baby and toddler activities, Lists

10 simple toddler crafts and messy play

It feels like there are loads of articles and daily inspiration full of ideas to help you and your kids get through lockdown. On one hand, I apologise for adding to the list. On the other, I’ve shared stuff I’ve found easy enough for crafting novices like myself to try.

This quick top 10 is based around activities which are engaging and fun for toddlers, and which (mostly) use stuff you would have or gather in the house.

paint-rainbow-lockdown-nhs-toddler-craftRainbow making

You’ve probably done this one already, displaying it proudly in the window in support of our fabulous key workers during lockdown. But who says you need to stop at one? We’ve made more for grandparents and there’s always the option to post some through your neighbours’ letterbox, or create some rainbow greetings cards to cheer up some family and friends. Another way we’ve managed to make rainbows is to get creative with some chalk rainbows on the pavement to bring a smile to those out on daily exercise. Obviously the rain washes it off, which is an unfortunate common occurrence in Scotland, but that’s just an excuse to get out and do it again with your toddler!

Loo roll superheroes
If you were one of those panic buyers at the beginning of this pandemic, you are well sorted. If not, you probably have the goods in your recycling bin that may or may not have been emptied by now. The basics needed here are loo rolls and crayons/pens/paint. However if you’re feeling fancier, why not add some crepe paper capes, pipe cleaner limbs and some googly eyes, pompoms and more if you have them. Superheroes aren’t the only characters you can make either – some families have made their favourite football team in loo rolls. Others have made loo-rock-and-roll bands.

Painted-stones-messy-play-craft-toddler-activities

Painting stones
We are lucky enough to live close to a park, so stones are easy to come by. Whether it’s from the garden, park, beach or anywhere else, good, chunky stones are great fun to paint. We painted minions on ours, and housed a particularly large one outside our front door like an ornament, but there are infinite ideas on what you can create and do with them – your imagination is the only limit! I have seen other people create the characters from Monsters Inc and other kids’ favourite Disney films, painted animals and much more. Other ideas for what to do with them include placing them in an area of your garden, leaving in gardens for friends/neighbours/family and we have even seen painted stones appear in the park with the instructions to re-hide them.

bird-feeder-simple-toddler-craftBird feeder
Another really easy make, taken from an infographic shared by Scottish Canals. There are three difficulty options, which you can choose based on your child’s age and ability (or, if you’re me, your own creative abilities!). We enjoyed making one with an apple and it’s handy if you have fruit which is getting past its best, as fruit is ripening quicker in the warm weather at the moment.

Butterfly feeder
Again this has come from an infographic shared by Scottish Canals. It’s really simple and uses an old glass jar (we always seem to accumulate these from pasta sauces, jams and even dips jars) along with some cotton pads, sugar, water and basically anything brightly coloured you can decorate with.

Flour drawing
If you’ve been one of the lucky ones able to get hold of a bag of flour (or maybe you were more than a lockdown baker and had a stash anyway) this is a fairly easy lockdown activity. All you need is flour – any kind will do – and a baking tray, or any other sort of tray really. You can use paintbrushes or wooden spoons to give your child something to draw with, or let them go wild with their hands, creating their own Art Attacks in the flour. If they’ve mastered it, why not get a straw and show your toddler how to blow the flour to make more masterpieces?

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Loo roll flowers
Since we’re all a fan of loo rolls these days (heaven knows we’re using more at home 24/7!) why not make some loo roll flowers too? This really simple one involves a grown-up cutting around 1-1.5 inch lines upwards into the loo roll all the way around. The more lines, the more petals your flower will have. Choose which colour you’d like your flower to be (or choose multiple colours if you have numerous loo rolls!) and squirt some out into a large circle on a plate – paper plates are ideal in size if you have them. Fold all the lines on your loo roll out so they are at right angles (or close to right angles) then dip into your chosen paint colour and print onto paper. Use a paintbrush to make the inner circle yellow and voila, you have a flower!

Handimals
You may know them as something else, but I love the term ‘handimals.’ These are essentially animals made from handprints, with added Sharpie and imagination. For example an upside down orange or brown hand print can easily be turned into a cheeky monkey by adding some facial features, whilst an orange hand the other way could be a lion with a big mane. If you’ve got googly eyes lying around, why not stick them on too for added fun. And if you’re feeling adventurous and imaginative (and are up for more mess!) then why not do ones with footprints too?!

Playing-with-rainbow-rice-indoor-toddler-craft-activitiesRainbow rice
We found this one on Made For Mums – which has LOADS of great ideas of things to do and interact with every day – and it’s surprisingly easy to do, as long as you have rice and different coloured paints! They suggest adding rice and paint (or food colouring) into sandwich bags – a separate bag for each colour you use – and shaking until all grains of rice are covered. We didn’t have sandwich bags so just used some old poly bags that were past their best for shopping and they worked just as well. Once the rice is covered, you need to lay it out until the paint dries. Then add all the colours to a big baking tray or similar, and let your child go wild with the colours and textures.

Marble painting
This one is a bit messy but fun. For this you need a baking tray (or other deep tray like a big lasagne dish), some paint, paper and some marbles. In the absence of marbles why not use bouncy balls, toy cars or anything round and/or on wheels. Lay the paper down on the tray and add some splodges of paint at random. Then roll your marbles along the tray – the momentum should carry them through the paint – and make some crazy works of art!

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mothers-day-crafts-for-toddlers
baby and toddler activities, Parenting

Mother’s Day Crafts for Toddlers

I can’t believe I’m almost celebrating my second Mother’s Day as a parent – time really does fly when you’re having fun! I don’t know about you, but Mother’s Day for me is more than just a card and gift kind of holiday, it’s about really giving back. It could be because my birthday is also in March (UK Mother’s Day peeps), so I don’t really want or need any additional gifts, or it could be because I find time and experiences as more valuable gifts than anything you could buy in a shop.

I just think, what could be better than giving back some love and care which has went into some hand-crafted tokens of appreciation? Things like handmade cards go a long way in my book, although obviously I won’t be making any of these with Travis for myself (I’m not that sad!), I know we’ll have fun creating memories as we craft. Hopefully the grandmammas who are in line to receive the crafts appreciate the homemade gifts!

Here are 5 Mother’s Day crafts you can do with your toddler:

 

Mothers-day-handmade-card-toddler-craftsHandmade Cards

Handmade cards are always a winner, and no doubt you will receive some from nurseries and schools anyway. All you need is some card, coloured pens/pencils, and any additional 3D materials you want to stick onto your card. We opted for tissue paper flowers this year, using coloured tissue wrapped into a flower shape and stuck on with some craft glue via a glue spreader. I’m considering adding some glitter that’s gathering dust in a drawer, but not sure the mess and glitter for days is worth it!

Mother’s Day token booklet

The value of the tokens is completely up to you. If your toddler is already speaking and communicating well, why not ask for their input on the tokens? For me, I’d like tea and coffee tokens so that I can have a hot drink or 2 made (probably by dad) on request, and possibly also enjoyed whilst hot! A couple of the tokens could contain chores such, like a laundry token or dish washing token, or even a simple tidy-up token that your little one can do. Here’s a link to an interesting pin I found with some simple token ideas.

 

handmade-mothers-day-plant-pot-decorate

Decorate a plant pot

Flowers are a common Mother’s Day gift, so why not go that one step further and really personalise this gift by getting crafty? Plant pots aren’t hard to come by – garden centres, B&M, Ikea or online stores like Amazon will have a range to choose from – and decorating them is fun and easy. Why not get your little one to help paint it in mum/grandma’s favourite colour? Or maybe glue on some coloured letters spelling “Happy Mother’s Day” or “Greatest Grandma” or something similar?

If plant pots and growing your own flowers doesn’t fit with your mum or grandmother, you could always try decorating a vase instead.

Breakfast in bed hamper

Growing up, it was always traditional for mum to have breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. How much myself or brother helped, without setting off the smoke detector, was another thing however. Depending on the age of your toddler, you might not think they are ready to help with the breakfast in bed just yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help prepare and decorate a breakfast hamper for mum. Many craft shops have small hamper baskets, or you can simply buy a small wooden box which can be painted and decorated. Why not help your toddler choose the contents (tea/coffee sachets, jam jar etc) and pack with shredded paper or cardboard – another sensory stimulant.

Mothers-day-personalised-photo-framePersonalised photo frame

What could be better than your toddler picking out their own unique memory of you or a grandparent and adding their own personal stamp. All you need is a treasured photo, and a plain photo frame that fits the chosen photo. B&M do loads in various plain colours and sizes. Then it’s entirely up to you – why not add polka dots in mum/gran’s favourite colour, or shade that matches the colours of their living room (or wherever you want the photo to be proudly displayed!). If you know that mummy likes flowers or stars for instance, you can always draw some on, or pick up some embellishments from your local craft store and stick those on. Similar to the plant pot, you can also add in a message like “Happy Mother’s Day” or “Best Mum/Gran in the World” or even a favourite quote or saying that’s meaningful to you.

 

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