Crafting with toddlers and preschoolers can be a lot of fun, and being creative is great for their development and self-esteem. Here are 5 tips for stress-free crafting with little ones.
1) Be Prepared - Most toddlers have a very short attention span for crafting, so having everything laid out in advance is always very helpful. (e.g. If the child is too young to use scissors and there is cutting involved, cut out the pieces in advance.)
2) Stock the Craft Cupboard - Always have craft supplies on hand so you are ready to go when the little ones get the urge to be creative. Some of my favorite supplies to keep on hand are: googly eyes, glue, colored paper, scissors, crayons, markers, paint, pom poms, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, and stickers. (I also like to have q-tips and dixie cups on hand to help little ones apply glue more easily.)
3) Keep it Simple - Toddlers and preschoolers don't want to sit for long periods of time making intricate crafts. Try to make things that are quick, easy, and interesting. (Click here for a fun frog face craft to get you started.)
4) Minimize Mess - Some days busy moms and dads don't have the time (or patience) to clean up big craft messes. Make clean up easy by covering the craft surface with a plastic tablecloth, use aprons to protect the children's clothing, and supervise use of super-messy supplies... like glitter. (Buying washable crayons, markers, and paint is also a great idea.)
5) Go Freestyle - Sometimes the best crafts are the ones that children do without any help. Set out some paper and crayons, and let the little ones scribble out a masterpiece. It isn't about the final product... it's about the process of being creative.
What is your best toddler/preschooler crafting tip?
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)