Children of all ages like to be creative, and even very young ones can get the sense of self-satisfaction that invention brings. When thinking of craft activities that toddlers can enjoy, make sure that the little ones have an achievable goal. Here are some artsy ideas for their age range in which the supplies can be found online on sites like eBay.
Youngsters often like modelling with bits of clay, and they can get into the idea of sculpting before fully grasping the concept. For toddlers, using play dough is the best option because it is easily pliable, making it ideal for little hands. Because toddlers are not as dexterous as older children, it is a good idea to buy some sculpture modelling tools as well as the dough, such as a roller or a pizza-wheel type tool to cut it. These simple gadgets allow younger ones to play with greater ease.
Try to encourage toddlers to make a miniature version of something that they recognise and see every day. For example, kids love to use play dough to make a pretend plate of food. Encourage youngsters to make sausage shapes or little balls of dough that look like peas.
Many young children enjoy sending cards made by themselves. However, toddlers tend to find holding pens and pencils difficult at first. By all means, encourage a preschooler to get into the habit of holding them, but it is worth remembering that they don’t have the same finger strength as older kids, and it takes time to build up. When making greetings cards, try using glue sticks and glitter as an alternative to pens. Toddlers also like to use stickers to decorate their cards. Stamping is another good way of encouraging toddlers, who have yet to learn to write, to use words in their designs.
For ease, buy pre-made blank cards. Remember that card-making is not just an activity for Christmas or birthdays. Toddlers can enjoy this craft activity at any time of year. The cards can ultimately be used for invitations to a party or as thank you notes.
Baking biscuits with toddlers does mean that an adult has to supervise, especially when the oven is used. However, making letter biscuits can be an educational experience, introducing younger children to the alphabet. With this activity, letter-shaped biscuit cutters are all that are needed, along with some cookie dough of course.
Letter Biscuits Tips
Encourage children to mix and roll out their own dough so they realize that cooking can be fun. When it comes to using the letter-shaped cutters, help to identify each letter and even have a go at spelling out words.
Making a complete picture can be a bit of a tall order for many toddlers who don’t necessarily have all of the skills they need for using colouring pens or paintbrushes. A good way to encourage preschoolers with image making is to opt for a collage instead. Cut out some shapes from a brightly-coloured card or magazine for them to arrange in a way that makes a picture. Using a glue stick is the most convenient method of fixing each collage shape in place.
Collage Making Tips
Abstraction is fine, but toddlers tend to like making images of something literal. Use triangle shapes, for example, to make a picture of a boat. A combination of circles and rectangles in different colours are good for making cars, trains, or houses.
Toddlers love role play and dressing up. If they make their own mask, then their imaginations can really run wild. A simple paper plate is a good place to start with mask making. Just cut out the eye holes and paint the plate the day before with acrylic paint to give it a base tone. Then let the toddler do the rest. Try animal-inspired masks, like elephants or kangaroos. Alternatively, encourage the toddler to copy the mask design of their favourite superhero.
Stick ribbon on either side of the plate so that it can be attached around the head and tied together. Another good option is to glue lollipop sticks on the underside of the plates at the chin, and the children can use them to hold the masks in front of their faces.