Craft is a great way of keeping toddlers entertained for a number of reasons:
- Using tools like kids paper scissors to cut out shapes and activities such as coloring in and gluing all help to develop hand/eye co-ordination and build fine motor skills.
- It teaches them how to follow simple sets of instructions.
- It helps them to develop their concentration skills and their attention spans.
- Keeps them engaged whilst enabling them to participating in some ‘constructive’ downtime (which gives you some downtime too)
Placemats made with contact paper are a fun activity. My daughter made a special one for the both of us when she was younger. The only thing you have to keep in mind, is that you cant put very hot plates of food on them.Have your youngster cut out shapes from different colored construction paper or recycled gift wrap and glue them onto a larger piece of paper the size of the desired placemat. This can then be added to and further decorated with glitter, paint, pictures drawn in colored pencil and similar. Once this has thoroughly dried, stick a piece of clear contact paper over the top of it, then stick another piece onto the back and trim up the edges.
Fingerpainting is messy but it’s an activity that kids love. Where my daughter was concerned, she seemed to be allergic to most kids non-toxic water paints and would break out in dreadful hives if she came in physical contact with them. Easiest way to solve this was to let her paint with edible vanilla pudding. Simply mix a batch of pudding up, place some into a few different containers and then use food coloring to create a variety of different ‘paint’ colors. Definitely non-toxic and easier to wash off little hands than paints.
Puppets are something that kids love to make and play with. These can be created in so many ways. Use old socks to make hand puppets. Create eyes and mouth from stitches and firmly sew on strands of yarn and wool to create hair. Puppets can also be created by cutting simple animal or people shapes from cardboard or construction paper. Have your toddler color these in and/or draw faces on them to decorate them and then tape or glue a popsicle stick to the back of it to create a stick puppet.
Tshirts are an item that kids love to decorate. If they are able to watch you sew or decorate your own, then they are likely to want to experiment and have a try. Rather than having the headache of fabric paints, let them use markers. If you get the proper washable ones, then your littlie will be able to decorate their singlet or tshirt over and over again. If you are wanting to keep the design, then get the non-washable markers, but be warned they may find it is also fun to decorate their skin and it can take days to remove from little hands and bodies!
Arts and crafts are a great way of helping your youngster to learn and develop important skills. It’s also a fun way to share time together whether it’s to break the boredom on a rainy day or simply some quiet activity time.