Toddler Blog

Silly Scrap Monsters

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

This quote got me thinking. Instead of doing my weekly craft supply run, what could we create using what we already have? And here, with some help from my favorite toddlers, the Silly Scrap Monsters were born!

Step 1 – Use an old piece of fabric or cloth for your monsters’ bodies. We had leftover red felt, which we haphazardly cut into an ovals, and it worked perfectly. Then glue each down on a separate piece of paper.

Step 2 – Add additional scrap material to give your monsters personality! Old easter basket grass served as our fur. Extra googly eyes and a spare cotton ball nose helped our creatures along. Then a medley of found gems, stickers, and beads created a silly monster smirk!

Step 3 – Use your crayons to play with adding some limbs. Yup, our monster on the right has 3 legs and 3 tails. Triple the silliness!

Our All Ages Craft Time Shopping List

If you have (or had) a Toddler, you probably already have the crafting basics: From markers to paint to paper. But sometimes the usual suspects just aren’t enough to fill a Saturday morning with crafting adventure! It may be time to reinvent your crafting cabinet with these…

1. Clothespins — Wooden clothespins can turn into paper dolls, tiny animal puppets, or part of a clothespin airplane! And once you’re done, reuse them to hang your favorite art pieces with some twine. Display your little Picasso’s work with pride!

2. Painters Tape — It is AMAZING! Use it to hang a big piece of paper on your garage door, and suddenly your kiddos are making giant murals! Indoors, try taping down different letters or shapes with the tape, then have your littles watercolor right over it. Peel the tape away and you’ll reveal a geometric art masterpiece!

3. Popsicle Sticks — Affordable and timeless! They become easy tree trunks when glued to construction paper. Add googly eyes to turn them into puppets. You can even put a few together to make a picture frame!

4. Feathers — You can use them in lieu of a paintbrushes for a softer stroke across the paper. Or incorporate them right into your art. Birds, butterflies, and faeries take flight once they have crafty wings to help them fly right off the page!

5. Tissue Paper — The silky pieces will make your collages even more beautiful to the sight and to the touch. Try cutting them into delicate flower petals. Or press pieces onto clear contact paper and you’ve made a special sun catcher!

Our Toddler Craft Time Shopping List

Making your family craft time more exciting can be an intimidating task for some parents. But you don’t have to be a Rembrandt with a Rockefeller budget to take your play to the next level. Investing in a few simple supplies can make all the difference. So take a peek at OUR TODDLER CRAFT TIME SHOPPING LIST!

1. Set of Washable Markers — We love the chubby little ones for our toddlers. Crayola’s Pip-Squeaks are made especially for tiny hands. Plus they come in the most vibrant colors!

2. Roll of butcher paper — You’ll never need to empty your computer printer’s paper tray again. These giant craft paper rolls last a long time. And you can even cover the entire table with them to protect your space.

3. Washable Tempera Paint — You can use a paintbrush, Qtips, plastic forks, or almost anything as a tool to dip into the messy fun! Buy the 3 primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow. Then encourage your child to mix their own custom-made shades on a paper plate palette. Bonus tip: Add a bit of water to each of your paints to make them last even longer!

4. Washable Glue Sticks — Give a kid a sticky glue stick, and you’ll see the biggest smile appear. Because even alone, it’s a sensory exploration in itself! Add some collage paper scraps, tin foil squares, or beads and the options are endless!

5.  Googly Eyes — Granted these are less basic than our supplies above, but they make such a huge difference. Googly eyes help all of our best creations come to life! Before you glue them down, try sorting them by size, shaking a bag of them to make a homemade shaker, or counting them in Spanish. Any supply can be used in many ways when you put a little imagination into it!

Ladybug Lost Her Spots!

Counting becomes fun when a Ladybug loses her spots! It’s part game, part craft, and all learning!

To play you’ll need a paper plate, red paint or crayon, glue, plus extra paper to precut a head & plenty of spots. Googly eyes come in handy too.

1. Have your little decorate the ladybug’s back (paper plate) red. Glue your bug’s head onto the top. But oh uh, this ladybug is missing her spots!

2. Next, hide the ladybug’s spots (black circles) around the room. Count aloud together as your toddler finds them. (We hid 12 because that’s as high as we know how to count!)

3. Now it’s time to glue the spots onto the ladybug’s back, hooray! You saved her spots and saved the day!

Spaghetti Splatter Art

This week we decided to take our art outside and soak up some August sun. If you’re ready to have some silly fun, try Spaghetti Splatter Art before the Summer is done!

A little leftover lunch and a few giant pieces of cardboard were our inspiration. You’ll need: cooked spaghetti, washable paint, and large paper.

First, encourage your little one to explore the slippery spaghetti hands on! How does it look, feel, smell, even taste?

Next, they can swirl the spaghetti strings around in different color paint. We chose a bright pink and a soft orange. You can even mix your own custom shades.

Now your kiddo can use their spaghetti as a silly paintbrush, whirling and twirling around the page. If you have a big enough canvas, toss or plop the spaghetti down too. This method makes for super modern splatter art and the best messy memories!

Recycled Stamp Making!

We can’t stop raving about RECYCLED STAMP MAKING!  Look how easy it is to do, and your toddlers will adore it too!

All you’ll need to play along are some recycled paper towel or toilet paper cores, washable paint, and paper.

Start by exploring the core itself. What color is it? What shape? Does it make a sound? Can you use it as a microphone? Can you peek right through it?

Choose your paper and paint colors. Littles should make each decision. Practice having them choose between two simple options. Watch your little artist’s confidence soar with each decision.

Now you’re ready to stamp! Dip one circular end into paint, then press it wet side down onto your paper. What shape did you make? Repeat with different colors. Next, try gently squeezing your core into an oval shape. After that, dip the middle in so you create a heart shaped stamp!

Fill up your page with the different shapes and colors. Let them overlap for added drama! Just remember to let your new, geometric masterpiece dry before hanging it up at the gallery!

Nature Detectives!

We took a wonderful walking tour last week on our Toddler Camp adventure. Tots explored trees, examined rocks, spied bugs, and much more. To bring some of the fun we had outdoors home with us, we created our own NATURE DETECTIVE ART!

Older kids took white crayons and drew all the different things we found on our hike onto white card stock paper. We helped little ones with this first step. You could barely see the shape of each until you held the page up to the light.

Then we used water color palettes and brushes to paint directly over the faint drawings. What happened next excited all of us. The more we painted, the more the drawings beneath the paint emerged. Sun rays, spider legs, and tree trunks became clearer and clearer!

This type of crayon resist art is easy to do in or outdoors and is a great way to continue your nature exploration even after the sun goes down!

Spice Painting!

Your little Picasso has created art that looks good, and maybe even feels good. But have they ever created art that smells good?

Kids of all ages love to explore smell, so this week try SPICE PAINTING!

Mix a bit of water and glue with some of the different spices you have in your cabinet. The brighter hued and strongest smelling work best. Think mint, curry, or cinnamon. You can even add a few drops of extract for extra scented fun. Dip your paintbrush in and try not to get hungry!

 

Exploring Our 5 Senses

Get ready for an adventure through Our 5 Senses with your own little explorer! It’s a sensory experience that promotes body awareness and belly laughter!

Start by “waking up” each sense. Toddlers love this one!
– Blink your eyes awake to see
– Wiggle your ears awake to hear
– Tap your nose awake to smell
– Stick your tongue out to taste
– Wiggle your fingers ready to touch

SEE: Start a game of Eye Spy. You can spy colors or shapes for bigger kids, or objects for littles to find.
HEAR: Play your favorite tunes with some pauses/freezes thrown in. Maybe a magic motion makes the music sound turn back on!
SMELL: Experiment with kitchen spices for bigger kids, or with aromatherapy spray for littles.
TASTE: Use your citrus fruits. A lemon slice & a clementine slice may look similar, but they certainly taste very different!
TOUCH: Explore what you already have in the house! Tin foil can be bumpy, plastic wrap feels smooth, tape is sticky, and cotton balls are soft.

Meet The Melted Snowman!

MEET THE MELTED SNOWMAN! He makes his way into our art room every year at this time.

Christmas in July is the perfect time to celebrate all the fun of the holidays, without any of the stress! No flights to book or shopping to do. Just jingle bells, candy canes, and a craft made for you!…

All you’ll need to make your own is: colored construction paper, scissors, and a mix of washable glue & white paint.

PreCut shapes for a top hat, button eyes, twig arms, and of course, a carrot nose. Or encourage bigger kids to draw and cut their own parts.

Paint your glue/ paint mixture on to a dark sheet of paper. Any white blob will look perfectly melted, it is July after all. Then stick on your precut shapes, in any creative way, to give this Summer Snowman your finishing touch!