Crafts Ideas for Toddlers

Written by mary johnson-gerard, ph.d.
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Crafts Ideas for Toddlers
Crafts for toddlers support development and are just plain fun. (kids paint craft image by Christopher Hill from Fotolia.com)

Toddlers are little explorers. They learn from experiencing their environment to the fullest. Toddlers love to touch and manipulate objects. Cause and effect is the primary goal for most children this age. This love of cause and effect allows for great creativity when making crafts. Making crafts with your toddler will help him explore art supplies and their cause and effect properties. The child will learn what happens when paint colours are mixed, that things stick together with glue or that play dough can go from soft to hard.

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Cling Film Painting

Cling film painting is fun and teaches about colours at the same time. Cover a table with a plastic tablecloth or other protective covering. Prepare for the project by putting two squirts of paint on a piece of paper, side by side. This works best if the paints are primary colours so that when they mix, they become a new colour. Cover the entire paper with clear cling film, making sure the paper is small enough to be covered by the wrap. Secure the edges of the cling film to the paper with masking tape. Tape all of the edges of the paper so no paint can escape. Show your toddler how to push on top of the cling film to move and squish the paint around. She can use her fingers and palms to mix the paint. Finger tips can be used to draw pictures in the paint. When finished, remove the cling film and allow the artwork to dry.

Binoculars

Show your toddler how glue works by making simple binoculars. Allow your toddler to hold one empty toilet paper or paper towel tube while you squeeze glue down one side. Explain that the glue is runny and then place another tube alongside the first one and secure the ends with clothes pins. The clothes pins hold the tubes together while the glue dries. Once dry, punch a hole in the outer side on both tubes and thread a piece of string or yarn through to make a necklace to hold the binoculars. Show your toddler how the tubes are stuck together now. Use the binoculars to find birds, shapes and colours around your house and yard.

Play Dough Keepsake Magnets

Play dough keepsakes are fun to make and toddlers learn important skills in the process. Let your toddler help mix the play dough ingredients and then bake his creations to preserve them forever. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 3 tsp of cream of tartar and 2 tsp of oil. Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of hot water and food colouring of your choice. Stir until a firm dough forms. Once it's cool enough, remove it from the bowl and allow your toddler to knead the dough until it isn't sticky anymore. You may need to add more flour to firm it up. When it's cool and is the consistency you are comfortable with, begin rolling out the play dough with a kitchen roller. Use cookie cutters to make exciting shapes. Bake in the oven 176 degrees C until hard. When cool, glue magnets on the back and let your toddler put the magnets on the fridge.

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