As a new mum I have often wondered how to fill the day with my baby. I want her to have fun while learning and experiencing new things. I personally love hand crafts and have been wondering are there any I can do with my active and inquisitive toddler. A little research and taking ideas from working with children this list of toddler crafts has come about. Many of the items are made with things you have at home or easily found at the supermarket.
The Bath Is Your Friend With Toddler Crafts
I know clean up after crafting with a toddler can be daunting so leave the clothes off and put them in the bath afterwards. Using outside for painting and such is good because you can hose the place down later. You will possibly find it less work if you get in and do the craft too. If they are an independent child, do one alongside them. If you have older children, you can get them to help with preparation like cutting and collecting items. Now on to what you are all reading this for the list of toddler crafts.
List of 3o Toddlers Crafts
1. Painting – use tools from the kitchen, pieces of sponge, the bottom of soft drink bottles, leaves, flowers and other items from nature, body parts like feet, even the tube from the paper towel roll.
2. Threading – pasta, cereal (Cheerios / Fruitloops / Nutrigrain), pieces of straws, pieces of card (variety of shapes/colours) with hole punched.
3. Chalk – on the pavement or on paper (to preserve the chalk in place on paper spray lightly with hairspray and allow to dry)
4. Salt dough or Air-dry clay – ornaments, bowls, use like Playdough. Many recipes available online for both of these. (salt dough will need to be baked in the oven)
5. Leaf rubbing – collect leaves/flowers place under paper rub over with Crayons (also works with coins)
6. Finger painting with Yogurt – colour some plain yogurt and have fun
7. Rain shakers – paper towel roll, tape over the ends, fill with rice or seeds. Decorate with paint stickers or just colour it in
8. Paper plate crown – cut the centre into a star and decorate
9. Paper plate Animals – fish, birds, lady beetles, sheep, snails – use coloured paper, sequins, stickers, cotton wool balls, you can find ideas on Pinterest.
10. Life sized people – outline the child and decorate (Paper, material, colour in) or you can use chalk on pavement. Tracing around a shadow from a tree or animal will also work
10. Pet rocks and stick people – use rocks and sticks, decorate with paint, stickers, pieces of fabric and wool
11. Wind Sock – decorate and attach streamers (along the bottom) to a piece of paper (A4 works well) tape into a tube, attach a string to the top
13. Build a Bug/Monster – use different shapes and size pieces of coloured paper. Glue onto another piece of paper.
14. Sticky Walls – tape a piece of contact paper to the wall, add an outline of a shape (rainbow, rabbit, snowman) if desired. Use coloured paper pieces, pom poms, cotton wool, cellophane, shredded paper to be stuck to the contact
15. Decorate Biscuits – use Marie or Arrowroot (plain sweet) biscuits, colour some icing (making with just water works well), decorate with edible decorations, lollies, dried fruit, nuts. You can even try to make animals like koalas.
16. Sticker trails – draw a line- zig zag, wave, curly, child places stickers along the line. Can be used to decorate shapes, Easter egg, Christmas tree. The child’s name or words could be used too.
17. Hand Fish Puppets – cut out a traced handprint, decorate and stick to a paddle pop stick or stick
18. Paper plate masks – cut out the centre, decorate the outside edge – paper strips make a lion, cotton wool make a lamb. The circle can be used as a wreath when decorated with seasonal colours and themes.
19. Decorated shapes and letters – cut out or draw a shape or letter (igloo, egg, heart) glue on small pieces of coloured paper or other decorations
20. Binoculars – cut down cardboard tubes, stick two together with tape, decorate with paint, stickers, wool, markers, attach a piece of string to one end
21. Name or word art – use masking tape to make words, names or shapes on a canvas or card, have child paint over the entire canvas (tape included). When dry remove tape.
22. Wool Stars – Cut star shape out of card, wrap wool around shape
23. Stain glass shapes – use card or paper plate, cut out a shape, place clear contact under shape outline, fill shape with coloured paper, tissue, cellophane, items from nature, confetti, place another piece of contact on top, trim off excess contact
24. Pasta Art – use pasta to decorate item/frames or to make a picture, paint colours as desired (bow pasta make great butterflies)
25. Bird Feeder – use peanut butter (or similar) to attach birdseed to pinecone or other seed pod, or place seed in a drink carton with a large hole cut for birds to reach the seeds.
26. Box drawing – place child in a very large box with markers, crayons, pencils let their imaginations run wild. They could decorate the inside and outside of a smaller box, they make great treasure chests.
27. Paper plate dream catcher – cut out the centre of a paper plate, glue wool or paper strips across centre, attach ribbon, streamers, feathers to the bottom, attach a ribbon at the top for a hanger.
28. Wind Chime paper cup – decorate cup, attach strings of beads, ribbons, old keys on the string (painted) to the upside-down cup, attach a ribbon as a hanger
29. Egg carton Baskets – Cut carton into sections with 4 places, use lid or tabs as handle stapled to the previous cut section. Decorate as desired.
30. Egg carton insects – strips of egg cartons are great caterpillars, dragonflies, and ants, sections of 4 in a square make butterflies, individual cups make bees and lady beetles
Let your children’s imaginations run wild, children are creative they sometimes just need the opportunity and encouragement from you. Use what you have at home, cereal boxes are a great source of card, tubes from paper towel have many uses, and bottles and lids can be used with paint or as bowling pins, and you can always just build with any recycling items you have at home.
I hope this list of toddler crafts encourages you to try craft with your toddler, it may not be a masterpiece but it will be something special for you, for them and the memories you make will be special forever.
Written by Elizabeth Bognet who is a Motherhood Unplugged Community Member – Mother of a 9 month old, currently a Children’s worker at a local church (7yrs), previously managed playgroups for a community organisation in western Sydney (4yrs).
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