5 Minute Crafts for Toddlers
We have a lot of fun with our toddlers, but those kids are always on the go. For people without any real obligations, toddlers move about like they have a full schedule and places to be, don’t they? Considering their speed and their age, toddlers don’t always have the patience or attention span for lengthy crafts – which means parents have to be extra creative.
Crafts Are Good for Kids
We melt when our kids give us their art to put on the fridge. Not only does giving you something they made give them a sense of pride and accomplishment, it’s also an opportunity for you to help boost their self-esteem. Crafting also unleashes a toddler’s creativity, helping them build their imagination.
The physical act of crafting benefits toddlers too. Even the least crafty toddlers grow their developmental skills from creating something with their hands. Crafts help improve both gross and fine motor coordination and help them understand spatial orientation. Teaching them to make something with their hands, especially with crafts that require repetitive motions, also helps little ones improve focus and discipline.
All of these benefits happen without your child being aware of it. They do crafts to have fun and experience new activities during their busy days.
What kind of crafts are best for toddlers?
Most toddlers need a craft that’s simple and fast. To keep craft time fun, it’s recommended to do crafts that don’t require too many steps and don’t use elements that are too small or finicky for little fingers. Complicated crafts with many steps may make toddlers feel frustrated or lose interest entirely.
During craft time, keep a close watch on your little bubs, especially if they like to stick things into their mouth or if they’re learning to use scissors. Based on their age and abilities, use your judgement about which crafts your toddler can manage.
Need Some Crafting Ideas?
Getting started may seem intimidating (especially if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person). Here are some ideas that don’t require many materials and are simple for you to make.
1. Pasta Necklaces
- Dry penne noodles
- Wax paper
Paint the pasta with bright colours and let it dry on wax paper, so the noodles don’t stick. Cut string long enough for a necklace. Put a wide tab of tape on one end of the string to prevent the pasta from sliding off as your little one puts noodles on it. Wrap the threading end of the string tightly with tape to make it less flimsy and easier for toddlers to push through the noodles. Once the string has enough pasta to look fabulous, tie the ends together and cut off the tape. Presto! Homemade jewellery.
2. Potato Stamps
- Paint, stamp pad, or markers
Parents can cut potatoes in half and carve simple shapes into them, like a square, circle, triangle, or star. If you’re pretty good at carving, you can make more intricate shapes like ladybugs or cars. Have your little one dip the potato stamp into paint, colour it with a marker, or use an ink pad to stamp the shapes across the paper. When finished, rinse off the potatoes and put them in the compost.
3. Cardboard Vase
- Felts, crayons, or paint
- Hole punch
Use a piece of cardboard about the size of the front of a cereal box. Parents or toddlers can draw the shape of a vase on the bottom half. Have your little one colour the vase with markers, crayons, or paint. On the top half, punch several little holes above the vase in random areas.
Take your little ones outside for a walk. If you come across dandelions or other flowers that are allowed to be picked, have your little one put the stem of the flower through the hole in the cardboard. Over the course of the walk, they can fill up their vase with real flowers. This vase can be refilled again and again. When your little one is through with it, or it becomes torn from use, recycle and make a new one!
4. Painting Rocks
This one is usually a hit because you can start by hunting for rocks and then cleaning them off (another activity to keep them busy). Once the rocks are dry, lay out some newspaper or other paper to keep an area tidy, and paint the rocks together.
If children paint the rocks solid colours, parents can add details to turn them into friendly animal (or monster) faces, or paint details to make them look like food (a white rock just needs a yellow circle to turn into an egg, a light green rock needs a brown circle to become an avocado, you get the idea). Once the paint dries, you have rocks that can be used for other imaginative play.
DIY Moon Sand
- 8 cups of plain flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Food colouring (optional)
- Cooking extracts (optional)
Sure, DIY play dough is an option, but moon sand is just as fun with a different sensory texture.
Mix the flour and oil together to create a mess-free version of wet sand. You can add food colouring to it to give it a different hue or give it a scent with a couple drops of cooking extract like mint or lemon.
Moon sand holds its shape well, but crumbles easily with a bit of pressure like wet sand at the beach. Unlike sand, it brushes off of hands and clothes easily when playtime is finished. Be careful as it can leave traces of oil behind, so moon sand is best played with on a hard surface that’s easy to wipe clean.
- Dot stickers
- Pen or pencil
If you want enough time to drink your coffee while it’s hot, this craft keeps your toddler quiet and busy for several minutes (and it’s essentially mess-free!). Parents can write their child’s name in big letters across a piece of paper. Give your toddler simple dot stickers and have them peel the stickers and use them to trace the letters of their name. Just keep an eye on your little bubs to make sure the stickers stay on the paper and don’t end up on the family pet.
Natural Sun Catchers
- Items required:
- Paper plates
- Contact paper
- Hole punch
Finally, a craft to go with all the natural treasures your little one makes you bring home from your walks! Take your little one out to collect flower petals, leaves, grass, small twigs, and other natural materials.
The paper plate makes the frame of the sun catcher. Parents can cut out the center of a paper plate and stick a square of contact paper to the back of it, so the sticky side is face up when the plate is on the table. Have your toddler arrange their nature items on the contact paper – it’s sticky enough to hold the leaves, but the leaves can be rearranged if your child likes. When they’re finished, punch a hole at the top of the paper plate and hang it in the window using string and tape.
Toddlers enjoy novelty. Introduce them to these quick and easy crafts for some new experiences and ways to play.
What kinds of crafts do you do with your toddler? Tell us below in the comments!