As a child, one of my favorite things to do was pass an hour or two sitting at a table with a couple of sheets of paper and my pencils, and just draw. To be honest, every now and then I still get the overwhelming urge to grab some of Kayla’s art supplies and get busy. I ‘spose my love of arts and crafts makes it easier for me to get excited about creating and finding fun projects for the little ones in my life, and today I’m going to share some of those ideas with you.
Here are some ideas for the younger members of your family.
1. Paper Plate Masterpieces
This is a super simple activity and only requires a few things. By introducing activities like this from an early age, our little artists get to practice fine motor skills and co-ordination, as well as learning to focus on an activity and increasing their attention span. For this activity, you may want to use an old (preferably plastic) tablecloth to work on.
- Paper plates
- Paint brushes (thicker brushes are easier for younger hands to get a good grip on)
- Non-toxic or finger paint in as many colors as possible
- Additional items such as glitter, macaroni or colored tissues
1. Get your little one settled and explain to them that today you are going to be making some pretty pictures. Asking the older kids to help with setting up, such as laying out the table cloth or bringing some water or paper towel to the table is a great way to get older siblings involved in the fun.
2. Hand out a paper plate to each child and ask them to use their favorite colors to create a picture of something they love. Some ideas for this could be
- a sunset
- the ocean
- a forest
- a rainbow
- their favorite soft toy
- their favorite meal
3. Now jump in and be ready to help with squirting out paint, rinsing brushes etc.
4. Once the kids are almost done with their pictures, get the rest of the materials ready. Put out small shakers with colored glitter, a bowl of uncooked macaroni or pasta shapes or a few sheets of colored tissue. These things can be pressed down or shaken on to the paint while it’s still wet and should stick nicely.
And Wah lah! All done! Your little one has created a little masterpiece, now all that’s left to do is for you to have YOUR fun and get tidying up! (ha ha… sorry!)
2. Bath Paint
This is a great idea that I found online. It combines the joys of water play and painting and as a bonus is really easy to clean up afterwards.
- bath gel, shampoo or bodywash
- food coloring
- a muffin tray or empty yogurt pots
- paint brushes (once again, thicker brushes work better for younger children)
1. Pour a small amount of the bath gel or shampoo into each yogurt pot or space in the muffin tray. Stir in a few drops of food coloring and give it a gentle stir.
2. Get little one ready for bathtime. I personally prefer to put the kids in costumes so that the understand that this is a special activity and not normal bathtime. Run the bath to a level you are comfortable with, but make sure that you have an anti-slip runner in there so that the littles have a bit more freedom to move about (I assure you that they are going to want to!).
3. Get your little one into the tub and find a good spot on the rim for the paint pots to stand. This should be within easy reach of where you are going to be sitting, and don’t laugh, but I suggest bringing a small stool or a little cushion to sit on. This could take a while 🙂
4.Now all that’s left to do is let your little one wild and watch them have the time of their life! You can make suggestions such as asking them to paint the tap or a few bath tiles a certain color or you can just let them have fun, totally up to you! The important thing is seeing that smile on their face!
3. Pasta Necklaces with fishy ‘charms’
This makes a great holiday activity, too. Instead of ‘fishies’, cut out holiday shapes such as hearts or Christmas trees.
- Uncooked tube-shaped pasta, dyed or painted in bright colors
- Construction paper or thick card
- A hole punch
- Shoelace (18 inches or longer)
- Cut 3- to 4-inch-long fish shapes (or the shape you choose to do) from various colors of construction paper then punch a hole for an eye in each fish.
- Show your little one how to string the pasta alternately with the fish shapes onto the shoelace; tie the ends together to make a necklace. (Instead of using tube-shaped pasta, you can use straws cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths, but these will be more difficult for toddlers to string.)
As I said, I will be adding more activities as often as I can. In the meantime, feel free to check out some of the other activity pages here on our site, there are loads of fun things to do, and I’m sure you’ll find somthing that tickles your fancy. Have fun!