When you think of crafts, you might start to worry about what your toddler can actually do. Perhaps how quickly the house might be destroyed. With visions of scissors and glue running through your head, it would be easy to dismiss the craft idea. All you might see is mess, potential injury, or failure to completing a craft project. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case when you focus on these crafty ideas that both toddlers and moms will love.
While you might first shy away from doing anything paint-related with your toddler as a craft, it will be fun (trust us). One of the best ideas is to put washable paint into squeeze bottles (think like you find in a restaurant for ketchup and mustard). This makes it easier for your toddler to handle the paint. Also, there is less of a mess.
You can also use wooden blocks that your toddler can dip into paint and create art on paper or cardboard. The larger shapes of the wooden blocks that they already love will be easier for them to handle. Plus, you can use washable paint to clean the wood blocks off when finished. Bubble wrap is another great material that you can use for your toddlers to create a picture on. Use the smaller size bubble wrap to let them create a painting. It’s fun and easy!
Another option is to take a toddler art class together. For example, the Curious Minds Learning Center offers various art classes for kids, ages 2 1/2 to 5 years. one of these is called “Painting Like the Masters.” Located in Corte Madera, the Learning Center offers a fun environment to enjoy painting crafts without making a mess in your own home!
Mixed Media Crafts
Take objects that you have around the house to make a mixed media crafts project. Your toddler can glue various items onto an old piece of wood, cardboard, paper or paper plate or any other surface material you may have. Think of using things like shells, buttons, colored paper cut into squares or other shapes, straws, beads or anything else you can find.
Of course, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your toddler to make sure nothing goes into their mouth and the glue goes on the surface and the mixed media only!
Some crafts involve materials that are made from food. That means you don’t have to worry about toxic ingredients and the fact that most toddlers like to put everything in their mouths.
Pinterest is a great resource for edible craft ideas for your toddler. There are simple, easy-to-make recipes for these edible crafts that involve basic ingredients. For example, there are numerous edible paint recipes as well as those for play dough, pudding slime, and other fun crafts. You’ll be able to make these quickly so your toddler can jump right into creating with these tasty materials.
Imaginative Play Toddler Summer Camps
Even toddlers can use social activities so that they start to understand how to play and interact with others. Combine that with crafts, learning activities, and a summer camp to give Mom a little break and you’ve got something fun for everyone involved. For example, The Children’s Cottage Summer Camp located in Larkspur provides a place to play, do crafts, and interact for those kids, ages 2 1/2 to 5. Each week, there is a different theme that involves activities. Past themes have included sea life, baking, transportation, and science.
Other Tips for Fun Craft Sessions with Your Toddlers
When you plan on doing crafts with your toddlers, there are some things to keep in mind to keep enjoyable for you and them:
- Pick a time of day you know your toddler is the most alert like after a nap or at the start of the day. Doing crafts with tired or hungry toddlers is not recommended.
- Don’t go into doing the craft with everything planned out. Toddlers are spontaneous and may not want to do exactly what you were thinking of. Maybe have an alternative craft to give them another choice.
- If your toddler is not interested in doing a craft at all, leave it for another day.
- Keep craft time short also because of their limited attention span.
- Give your toddler the time to explore the materials and do what they would like with it rather than taking over.
Remember that this is a great way to bond with your toddler, too. They love just having your attention so you don’t have to make crafting complicated. That way, you can relax and make great memories together.