Toddlers are a whirlwind of energy with an inquisitive soul. They have an immense desire to learn and to constantly be busy and entertained. The only problem with this is that most 2-year-olds have a very short attention span, so activities have to be short with instant results.
During the warmer months that energy can be burned off in the playground, swimming or out for a walk and a picnic. However, when the weather begins to change for the worse, that energy is still there and needs to be channeled in a positive way. This is where craft activities can be a saviour for parents who are constantly trying to entertain that inquisitive mind.
Here are some ideas for craft activities that you can do at home with your toddler. Most require little planning so can be done with little to no notice.
One of my favourite crafts to do with my 2 and 1-year-old boys is to make playdough. It is simple to make and yet keeps them entertained for hours. Bonus is that if they eat it which most will at least try at some point, it is completely harmless.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
- Food colouring, optional
- Quart sized bags
Mix all the ingredients together and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough forms a ball and then remove from the heat. Divide the dough into balls, depending how many colours you want. Add a few drops of food colouring to each ball and knead until all the colour is mixed evenly. Keep in a ziplock bag and it should last around 3 months. To create even more fun you can add glitter to your dough. This is one of the best playdough recipes and my boys loved it.For those of you, like myself that still like to get out into nature even once the sunshine has gone, this activity is fantastic. My two boys and I go for a walk to our local park, woods or nature trail, while walking around we pick up some autumn leaves, twigs, acorns, conkers etc. We take these home and make some autumn-themed leaf painting or collage.
First, choose which leaves you are going to use, different shapes will give you a nice variety. Once you have chosen 3 or 4 leaves, they need to be placed flat on a piece of paper and using a sponge or brush dap the paint over them, ensuring that you cover all the edges. Then lift the leaves to reveal the awesome pattern.
This is a great craft for helping with toddler development. Problem-solving skills are developed as they work out what colours they need to mix to make a new one. This also helps their language skills as they talk about their walk and what they saw and collected.