Are you interested in doing winter crafts with your toddler this year? Maybe some last minute gifts for grandparents?
Below are two easy winter craft ideas that you can do with your toddler as well as your older children and a few reasons why you should craft with your toddler and young children.
Crafts with a toddler need to be easy to make, take less time than older children’s art projects and use craft supplies that are good for small hands.
Why should you do arts and crafts with toddlers?
Arts and crafting with toddlers can be a valuable experience for them. For example, the repetitive hand movements a child makes when picking up objects to create their crafts reinforces the pincer grasp they will need when learning to write. Letting your child carry the supplies and help when cleaning up boosts his gross motor skills. You can make crafts fun for the toddler even if it involves you cutting the pieces out for them or doing most of the work putting it together. Sometimes, our job involves ensuring that the child doesn’t eat the glue, paint or little pieces.
He is learning some important development skills, using his imagination and gaining independence as he does something on his own. Remember that your craft may not be in the pinterest perfect craft that you saw but encouraging creative play helps children make decisions, be patient and learn from mistakes. A toddler also gains confidence and receives praise after their project is done
Painting with Toddlers
Toddlers can enjoy experimenting with paint by mixing the colors or swirling it around, clapping their hands in it. They may actually enjoy it more on their hands than painting on a piece of paper or canvas.
When you name, talk and use new words for items or colors, or count, this will increase his vocabulary skills.
For example you could say “See how the paint squishes in between your fingers” or “your fingers get sticky when you use glue.” Or count the number of finger dot snowflakes you make. Discuss the snowmen’s face like he has two eyes, a carrot for a nose, dots for his mouth. Count the number of buttons or the snowman has to wear a hat and scarf because it is chilly cold outside.
Also, encourage the child to tell you what they want to make and how.
Two Winter Crafts for Toddler
Here are two projects that my toddler who is almost two years old and I recently did with his older sister and brother. Remember though, that not all toddlers are at the same skill level and may not stay as occupied with a project as other toddlers, therefore choose materials and crafts that will be easy for them to use and clean up.
Toilet Paper Snowman :
- Glue Stick
- Toilet Paper Roll
- Construction paper (white for the snowman, one color for the hat and scarf), orange for his nose)
- 2 eyes
- A black marker
- Buttons or pins
- Cut out 3 white circles a small, medium and large one.
- Have your child glue the 3 circles together to form a snowman.
- Glue on the eyes, nose, and hat and scarf.
- Make some dots for the mouth.
- Glue on three buttons or pins for his buttons.
- Use a popsicle stick and make slits in the side for his hands.
- Once it has dried, glue him on the toilet paper roll to stand up.
Snow scene canvas
- Blank square canvas
- Paint (Blue and white, plus other colors, optional)
- Paper plates
- 1 large paintbrush
- Other paint materials – like q-tips, thin paint brushes, round lids, bottles
- Wet towel
- First paint the blank canvas, blue, using the large paintbrush.You could make your snowman craft listed above while the canvas dries.
- Put white paint on a paper plate for easy clean up. Show your child how to make snowflakes with their fingers (just dotting on the canvas) or use q-tips.
- Print a circle using lids or the bottoms of a bottle.You can then fill in the circle with finger dots or q-tips, whatever materials the child likes
- The child could also make a hand print with the white paint or use a paintbrush to paint snow.
- Keep a towel next to you to wipe off hands, clothes or mouths (one of my children tried to eat the paint).
- Let the canvas dry and then hang up in a room where the whole family can enjoy it all winter long or wrap it for grandparents.
You can check out some winter inspired Montessori activities.
Crafting with a toddler doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It is important to encourage and express his creativity with the use of a variety of materials and hands on projects.