Art & Craft Activities for toddlers and babies

Art & Craft Activities provide a medium to give meaning to your toddler's thoughts and experiences.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

Mary Lou Cook

Well, this quote summarizes all the toddler activities, which is nothing but essence of his imagination and creativity. I cannot describe in words the joy a toddler gets when first time he is given a crayon or pencil to scribble, this gives him a sense of accomplishment and opportunity to paint, whatever is in his mind.

I think, I’ve said enough to emphasize the importance of Art & Craft Activities on toddlers, but here are few more reasons:

  • Encourage Creativity and Imagination
  • Enhance observation power and exploration
  • Eye-Hand Co-ordination
  • Likelihood of learning about colours and shapes
  • Concentration Improvement
  • Help energetic child to sit for longer period of times

Creativity is a natural instinct possessed by every child which shapes his personality and develops his manual dexterity. Let us learn about various types of Art & Craft Activities that can help him to enhance his creative and imaginative skills.

  • Crayons: I think the first thing we all parents do is, that we provide crayons to our kids and observe a thrill in our kids when they first scribble on paper and could see different colours and shapes coming out of it. I remember my son just got so much absorbed with this activity that it has been one of his favorite activity till date.
  • Finger painting: I know you must be thinking it’s messy, but believe me it’s one of the most enjoyable activities for our kids. Initially, let them explore on their own on paper. For two year and older toddlers you can come up with many ideas:
    • Draw an aquarium and let your kid draw and colour fishes using his thumb.
    • Draw a flower and let your kid use index finger to colour the petals.
    • Ask the child to make finger prints on art paper neatly. After that they should make different shapes with different sketch pens like bird, fish, flower, peacock etc.There can be many such ideas, just enlighten your creative side.
  • Play Dough or Clay: Squeeze it, roll it, pull it, shape it and make imprints in it with various objects, simply explore your imagination. Non-toxic colourful play dough is a delight for any toddler. You will be amazed to see their involvement, when they are given play dough.
  • Brush Painting: In the third year, many toddlers enjoy painting with paintbrush and tempera paints. A brush with a thick handle is easier to hold than a slender one and yields bold strokes. Again, you have to help your child by first letting him do the free hand painting and then drawing pictures for him to colour in. Always appreciate your toddler’s effort when he tries to colour in to the pictures. For an intriguing mirror image effect, have your toddler paint just one side of the paper and fold the other side. This is how my son made his first greeting card on his dad’s birthday.
  • Vegetable Printing: You may be amazed to know that how various vegetables cut through root and dipped in tempera paints can be used to give some interesting patterns and pictures:
    • Design by Onions: Give your child an onion cut horizontally and vertically. Use it as stamp to stamp the paper with different colours and create amazing patterns.
    • Making a potato-print plant: Take a medium sized potato and cut into four pieces. Make a flower using these potatoes, you can draw leaves as well and use a perpendicular piece to draw the stem.
    • Design by Ladyfinger: Draw a flowery bush and ask your kid to make petals using cut ladyfinger, it gives marvelous patterns and flower look quite beautiful.
  • Sponge Painting: Sponges that come in animal shapes or ordinary kitchen sponges that you can cut into fanciful shapes, dipped in a bit of tempera paint and pressed onto paper, making an interesting medium that’s easy for little fingers to manage.Other Interesting alternatives to paint brushes: cotton swabs, feathers, old toothbrushes or nail paint brushes.
  • String Painting: Take several strings of different widths and have your toddler dip them in paint, then drag them across a large sheet of paper. Amazing patterns come up with it.
  • Rubber Stampings: Store-brought rubber stamps in animals and alphabets shapes are fun for older toddlers – but be sure that this activity is well supervised or you may find your home decorated with these stamps all over the well.
  • Chalks: Chunky pieces of chalk in bright colours are irresistible to most toddlers. You can get a chalk board and see your toddler’s imagination as combination of colours and patterns on that board. Chalk can also be used on construction paper, black paper holds chalk well and your toddler may be thrilled to find that something hold on the black background as well.
  • Rubbings: Place a piece of white paper over an object that has an interesting texture – a piece of bark or leaf for instance. Then have your toddler rub a crayon back and forth firmly on the paper to have a fascinating effect.
  • Colouring Books: These days lots of variety of colouring books are available in the market and you are the best judge to decide which one is appropriate for your kid, but here are a few varities of books available:
    • Magic Pencil Books: These books contain white sheets and rubbing pencil on them, bring hidden pictures to live, something ideal for beginners as it just needs scribbling on part of toddlers and still beautiful pictures emerge out it.
    • Magic Painting: In these books, simply apply water with a brush and see the magic of colours. The books are sure to enthrall children as they experience the magic of colours emerging on pages with just with the touch of their brush.
    • Crayon Colouring book: These books are specifically created to introduce crayon-colouring and show children how best to produce neat and attractive drawings. Coloured drawings have been given on one side which act as guidelines. The child is, however, free to use his own imagination.
    • Activity Books: These books are specially designed for toddlers to start enjoying various forms of creative drawings, that include join the dots, puzzles, mazes, colouring etc. it is not only funny and entertaining but also helpful in improving natural creative power of the children. These books also help to stimulate a child’s reasoning power and meant for older toddlers.
    • Wipe & Clean Activity Books: These books allow a child to make mistakes, wipe them away and try the activity or puzzle again. It is an enjoyable and simple way to learn.
    • Paper Models Books: These books provide simple cutouts inside just to fold and paste them according to instructions & they will be delighted to see beautiful butterflies, racing car, boat, houses, aeroplane and many more fabulous objects made by them. These books help the kids to develop power of observations, imagination and construction skills.
  • Collages: With this medium, anything goes. Bits of fabric, feathers, macroni, beans, seeds, beads and buttons, clippings from magazines, glitter just about any lightweight household material can be glues with supervision and nontoxic washable glue available easily in the market. A trip to the park can yield innumerable materials for nature collage: leaves, acorns, small pine cones, twigs, small stones, sand, can be painted or otherwise decorated on paper or cardboard collage.
  • Origami (Paper Folding): Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding to create interesting objects of different shapes. It is both thrilling and pleasing to find how, with the help of a piece of paper, one can create almost endless items of different shapes. This fascinating activity provides ample scope to the creative talents of children and offers hours of endless entertainment. It is one the most delightful activity.
  • Scissors: Older toddlers like to practice cutting paper with scissors. These days, children safe scissors are available on all stationary shops. These scissors are specially designed lest the toddler gets hurt.