Children under age 5 can enjoy crafts and activities while developing skills they will need upon entering school. Babies can do easy crafts to expand their eye-hand coordination, small motor skills and sensory experiences. Toddlers can do craft activities, although some materials aren't age-appropriate because of safety issues.. Preschoolers can use their creativity skills and develop motor skills more fully. The trick to crafting for young children is to make it fun.
Children can expand on basic headbands made from strips of sturdy paper and fitted to their head size. Headbands made from craft foam will last longer than paper ones. Have the kids colour or glue craft items onto a headband strip. Children can make several different headbands to have a choice each day. Prince or Princess crowns are popular for children. Animal ears turn the plain headbands into dogs, cats, bears and other animals the child likes. A headband can also become a doctor or nurse's hat, a firefighter or police hat, or headbands that represent any worker a child wishes to become.
Soft Sea Creatures
Sea animals are a favourite of children. To make soft sea creatures, begin by cutting some one-foot squares from fleece fabric or an old fleece blanket. Fold the fleece in half and sew or glue the side opposite the fold to form a tube shape. Kids can stuff cotton or fabric scraps into the tube. Help children gather each end of the stuffed tube and tie with yarn. The tube can be coloured with markers or children can glue on added craft materials to make a fish, a whale or dolphin, an eel or a sea monster. To make an octopus or squid, gather and tie the top end of the tube. Then, push the stuffing toward the top inside of the tube. Gather and tie the bottom portion, leaving a few inches of fabric hanging downward. Help children cut every few inches along the unstuffed edge to form legs for their octopus or squid.
Flower Pots for All Seasons
Children love to see their artwork displayed at home or in a classroom. Provide plastic clay-looking flower pots of various sizes. Let the kids use non-toxic craft paints and brushes (or their fingers) to paint the pots. Provide colours of paint that represent different seasons. Place real or artificial flowers or seasonal items inside the pots. The kids can also use the pots to keep crayons or pencils, candy for the family or notepads to keep by the telephone.
Nursery Rhyme Buddies
Obtain nursery rhyme pictures from a colouring book, or print some rhymes and pictures from the web site resourced below. Have kids colour their favourite nursery rhyme pictures. Place each picture inside a plastic page protector. Also in the page protector pouch, place felt cutouts, plastic figures, or laminated play figures that match that particular rhyme. The pages can be placed inside a ring binder, or used as separate pages for the children to play with.
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