Spring is here, and it’s the best time of year to introduce your toddler to the joys of arts and crafts. Parents may hesitate to let such young children have access to art supplies, but the benefits of creativity start early. Toddlers can learn the names of all the colors, how different colors mix together, and how to make representations of their favorite things, from animals to flowers.
Here are five great spring projects to get your child excited about arts and crafts. Before you start, protect your work surface and the floor. It is also a great idea to make sure your child is wearing play clothes that can be stained. You can also buy little smocks for budding artists.
1. Coffee Filter Flowers
Put a drop of food coloring in each compartment of an ice cube tray. Add water. Teach your child to paint with the food coloring on white coffee filters to make flowers with a tie-dyed effect. Your children will love seeing their works of art on the wall.
2. Make Bird Feeders
Spring is a wonderful time to learn about the creatures that live outdoors in nature. The very smallest toddlers can be taught to put oat cereal on a pipe cleaner to make a simple bird feeder. Show the child how to put the oat cereal on the feeder. When you’re done, simply twist the end into a hook and hang it on a tree.
3. Make a Spring Wreath with Tissue Paper
This classic craft introduces young children to the magic of glue. Simply cut the centers out of paper plates to make wreath forms. Then encourage your child to wad up squares of tissue paper and glue them onto the wreath body. When you’re finished, you could add a colorful bow and hang this as part of your family spring décor.
4. Carrot Footprints
This adorable craft is great for Easter or for any time when you want to brighten your home with fresh spring colors. Get orange tempera paint and paint the bottoms of your child’s feet. Let him or her make a footprint on a piece of cardstock. When the paint is dry, cut out the footprint and add green paper “leaves” to your carrot.
5. Lambs made of Handprints
Trace the child’s hand on a piece of black paper. Cut out the hand shape. Help your child dip cotton balls in glue and fix them on the palm area. Have your child draw a face and hooves on the lamb. If your child is very young, you could draw the face and hooves for him or her.