Craft time is a happy time for most toddlers. They love the chance to get creative and experiment with different textures, colours and techniques. At the toddler stage, children are so proud of their artwork, every little achievement is a big deal and you can make this even more rewarding by making a fuss over their creations, displaying and enjoying them in the home.
Putting together a craft box of materials and tools to help your child enjoy lots of crafty activities is easy. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as the boxes of craft items you buy. You can create a great box of fantastic bits and bobs to get your child’s creative juices flowing by simply keeping an eye out for things that may be of use. We all know that there comes a stage in the child-rearing process when the inner tubes of toilet tissue become all-important! There are lots of other household bits and pieces that are useful. Save cardboard boxes, greetings cards, scraps of coloured paper and fabric. You can pick up extra materials to add to the box in discount shops or in sales, just keep an eye out for anything you think your little one could use in their next masterpiece. Add paints, chalks and pencils (always look for washable versions) and keep some white (PVA) glue and safety scissors out of reach so you know they can?t access them without your help.
Some days you might feel like getting complicated craft projects underway, but in reality toddlers will be just as happy to have freedom to play in their own way with the materials they choose. Complex projects that require a lot of help can leave the child frustrated, and their concentration span might not last until the end of the project, so one of the best things you can do is to leave them to it. Be there for any help they might need, but give them some creative space and let them do what they feel like doing with the materials you have provided. This is great for their sense of independence and fantastic for their sense of self. Nurture their creativity by letting them experiment. And don?t forget to admire the results, however bizarre!
Making your own play dough is an easy and fun way to keep your child amused for hours. Salt dough is safe, easy to make and much cheaper than the store bought alternatives. Simply mix 1 cup of flour with ? cup salt and slowly add ? cup water, mixing well. Let your child cut out shapes or make little ornaments (or random splodges!) and then bake them at a very low heat for 3-4 hours (depending on the size of your child’s creation).
Enjoy watching your child’s creativity flourish by giving them plenty of opportunity to get crafty. Give them new ideas, materials or projects to keep them interested, it doesn’t have to be expensive, yet the craft box and everything in it can be some of the best things you ever gift your child. Get involved and these craft sessions can be a great way to bond and enjoy your time together.