(Written by Susan Wright) Prepare to raid the craft closet parents, because it is time to have fun, get creative and entertain those tots with five easy projects that you probably already have all the supplies needed to get crafting!
- No Mess Finger Paints
Is there really any arts and crafts project more classic than finger paints? Few toddlers can resist the urge to squish and spread the colorful, cool paints everywhere. However, getting out an assortment of colorful paints, canvas, paper, etc… this craft can quickly turn into an afternoon project that isn’t so easy on the clean-up.
Consider taking the paint project outside, or covering your kitchen floor in butcher paper or a drop cloth. Or, you can take a completely no mess approach to finger painting and put the finger paints inside a gallon Ziplock bag. Seal the bag and let your child move the colors around in the bag with their fingers, Q-tip paint brushes, toy cars, and really anything that won’t poke a hole in your mess free playtime.
- Bubble Painting
Have a tot who loves blowing bubbles? Bubble blowing alone can occupy your toddler but you can turn this activity into a craft project too! Bubble painting just requires adding some food coloring to your bubbles and pointing your bubble blowing toward a canvas. This can be on as small of a scale as a piece of paper, or think big and hang white butcher paper along your backyard fence for one really big bubble blowing mural.
- DIY Race Track
This craft is great because the playtime goes on and on, long after the craft project, it is complete. Starting with a flattened cardboard box, help your toddler draw a pattern of city streets. Include a few places for the cars to stop too like maybe your toddler’s favorite destinations, then watch as your tot drives the cars through the neighborhood.
I like using a box with an edge when possible as it helps keep the cars within the track. Store your track under the couch and bring it out to play again after naptime. Don’t have cardboard handy? Try using markers on a window.
- Shape Matching
Looking for a way to use up those leftover craft supplies and fabric swatches? For toddlers working on their shapes, let them practice sorting these scrapes and gluing them to the appropriate matching shape on a piece of paper. You may have to draw the shapes on the paper first unless your child is drawing shapes already, too. If there are lots of supplies to choose from, consider only placing one shape per piece of paper. This activity entertains like a puzzle, but acts like a craft project.
- Edible Jewelry
If the racetrack didn’t appeal to your little girls, then this craft is sure to. For tots who are past the stage of putting everything in their mouth, you may be able to let them string uncooked pasta on yarn, but at any stage of toddlerhood you can go with a more edible option of cooked pasta, or fruits like grapes and blueberries, or try cheerios.
Avoid giving your tot an actual sewing needle at the end of their jewelry string. You can find plastic needles for use with yarn that are more child friendly but this is still a craft (like many when a toddler is participating) that should be closely supervised. Have fun, and enjoy your tasty bling!
Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
About the author: Susan Wright is a trained veterinarian of more than a decade and is a freelance writer. Susan enjoys sharing tips to help pet owners create lasting memories for the pet and their families.