happy kids modeling or playing in kindergarten with interest

Crafts for Toddlers

Most toddlers love the process more than the outcome. But some toddlers and most big kids like to have something to keep after they make something.

1. Painting by Bubbles

Painting doesn’t have to be restricted to a plain old brush and palette. Forget painting by numbers…paint by bubbles instead!

Supplies

  • Water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Straws
  • Paper
  • Non-toxic paint

Step by Step

Step 1: Mix your paint with a little water and some washing up liquid.

Step 2: Thoroughly stir it up and blow into the mixture with a straw to create lots of bubbles. Make sure the paint is non-toxic, as your toddler may suck through the straw instead of blow.

Step 3: Gently place the paper over the bubbles, remove and leave to dry.

Bubble painting is not only pop-tastic to take part in, but the results also look amazing!

2. Intuitive Printing

Of course, we’ve all heard of potato printing. Yawn…

Why not try using your imagination and print with something completely different? For example, bubble wrap, old wooden blocks, strawberries, apples, garden leaves or flowers! You can literally use anything for printing.

Supplies

  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Something wild and wacky to print with

Step by Step

Step 1: Paint the bubble wrap (or whichever material you chose).

Step 2: Print on paper to create a variety of mystical and magical shapes.

The best thing about it is your little one will have a lovely piece of artwork to keep afterward.

3. Rainbow Rainmaker

Do you know of any toddlers that don’t like being noisy? This rainbow rainmaker or rainstick is the perfect craft for musical (noisy) kids!

Supplies

  • Long cardboard tube
  • Decorations (washi tape, paint, tissue paper, or sequins)
  • White duct tape
  • Dried beans, rice or beads

Step by Step

Step 1: Cover the tube with white duct tape.

Step 2: Tape one end of the tube shut, and add the beans or rice and tape the other end shut. You could count the beads as you put them into the tube to start some early math skills.

Step 3: Decorate the rainmaker with paint in rainbow colors or stick tissue paper and sequins to it. You could even use washi tape to create a striped rainbow effect.

Big kids can push nails or drawing pins into the side of the rainmaker. This trick slows down the beans and creates the sound of falling water.

Exploration Crafts

Instead of worrying about the outcome, try creating a sensory experience that will allow your toddler to explore a variety of materials.

4. Art in the Bathtub

Have fun in the tub with bath paints. You can buy bath paints from stores like Hobbycraft, but here is an easy DIY version.

Supplies

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • 1/4 cup of shampoo, hand soap or body wash
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon of water
  • Food coloring

Step by Step

Step 1: Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add extra cornstarch or water until the mixture isn’t overly drippy but is thick enough to stick to a paintbrush.

Step 2: Let the kids paint the tiled walls, themselves, and the bathtub for hours on end.

Step 3: The big clean up! Give your little one a sponge and get them to help you with the cleanup process. If it feels like part of the activity, they’ll enjoy it as much as making the mess.

For children aged 4 and over you could make bath crayons instead. Mix melted glycerin soap and food coloring. Add to ice cube trays, let the mixture cool, pop out the mold and that’s it – your bath crayons are ready!

5. Feed the Birds

Get down with nature and feed the birds with a cute bird feeder. The natural supplies used in these kinds of animal crafts are great for sensory exploration.

Supplies

  • Toilet paper rolls or pinecones
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Birdseed
  • Peanut butter
  • Hole punch

Step by Step

Step 1: At the top of the toilet paper tube use a hole punch to make two holes. This is where you will attach the pipe cleaner. If you’re using pinecones, you can skip this step.

Step 2: Cover the toilet roll or pinecone with peanut butter.

Step 3: Roll the peanut butter covered tube or pinecone into bird seed. Make sure it is completely covered.

Step 4: Attach a pipe cleaner at the top so that you can hook it onto a tree.

This three-fold activity will not only be fun to make, but will bring life to your garden, and will give you the opportunity to teach your little one about the outside world.

Edible Crafts

Of course, the best crafts are the ones you can munch on!

Toddlers put everything into their mouth anyway, so why not make your craft projects an edible treat instead?

6. Pudding Finger Painting

Toddlers love to finger paint. But, before the paint reaches the paper they will no doubt have a taste of it.

Pudding finger painting is a fun way for children to make a painting without you having to worry about what they are potentially ingesting!

Supplies

  • Vanilla Pudding or Yoghurt
  • Food coloring
  • Small bowls
  • Spoons

Step by Step

Step 1: Prepare the vanilla pudding by following the directions. If you’re using yogurt you can skip this step.

Step 2: Divide the yogurt or vanilla pudding into 6 small bowls.

Step 3: Add food coloring to each bowl and mix until the pudding is fully colored. Use a different color in each bowl.

Step 4: Prepare a hard surface, such as a table. Give your toddler the edible finger paint and some paper, and away they go!

This is suitable for children who are very young, but older kids may not enjoy this easy DIY craft.

To get them involved, try giving your older child a specific goal. For instance, painting zoo animals with their fingers as a zoo animal craft instead of just freestyle messy play.

7. Dreams of a Paleontologist

Pretty much every child loves dinosaurs! This simple dinosaur fossil baking craft is fun for toddlers but requires a bit of preparation beforehand.

Supplies

  • A large bowl and wooden spoon
  • Baking tray and parchment paper
  • Electric whisk
  • Dinosaur and insect figurines
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 sticks of butter (unsalted)
  • 3/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Step by Step

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Step 2: Finely grind walnuts in a food processor.

Step 3: Let your toddler mix the main ingredients in a big bowl (flour, salt, butter, sugar, and vanilla). After your toddlers given it a good try, you will probably need to finish it off with a mixer. Add the walnuts gradually.

Step 4: You and your toddler together can divide the dough into balls. Of course, you’ll be doing most of the work, but your toddler can enjoy the sensory experience.

Step 5: Press the dough balls into irregular stone shapes on a baking sheet.

Step 6: Dust clean dinosaur or insect figurines with flour. Then press them firmly into each dough stone.

Step 7: Freeze the dough stones for 20-30 minutes until the dough is very firm.

Step 8: Bake for about 25-28 minutes, until golden brown.

If you’re doing this craft with older kids, they may be able to learn handy life skills by using electric mixers and the oven. You could even get them to read the step by step baking instructions to encourage reading skills.

8. Rainbow Candy Slime

Slime fun is all the rage right now. There’s just something about the tactile substance that toddlers, big kids, and even adults love.

But, what’s even better than slime is EDIBLE slime! Yummy right?

Supplies

  • Small glass bowls
  • A pot of water
  • Spoons
  • Starburst Candies
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cornstarch

Step by Step

Step 1: Unwrap and divide the starburst candies by color. Place each color into separate glass bowls.

Step 2: Mix 1/4 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.

Step 3: Boil a pot of water. Place one of the glass bowls into the pot to melt the starburst gradually. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent it from burning.

Step 4: Pour the hot starburst liquid onto a surface dusted with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Wait until it cools before you touch it, as it will be really hot at this point.

Step 5: After it has cooled for about 5 minutes or more, knead the melted starbursts into the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture.

Step 6: Time for the kids to play…but make sure they wash their hands first!

This stretchy, sticky starburst slime works best when it’s warm.

Let’s Get Messy!

These crafts for toddlers will certainly keep your little ones, and big ones engaged. So what are you waiting for? Get your craft kit out and start getting messy today!

Of course, crafting with your children is only one way to help with their ongoing development. To start teaching your toddlers some early reading skills click here.

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