Spending time doing arts and crafts with your child is rewarding and educational. This time will allow you to bond and share experiences, and young children love to keep the picture or creation you have made together as a special memento. There are many specialist sites and blogs featuring some ingenious ideas for you to try with your little learner. Below are just a selection of some of our favorites!
The inspiration that can be taken from a simple handprint is amazing. We find it easiest to set up some safe water-based paint on disposable plates, then make some random handprints onto paper. Once this is done the messy paint can be cleaned away and when the handprints are dry, pens or crayons can come out to complete the pictures. As soon as we glance at the dry prints the ideas come flooding in – and of course, you can use footprints and fingerprints too! We love these designs.
Toilet Paper Roll Chinese Dragon
We love recycling and using things that we have around the house, or that would otherwise be thrown away. This toilet roll tube Chinese dragon is a perfect candidate. A little more complex, we think this might be for over 4’s with plenty of assistance, but what great results! You can use them to decorate a room for parties or hang them from a tree outside.
These paper fans are super-simple and you can make them using any color or design that your child chooses. A little cold for these now, but kids love these on a hot day, to make something pretty and functional is really rewarding when you are a very little learner. These make great personal gifts for family and friends on a summer’s day too, a perfect craft to make now and have for the summer!
Lolly Stick Flowers
Yet again we can be environmentally friendly here by making use of something we would otherwise throw away for these flowers. Wash and keep ice cream or lollipop sticks for this super-simple creation. Colored paper, tissue paper, felt, cotton wool or fabric can all be used to make the leaves, petals and center.
Paper Plate Fish
For this one you may need to pick up some low-cost paper plates for these fish. Water-based thick poster paint is usually best, or acrylics can be used by older children if all surfaces are protected. If you can, get hold of some of these googly eyes, which you should be able to order online. We find that they are good for so many other projects too. Even sticking them to fruit and vegetables has made for hilarious results. Otherwise old buttons or paper eyes can be just as effective.
Hands-on activities like these are an essential part of early childhood development. State-of-the-art childcare centers such as the See Us Grow in Branford, CT and Wallingford, CT, use arts, crafts and activity-based learning as an important part of their early educational curriculum. No one ever said learning needed to be boring!