Crafting with kids is great for fostering creativity, connecting as a family, and making use of materials that might otherwise get thrown out or recycled. Here are a few simple and inexpensive things for you to try with your toddler.
1. Make an arty tablecloth
This is a classic, small group craft activity (or craftivity). Find a few big pieces of paper and tape them to your kitchen table so that it’s completely covered. Equip one, two or several children with crayons or washable paints and unleash their creativity! My friend Debbie’s spin on this activity is to find big cardboard boxes from grocery stores and turn her kids loose on transforming them into time machines, food trucks, or super-awesome food truck time machines!
2. Holiday ornaments
I was recently introduced to Busy Toddler (Susie) on Instagram and it’s changed my life. Her toddler tests out craft ideas and then Susie writes reviews of the experience. Her post about simple holiday ornaments begins with “I am a walking Pinterest fail,” and such honesty makes me confident about replicating this, and many other, crafts recommended by Busy Toddler!
3. Tin can wind chimes
This activity has a few more moving pieces than the ones above, but the good thing is that these moving pieces can be found (mostly) around the house and they make beautiful sounds! You will need washed tin cans with no labels, paint, string, and some equipment (like a hammer and nail and glue) to hold it all together. If tin can wind chimes strike you as a bit too complicated, then scale the activity down a bit and decorate a mason jar or other container with fancy ribbons and glitter. My son (with responsible help from his daycare teachers) stuck bows, sparkles and tissue paper on an old glass pasta sauce bottle with hot chocolate mix inside and he gave it to my wife and I as a present. It’s a deliciously simple gift!