Toddlers love painting, sticking and creating with you. Through handling different textures (finger painting, stamping and using paintbrushes, squelching and modelling with play dough, bending cardboard, threading objects onto string) your toddler is learning about the world around them - and using their imagination.
It’s well worth keeping a recycling box of cardboard tubes, boxes and plastic containers to hand for simple arts and crafts projects you can do together. Your toddlers will enjoy the sense of pride from knowing they made something and will love seeing their artwork displayed in your home.
Here are seven ideas to inspire you. Happy crafting together with your toddler!
Wrap bendable card around your child's head, take the measurement and trim off the excess card. Next, cut the card into a crown using a zigzag or get creative and try sticky-up hair or a favourite animal’s head or ears. Now it's your toddler's turn to decorate the card with felt tip pens, paint and glued-on bits of paper. Once they’re done staple the short sides together to create the crown. This is a great craft project for a play date.
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Large cardboard boxes are just begging to be transformed into cars. Glue paper plates to the side as wheels and let your child's imagination roar. They may want to draw in people and make a bus or add windscreens and doors but let them take the driving seat.
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Make masks with paper plates, hole punched on either side and threaded with elastic to fit your child's head. Your toddler can create whatever face they like using pens, paint, cut up tissue paper for hair and pipe cleaners for whiskers.
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Toddlers love squishing, rolling and moulding play dough with different shaped cutters and their hands. Keep your homemade play dough in a sealed container or mix up a new batch with this super simple recipe: 3 cups of flour; 2 tablespoons of cornflour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of cold water and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Your toddler will love mixing up the ingredients. Divide your dough and choose different food colourings. Note: The salt content of homemade play dough is very high - keep an eye on your toddler to make sure they don’t eat any.
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Halve a few potatoes and cut out shapes of stars, circles, letters or animals (whatever your child asks you to do). Then, dip the cut out potato half into washable, brightly coloured poster paint and it's time for some stamping fun on plain paper. Hand printing is lots of squelchy fun too (and you'll have a lovely record of just how little their hands were).
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This couldn't be simpler: after your toddler has painted two cardboard tubes the colours of their choice, tape them together for a pair of binoculars. A single longer roll (from your kitchen towel) makes a great pirate's telescope too.
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Cut out a pair of glasses in plain cardboard. Stick coloured cellophane into the holes as lenses and let your toddler paint them in bright, funky colours. Once the paint is dry, provide a selection of sparkly bits and pieces to decorate: think sequins, buttons, self-adhesive spots, even pasta shapes. Now your toddler is ready for a super-cute photo opportunity. Note: Ensure your toddler is supervised at all times as small objects like sequins and buttons are choking hazards.
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