Wednesday, October 19, 2016

crafting with a toddler and preschooler

Our kids - Elden especially - are super into arts and crafts. Having a toddler who wants to do everything her big brother does somewhat complicates our crafting dynamic because of the obvious differences in listening abilities / fine motor skills. These are just some products/crafts that we've used that both kids have enjoyed and haven't been a total disaster for us:
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Make Your Own Gummy Worms kit: this one obviously included a fair amount of grown up help/supervision, but there were no riots; both kids enjoyed it; and we've already gotten 3 uses out of it. I definitely recommend it!

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Play-Doh Breakfast Time Set: Play-Doh is a big time favorite in our house and our kids require minimal supervision since they know the rules (we're sticklers about not mixing colors, playing with it at the kitchen table, etc). My sister got this set for the kids last Christmas and they still regularly play with it. Also, since there are enough pieces in it they can share easily without raging against one another.

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Make-a-Meal Sticker Pad: My mom got this for the kids when we went to Delaware and they are still playing with it. You have a blank picture and then all the food stickers. Edith is less interested in this than Elden, but she still participates. My mom also found a make-a-face book of Halloween creatures (witches, ghosts, Frankenstein, etc.) at a local craft shop that Elden is obsessed with.  

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Amos Silky Crayons: My cousin, Laura, got these for the kids and they have been a total game changer. They glide on super smoothly with minimal pressure - so Edith is able to color vibrant colors (something she can get frustrated about with regular crayons), they're thicker for small hands and they can be pushed up when the tip gets dull. Be warned that they can be messy so this is definitely a kitchen table only crayon, but if/when we run out (we've been using them regularly for months and still show no signs of needing more) we will definitely be buying them again.

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Suncatcher Kits: We admittedly just attempted this for the first time on Monday, but it was a much bigger hit than I anticipated. Elden really took it seriously but didn't get frustrated - something he is prone to do if his projects don't turn out exactly how he envisions them (gets that lovely attribute from his mom). Edith was more interested than I expected and worked on hers for a solid ten minutes. I may buy a bulk case of these, but if you only want one or two, we found the Halloween ones the kids made Monday at Michael's for a buck a piece.

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Create Your Own Bitty Books kit: We have admittedly not done this yet, but I am seriously considering picking this kit up for the winter months when we are going stir crazy inside. Elden's thing lately has been drawing monsters. Tens of hundreds of monsters. He specifically requests we staple his monster drawings together so he can have a monster book that he made, so I'm pretty sure he would be thrilled with an actual bound book to put his artwork in. Plus, it would be a nice keepsake for us to have and look back on when he's older. Edith would likely be less excited about this option, but since she does color a lot I'm sure she would still enjoy it.

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Crayola Washable Paint: The kids LOVE painting. We like this paint because they can use it as finger paint or with a brush and it is washable. The kids request to paint at least 1-2x per week and it keeps them entertained for a while. We tape their paper down with painter's tape while they work and put the paint on disposable plates that we reuse for this purpose.

Some other honorable mentions for activities the kids enjoy doing with our help: baking/cooking (or mixing) just about anything; those little magic marker papers you can find in the Dollar Spot at Target; anything foam that involves making your own design (decorations, masks, etc.). I already created a whole Pinterest board dedicated to crafts I hope to do with the kids over maternity leave - but I am trying not to have too lofty expectations of myself during that time.

Linking up with Jenn & Jessi!

6 comments:

  1. Oh this is great! I was just searching Pinterest for things I could do with my 18month old! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes! Thank you for sharing this...mine is 4, and would go crazy over the DIY gummy worms! ;)

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    2. Both my kids are seriously obsessed! I haven't had luck tracking down refill gelatin packets so I will likely have to just find a recipe/ingredients for that to keep using.. so if/when I do so I will make sure to share that. I also saw another DIY kit by the same brand on Zulily yesterday - glow lollipops! So this particular company seems to know what our kids like!

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    3. Oh! I found a few easy recipes to DIY gummies!
      http://www.allroadsleadtothe.kitchen/2014/08/how-to-make-easy-homemade-gummy-bears.html or http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2015/04/make-your-own-gummy-candy.html - basically the same thing. Can't wait to keep using the mold we have!

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  2. This is a great post! I'm a Spark leader (youngest branch of Girl Guides here in Canada) and I'm always looking for craft ideas that are good for all the learning levels in the group and can be done fairly quickly.

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