say it, drama filled. Teenagers … *gasp* where on earth did they come from?
As I reminisce about the days of toddlerhood (I think 3 yrs old is my favorite age… ) I figured it might be a good time to share some creative ideas for those of you who do have toddlers and need some project ideas. Please think of me while you’re having crafty fun
Toddlers are always on the go, looking for new things to occupy their active minds. It might seem impossible to get them to sit down and do crafts, but it’s usually much easier than you might imagine. Crafts that keep them engaged are great for their cognitive development and hand-eye coordination.
The key to success when crafting with toddlers is keeping it simple. They do not have the attention span to create things that require a great deal of time, and they will not understand long-winded instructions. Crafts that can be completed in a few simple steps stand a better chance of holding their attention.
When choosing toddler crafts, keep in mind that all materials should be reasonably safe for young children. If sharp objects are required, you will need to do the part that requires their use. Very small objects such as seed beads should not be used because they could easily be swallowed without your knowledge. Anything the size of a large button or bigger should not pose a problem as long as you provide close supervision.
Here are some craft ideas that your toddler will love:
Macaroni jewelry – Put some straight macaroni in a jar with a few drops of food coloring. Shake the jar until all pieces are colored. Blot off excess food coloring with a paper towel, string the pasta onto a piece of yarn of the desired size and tie the ends together.
Paper plate fish – All you’ll need for this craft is a paper plate, scissors and markers or crayons. Help your child cut a triangle out of the paper plate to make the fish’s mouth. Glue the triangle directly across from the mouth for a fin. Decorate the fish with the markers or crayons. If you like, glue on a googly eye instead of drawing an eye.
Paper plate mask - Cut out eyeholes in a paper plate. Let your child use crayons, markers or paint to decorate the mask any way he wants. Punch a hole in each side of the finished mask and run a piece of elastic through, tying each end to secure.
Play Doh sculptures – Play Doh is fun to play with, but it can also be used to make figurines. Simply let your child model the dough just as one would model clay, until the desired shape is achieved. Help him add details with other colors or by carving, and leave the sculpture out to dry.
Collages – A collage makes a great project and a great decoration for your child’s room. Just supply some poster board, magazines or copies of photos, safety scissors and a glue stick, and let your child create her own work of art. Younger children may need help cutting things out.
Crafting is a great way to ward off boredom, and it’s great for young minds and hands. Simple crafts can be out of things you already have around the house, so you can get your little one started creating any time.
P.S. Need some more ideas? Remember to grab a copy of “Look What You Can Make With Dozens of Household Items!” craft book that we talked about last week. It’s packed full of awesome and fun ideas for the kids (and the grownups) to get hands on and creative!