If you are a
mother of a toddler, you know the importance of keeping him or her busy.
Toddlers keep their moms on their toes when they have their hands full of work.
When you are busy with your work, keeping your kids busy may not be at the top
of your list. However, your child needs
constant stimulation when he is started to walk and climb. One of the great
advantages of toddlers is that they do not need any complicated toys or difficult
activities to keep them engaged. It can be a little intimidating to try to get
them busy in an activity if you do not have good experience with kids. Be
yourself and relax if you want to engage your toddler. Engaging them is quite easy when you know how.
There are plenty of tips and activities to engage your toddlers. Here are some of the art and craft ideas to
keep your toddlers busy.
Rice art is
a good activity to engage your kids and make them happy. You can make your
toddler engaged with some rice and colors. Put 1 cup of rice into a Ziploc bag
and add three tablespoons of vinegar in it. Add 5 drops of food color into the
bag and sealed it properly. Smash the bag all around so that the color gets
transferred to the rice evenly. Let the rice sit inside the bag for a few
minutes after the color mix thoroughly. Do this with different colors like
orange, red, green, blue etc. Pour the colored rice into its own tray and let
it there overnight to dry. It also helps to reduce the intense smell of the
vinegar. The rice will be ready to make art the next day. Help him to create
art using this colored rice to make him busy.
Color Mixing Art
Kids love to play with different colors and create art. Use some freezer bags and washable painting for this activity. Freezer bags are stronger than ordinary bags and do not rip so easily. Use some hair gel or shampoo to dilute the paint to get a nice texture. Mix these colors to make creative and eye-catching arts. You can use small toys to make footprints in the paint. Just tape the bag after the use so that your toddler can use it for days to play.
Teach your little one to make exciting leaf prints on paper using real leaves. For this art, collect some leaves of different shapes and sizes. Take a palette to prepare various colors of paint. Cover your work area with newspapers or using a mat. Paint the entire surface of a leaf by placing its under-side facing up. Take a construction paper or sketch paper and press this painted leaf onto it. Once you remove the leaf, you can see its beautiful print on the paper. Encourage your toddler to repeat the process with various colors and other leaf shapes.
Kids love to
play with mud and make art from nature. They love to make different shapes with
it. You can encourage your toddler for mud painting if you want to explore his
or her creativity outside. For this activity, you need to put some mud and
color in plastic cups and mix it well using water. Give them sketch paper of
construction paper and brushes to create beautiful paintings using this colored
First of all, this craft always requires the help of an adult. Use potatoes to make charming prints on paper or fabric. It is easy to create different shapes, alphabet letters, numbers or other designs using this wonderful vegetable. Cut some clean potatoes in half and carve desired shapes. Take shallow containers and make different colors of paint on it. Use fabric paint if you want to stamp on fabric. You can make beautiful prints by dipping potato stamps into different colors of paint. Remember to keep the knife that use to make potato shapes out of children’s reach.
Squeeze Bottle Painting
Make your kid happy with Squeeze bottle painting. With some changes, you can make squeeze bottles like the shape of crayons. Remove the labels of them and give them the shape of crayons. Then make some squeezable paint. You can make it by adding equal parts of flour, food color and salt and mix it well with water. It may be a little difficult to get the paint into the narrow mouth of the squeeze bottles. You cannot use a funnel to get the paint into the bottle as it is too thick to pass. Ask your toddler to squeeze the paint and make funny paintings on the paper or somewhere else.
There are plenty of art and craft ideas to entertain your toddler other than the same old preschool art activities. Of course, art and crafts can be messy, but it is helpful for them for the growth and development of their brains. You can incorporate different art and crafts projects into your kid’s life that are useful to touch on a wide range of skills. Painting, drawing, scrapbooking, creating cards for others and baking are good projects to make him engaged. Each of these art and craft are beneficial to develop their thinking, feeling and even their co-ordination skills.
Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, transforms waste materials, by-products or unused materials into new objects of better quality or environmental value. Each household creates a huge amount of waste every year and it is important to teach kids about the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. For a creative mom, the goal of upcycling is to transform something not currently of use into useful objects by applying some creativity. We are going to present few such creative upcycling ideas both for you and your kid. Let’s upcycle and have some fun.
3 Creative Upcycling Ideas for Children
Newspaper beads are fun to make. And creative too! There was a tradition of making paper beads in Victorian England, where these beads were used to make door curtains to divide rooms. Later, people started making ornaments with laminated paper beads. The used paper was also eventually utilized to make these beads, making the process eco-friendly and cheap.
Making newspaper beads is very easy and your kid will learn a few extra lessons in the process. The idea is very simple. Cut long triangles, with a very short base and two long arms, and roll them using an old refill or a nail, starting from the base. Apply glue in between so that the rolled-up paper remains in place. Remove the bead from the refill or nail and wait for the glue to dry. You can color it, coat it with some water repellant or cut them to make new designs. Use different beads together and make a necklace, earrings, bracelets or something completely new and unique.
Refer this video for step by step instructions on how to make newspaper beads.
Tin Can Pencil Holder
How many tin cans would you be consuming a year? Where do all these scraps go? Tin cans can be transformed into a great number of useful stuffs with little effort and one of them is a pencil holder. All you need to make this is a glue, few Popsicle sticks, buttons and some newspaper beads that you created using the method explained above or anything small that you can stick to the pencil holder with glue. Stick the Popsicle sticks to the side of the tin can. Wait for the glue to dry and adjust the height to a desirable level by cutting the top carefully. Add some colors to it, if you love to paint. Stick the buttons and beads to the can using glue. Your pencil holder is ready! Let your kid choose the materials and design the holder. It is going to look great on their study table. And they are going to keep it as a treasure since they made it.
Plastic Bottle Planters
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the plastics bottles that you throw away can be converted into a planter that waters itself? Teaching this craft to your children will give them additional lessons on environmental conservation and precision gardening. The planters are created in such a way that the plants receive enough water and they absorb it on their own. You just need a big plastic bottle that you cut into two pieces, potting soil, seeds, and some cotton string. Make some holes in the cap and pass the cotton strings through them. Place the upper half upside down into the lower half.
Now, remove the upper half to fill the lower half with some water so that the cotton strings are dipped in it. Place the upper half back and fill it with potting soil. Plant your seeds and sprinkle some water. Your saplings will be ready in a few days. You can make some decorations to make your planter unique and special. And use this opportunity to teach them capillary action.
Refer the below video on how to make a plastic bottle planter that water itself.
2 Creative Upcycling Ideas for Parents
Jar Lid Matching Games
Would you believe that a fun and the educational game can be easily created from used jar lids that can creatively engage your young genius? It is very simple, and your kid is going to love it. You might have already introduced picture matching games using cards or blocks to your kid, but this is completely customizable and can be filled with objects they love. Pick any number of pictures that you want to include in the game and print two copies of each picture. Take the required number of jar lids and paste the pictures on the inside. You can also draw the picture pairs if you are an artistic soul. Pick any theme. Change whenever you want it. Have fun.
Kids’ Study Desk from Crib
A crib is something truly temporary. Even though it takes up a lot of space, people wouldn’t let go of it after it has served its purpose, due to sentimental reasons or thinking about a possible future use. What if we can convert your used crib into a very useful product? By removing the drop side panel of the crib and placing a particle board cut to the size of the mattress base, you can create a very useful and practical workstation for your kids. Want some extra fun? Paint the particle board with chalkboard paint and place some hooks along the side to hang tools or holders. Most important aspect is, you can convert it back to a crib whenever you need one.
It is time to put these ideas into practice. Let’s get working, right? But, believe me, this is not the end. This is just the tip of an iceberg. There are endless possibilities, but these are a few good ones to start with. The idea is to install a positive thought in your kids about recycling, particularly about upcycling, and they will soon start looking for more upcycling opportunities and in effect start upgrading themselves.
The toddler years are full of ‘firsts’. As the word toddler is derived from “to toddle”, which means to walk unsteadily, these kids are making their little tiny steps towards the preschool years. It is a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. Developmental play aids to the brain development of toddlers. It helps them to interact with the world around them. By engaging them with art, craft, games etc. their imagination and decision-making skills will improve. Parents should encourage cognitive and language development with fun-filled learning activities. Here we are going to share a wonderful list of the best five not-so-messy craft ideas that make your toddler develop their motor skills, imagination and creativity. Let’s have some fun with our little masters.
1 Hand Painting
Yes, I know what you are thinking now. We all know hand paintings by toddlers are messy. But kids should be allowed to play with colors, which is fun and exciting. Painting aids children acquire hand-eye coordination, an important skill in their age. It also acts as a therapy for children facing emotional difficulties, since it helps them to express their feeling. So let’s try to turn their little hand into a tree or little fingers to draw flowers. Don’t forget to use edible paints! You know your little troublemakers, right?
2 Recycling Old Goods
What about making something new with materials you already have at home? Don’t forget to adapt this project depending on the age of your toddler. We can start recycling old things by sitting in the comfort of our home. It is an opportunity to teach kids the benefits of reusing and recycling at a tender age itself. And once they understand the amount of waste generated at home, you can teach them the concept of reducing too.
3 Leaves and Stick Craft
Have you ever tried to make a leaf man with your child? Incorporating flowers, leaves etc available in our garden to make new crafts makes your child more inclined towards exploring nature. You can help them to make a tiara from flowers and leaves or a cute bouquet for your little princess. Or a magic wand for your little magician from a dry twig or a small branch. Interesting, isn’t it?
4 Torn Paper Collage
Try to make a paper collage with your kid. It may sound difficult for a toddler but start from making minimalistic shapes. It improves flexibility and their sense of touch. As they arrange these paper cuttings in various textures and colors they will become more observant and will begin to see new ideas in things around them.
5 Play Dough Crafts
Play Dough is one of the most favorite things for kids to play with. It is a little messy for parents but it is an amazing tool for learning. Haven’t you seen this in your kitchen too? At least once your kid would’ve come to play with the dough you prepared for making Chappathi or Poori. It advances their motor skills and develops hand-eye coordination. Allowing kids to make different shapes or objects that will improve their creativity and imagination, it also helps them to learn color mixing, encourages curiosity and aids their overall development. So let’s make some monsters or minions or you can even try to make a pizza.
Help Them Invent Themselves
Engaging in any creative process will boost creative thinking in your child. They will yield intellectual and physical benefits. But always remember to join them on all these activities. This will allow you to have better communication with them and also to grow with them. Try to find new creativity ideas for them and help them explore new possibilities on their own. As Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget says, “Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.” So let us offer them all the support and assistance for their creative endeavors while they invent themselves.