Tag Archives: Crafts for Toddlers

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Snowman Sensory Bags

The kids and I have been enjoying snowman themed activities, crafts, and games throughout the month of January, but today’s activity was especially fun!

We made Snowman Sensory bags. I had never realized before that this concept was even possible, but I might be hooked. I’m sure there will be more homemade sensory bags to come, but for today, here’s the snowman one. ☺

I got the idea from THIS website and followed it pretty closely with a few alterations.

Here is what you’ll need (items listed are for each child):

  • Ziploc bag
  • Scotch tape or packing tape (we ended up using Scotch and it was perfect)
  • Staplerblog snowman bags
  • Cut out Foam eyes, nose, and buttons (or something to create a snowman in the bag) The eyes and buttons were about the size of a penny I that helps.
  • Cut out Foam or felt hat—not necessary, but fun. The main part of the hat covered the width of the bag and then the flat part stuck out the sides
  • About 2 oz. clear hair gel
  • About ½ cup water
  • About 2 teaspoons glitter

#1. I reinforced the 3 sides of each bag with Scotch tape making sure to fully cover the corners. While I did this, the kids and I discussed the 5 senses and what senses would be used on our sensory bag.

#2 I let each child squeeze about 2 oz. of clear hair gel into their bag while I held it open. They LOVED this part as we used our entire bottle and it made lots of funny noises!

#3. I poured in about 2 teaspoons of glitter into each bag while they held it open.

#4. I poured in slightly less than ½ cup water into each bag while they held it open.

#5. I sealed each bag and let them smush everything around inside to mix it up. They loved this part and were getting eager for the finished product. ☺

#6. Next, I explained the snowman pieces and what they were supposed to look like when laid out properly. I gave each child their pieces to put in their bags.

#7. I had each child wipe the tops of their bags with a piece of paper towel to ensure it was dry and free of stickiness.

#8. I got out as much air as I could and securely resealed each bag.

#9. I sealed the top of each bag with Scotch tape (just to be safe.) ☺

#10. I stapled the hat to the top of each bag being sure to ONLY staple above the zipper seal.

And then the kids were ready to squish and smush away!!

The little ones did need help adjusting their foam pieces into the correct position, but when I explained some other options of ways to arrange them, they were pretty happy to just have fun with it.

I like that this is a craft project they can really use and even learn from. A welcome winter craft! I hope you enjoy it too! ☺

 

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Snowman Kit in a Jar!

IMG_3105Sometimes you need a fast, easy, cheap (or free), super cute, and practical gift for a child. I guess that sounds like a lot of criteria to fill, BUT I came up with the perfect idea and I can’t wait to share it with you!

It’s no secret on this blog that I LOVE play dough. I love making it, I love all the possibilities it presents, and I love that my kids can keep busy with it for long periods of time. :-)

I also love invitations to play, but they require so many pieces it’s a hard thing to give as a gift—until today!

I present to you: Snowmen in a jar!

Aren’t they cute?!?!

I started by making THIS recipe, but I added 1 teaspoon peppermintIMG_3101extract. (Did you know they are selling it at Aldi right now? So cheap!!) After the play dough was cooked, I added a bunch of glitter while I kneaded it on the wax paper. Ta da! Snow!

One batch of play dough is the exact amount you need to fill 3 baby food jars.

Next I just used items I had around the house. You could use anything! I chose 3 small pom poms in matching colors to be the buttons for each snowman. Then I cut green pipe cleaners for arms—I got 10 out of 1 pipe cleaner to give an idea of length. Next, I cut red pipe cleaner in slightly smaller segments for the carrot. Beads would work for eyes, or googly eyes.

I’m sure there are lots of great possibilities, but I was just using what I had.

I put everything into baby food jars—free containers! Any little container would work though—even Ziploc bags. I used black fabric paint to make eyes and a smile and then I used orange for a big carrot nose. I colored the lid with a big, thick permanent marker to look like a hat.

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To fill the jars:

Divide one batch of play dough into 3 parts. Roll each part into the shape and size of a small, chubby hot dog and slowly lower it into the jar being sure to fill the entire thing. You might need to smush it in with your fingers to get the air out. It should fill the main part of the jar perfectly.

Next, I laid the decorations on the top of the play dough—there is the exact amount of space you need for them!

Screw the lid on and you have a fun, fast, easy, cheap (or free), super cute, and practical gift for a child!

-Lydia

 

Baby Jesus Craft

My kids and I have been having so much fun this year discussing and preparing for Christmas. This has included many games and craft projects. It was important to me though, that early on we do a craft specifically of Baby Jesus so they would recognize the fact that He is, and should be, central at this time of year. Plus, what kid doesn’t like to have his own baby to play with??Picture

I needed to find something that didn’t require buying supplies, so here is what I came up with.

·         A toilet paper roll cut in half lengthwise—I actually just cut up paper towel rolls.

·         Half a craft stick—I was excited to see that I could break them and then cut off the jagged edges!

·         A Permanent marker

·         A strip of yellow paper

·         A piece of felt or fabric

·         Glue

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            I gave each child the paper towel roll portion with the paper that I had cut the edges and fluffed up with my fingers. We talked about why Jesus was born in a manger, what that would have been like, and so on. They glued in the paper to represent straw.

They each received a “baby” (craft stick half) with a face drawn on it. Older children could do this themselves.

They got to pick their color of felt for the “swaddling clothes” and we discussed what that meant as they wrapped up their babies. I ended up using a hot glue gun for the blankets, but you could probably use fabric glue and let them do it.

I then let them decide if they wanted me to glue their babies into their manger or leave them out to play with. One child wanted hers glued, the rest left them out.

This craft was big hit! They loved playing with their babies, singing them to sleep, and taking them in and out of the mangers. I think it also worked well to help them understand who Baby Jesus was as we discussed it. I like that it gives them a tangible reminder to hold and play with throughout the month.

-Lydia

Toddler Activities with Apples: Part 1

When I think of early fall, one of the first things that comes to mind is apples. I have so many fun memories of apple picking as a child and I love the variety of foods you can make with them. This year, I wanted to share the fun of apples with my children, so off I went to Pinterest to see what ideas were out there to use. I’m going to write a series of articles listing some of the ideas we discovered and others we came up with on our own. I hope they are a help to you as you plan fun fall activities for your kids!
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            I have been so intrigued with the concept of an “invitation to play.” It seems to come from the Montessori method of teaching. I love the wide variety you can use and the fact it can be messy or mess free. Most of all, I love that it inspires the child’s imagination and causes them to think independently rather than just trusting what a teacher is going to tell them every step of the way. Maybe it’s because I was homeschooled or maybe it is just my own desire to see my kids excel, but this concept has been a huge blessing to us all the last few weeks.

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Here is an easy invitation to play involving apples.

First, I asked the kids (ages 1-4) where we find apple trees. “Outside!” I asked what color the sky is. “Blue!” Then I gave them each a blue sheet of paper.

Next, I asked what is at the bottom of the tree. “Trunk! Wood!” I asked what color it was. “Brown!” So, I gave them each a couple of sticks. You could also use clothespins, brown paper or felt, cinnamon sticks, etc.

Picture            I asked them what is on a tree and what color it is. “Green leaves!” I gave each child about a dozen 2x2in. squares of green construction paper I had cut previously. We talked about that they were squares and could be used as leaves for their trees.

Next, I asked them what was the best part of an apple tree. “Apples!” was their resounding response. J I gave them each about a dozen small red pom poms. They were a little confused, so I had to explain these were for the apples.

Picture            Then I encouraged them to use their supplies to build apple trees however they would like. They each got busy. Here are few of their results.

            As you can imagine, it didn’t take them too long to finish their projects, so I encouraged them to take everything off and try something else… and something else. They enjoyed seeing what the others were doing and trying to replicate it. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, but it was exciting to see their creative wheels turning as they tried different set ups.

At the end, you can either let them glue their pieces to the paper or just package it all up for another day. Either way, this was great fall invitation to play for toddlers and preschoolers.

–Lydia