Make it Yourself – DIY fun with your Toddler

Most children love the make their own toys ? getting artistic and then actually having something they can play with afterwards is incredibly rewarding for children of all ages, so here are a few ideas that you can use to get creative with your child.

Puppets

Puppets are great fun ? they look cool and they promote great imaginative play with is essential for your child’s development. One of the easiest and best ways to make puppets with your child is to get hold of some wooden spoons and turn them into characters that you child will love to play with. This will be fun for your child to make, and play with later so this one activity can give your child hours of fun. Use paints, felt pens or cut out shapes to create a face on the spoon, add some wool, shredded paper or fabric for hair and wrap some fabric or paper around the handle to hide the hand and create ?clothes?. You can draw a second face on the back showing a different emotion so you have a ‘sad? face and a ?happy? face when playing with the puppet (this can also help your child’s understanding of emotions).

Bookmarks

This is a particularly simple craft but it is surprisingly popular with young children. Let them design their own bookmark; cut out a long rectangle shape and let them get painting, drawing and adding shapes to it to create their unique bookmark. Help them write their name on it and add a tassel to the top. Make sure the bookmark is entirely dry before putting it inside the child’s favourite book and make a point of using the bookmark during the bedtime story session. If your child enjoys the craft then allow them to make bookmarks for other family members; they make a great little gift inside a birthday card.

Rock Pets

Let your child choose a smooth, balanced pebble and add shapes, paint and the all-important googly eyes to create a rock pet. Your child can make a range of these fun animals ? give them away as paper-weights or line them up in your child’s bedroom or playroom. Finding the right pebble on the beach can be a huge part of the fun with this activity!

Stamps and Prints

Children love to print using stamps and there are lots of ways you can do this using simple things you can find around the home. Cut some raw potatoes in half, dry well and carve shapes into them to make stamps your child can dip in paint to use as stamps. Cut-up washing up sponges are an even easier way to make prints, and they can be washed and used again. Let your child make prints with toys (easily washed toys) as well. This can work well by making prints with plastic animals, tyre marks with toy cars and of course the ultimate in toddler fun ? finger prints and footprints!

Author: Arlene Copeland

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