Toddlers are a special blend of curiosity ,new found independence, kindness, and chaos. That is why I adore this age group and am amazed at how many wonderful things they can create and learn if given the chance. These easy Easter activities give toddlers that chance to explore their curiosity and creativity as well as work on important skills like hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, pre-literacy and pre-math skills too. Activities with this age group ( 1-3 years old) tend to be quick. That is age appropriate so don’t force kids to keep going when they are done. One trick I loved using while teaching was to offer more materials as the activity goes on … ” Do you want glitter? I just found pink paint do you want some? ” I would never require it but offering options in smaller doses lets them process it all carefully and sometimes it stretches out the activity, sometimes it doesn’t. Have a basket of Easter themed books ready to extend the activity further. You can check out some of our favorite Easter books here.
Snow has clobbered many of you along with freezing temps but here in the Pacific North West we are still green and wet and needed to make our own snow . Whether you are in sunny Florida or too cold to go outside Minnesota you can play with snow and stay warm while you do with this fun indoor winter activity for kids . This is a fun exploration that is opened ended and really encourages creativity. My daughter ran with it and I love what she made. She has always wanted to make a snowman and even though we’ve never had enough snow ( that she can remember) to make one she managed to make one with this winter activity .
Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape ( you could use real tape but it might muck up your windows), cotton balls, q-tips ( some cu in half) , cotton pads and a window!
Then she discovered that dabbing the cotton ball created little puffs of cotton on the window. Very similar to when we made a pompom window last year.
I loved watching her and really didn’t get involved at all. This was all her. She explored textures, shapes, and cause and effect with serious intent while also working on fine motor skills and storytelling as she went.
Books About SnowAll our book lists include affiliate links to Amazon.com
Un-Brella by Scott Franson is such a cool book. There is not a single line of text in the book , and it’s not missing a thing! The illustrations are so vivid, so layered and tell the story perfectly. A little girl has a magical umbrella that brings sun on a snowy day and snow when her yard is green and sunny. My 2 year old was beside himself laughing and saying “No no” to the little girl wearing her swim suit in the snow. Grab this book and enjoy!
Snow! Snow! Snow!by Lee Harper captures the excitement of a snow day spent sledding and defying gravity for those precious few moments as you zoom down the hill. My son gave the book a thumbs up but my daughter wasn’t as into it although when the 3 dogs in the book landed with a thump both kids were giggling. Edited to add : The next morning my daughter ran to this book and smiled the whole way through loving it! Funny how 8am reading gets a different response than 5pm after a long day.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic. Some classics are the type of books that lose their relevance and leave readers wondering what the hype is about. This book is timeless. A little boy goes exploring in the snow and discovers his world in a new way. The illustrations are magical and the way that they convey the emotions this little boy experiences throughout the day are nothing short of perfect.
Thanksgiving is on Thursday but it’s not too late to plan some fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for your toddler. These activities were all done with my kids when they were toddlers ( 18 months – 3 years old) but have been repeated when they were older so rest assured that older siblings will love to join in on these easy Thanksgiving activities too. Check out our tips below to make these crafts even easier and more successful with your children.
This post is filled with advice for crafting with toddlers from accepting mess aversion to choosing good tools like plastic plates but this is my favorite –>
Tip: If your child uses a booster for meals pop them in it when you are doing messy art too. This will relax you so you can both enjoy creating without worrying about Jr. running for the living room covered in red paint.
Explore the texture of the bubble wrap and have fun with this easy activity. Be prepared for aversion too. My son hated it the first time so we rolled with it . Later we followed this favorite tip for success.
Tip: wrap the bubble wrap around a rolling pin for easy printing.
Use glitter glue for a lower mess glitter craft.
Tip : Use baby wipes for messy hands if a sink isn’t right there. They have saved use from many big messes.
We use mini pumpkins as decorations throughout the fall. A few days before Thanksgiving cut one open and paint with it.
Tip: For kids that aren’t keen on wearing smocks find a few tee shirts at a garage sale that you don’t care if it’s stained forever and wear those on painting days.
This has never been our most popular Thanksgiving craft but my kids loved making it so I love sharing it.
Tip: When doing handprint crafts with toddlers that call for multiple hand cut outs layer multiple papers under tracing and cut instead of tracing their hands multiple times.
If you aren’t ready to hand your child scissors yet this activity is great. Tearing paper still builds hand muscles that are required for later scissor and handwriting skills.
Tip : Pre-cut strips of paper that are manageable for little hands.
Mess is hard for a lot of parents. I get it because I try to keep my house in order too and kids have a way of following behind us and messing up what was just cleaned. Sensory play is so valuable for kids as they explore cause and effect, measurement, imaginative play, and more.
Tip : If your child is prone to dumping sensory materials have them sit on a carpeted floor. The materials won’t scatter as far ( or be as much fun to dump) and will be easy to vacuum up.
Painting with turkey basters is fun and squeezing the bulb is actually great for hand strength too. Yes it’s messy but the post is filled with tips to minimize it including –>
Tip : When painting with tools like a turkey baster after painting pop the kid and the tool into the bath and let them get clean together. After the bulk of the paint it off in the bath you can put the tool into the dishwasher for a final clean.
Toddlers may not be able to read and write yet but they can express likes and dislikes. Use a thankful box to teach them to show appreciation for those things they like by modeling.
Tip : When teaching abstract concepts like being thankful to toddlers including a concrete activity like making the box or decorating a jar for the tokens of appreciation to be kept in can create a connection that simple talking about being thankful may not.
This post is a perfect example about being flexible with toddlers. My son who was 3 at the time wanted to include his construction vehicles in the play. With a a few simple additions I was able to include them in and the craft took on an element of imaginative play too.
Tip : Be flexible and let your toddler have some control over their creation.
What is your best tip for crafting with toddlers?
Beading is such an awesome fine motor activity because it combines so many skills that young kids are working to master. It works on pincer grasp and hand eye coordination while placing the beads on the string or ribbon but you can work in patterning, color recognition, and counting too. The problem with beading though is that it can frustrate children easily. You must strike a balance of challenge and success to avoid melt downs, or kids just deciding that the activity is no fun. Below you will see how I set up beading with my daughter who will bead for ages provided she can do it with little help. Over the years doing beading projects with preschoolers have taught me a few tricks to make it a smooth process and I am sharing them with you.
Cut your ribbon to the size you want and tape one end to the table using painters tape. This prevents the beads from falling off the end . Also using a thicker ribbon makes it so that if your child does drop the end the beads won’t come flying off.
Best of all was how proud she was of her accomplishment and since she made the necklace all by herself withe the exception of tying the ends together it really felt like an independent accomplishment. Then she was off to play with her garlic press and bulldozer. Bet you never thought you’d hear those two words in the same sentence. Kids are rad.
Do you have any tips for beading with kids ? I would love to hear them !
We have a lot of pompoms which isn’t a bad thing because we like them. We use them for crafts like this octopus , we use them for apples trees and the letter c. Today though I want to share an activity with no agenda at all. There is no final product, no right or wrong way to do it it’s just about exploration. You child can explore textures, sizes , colors and even basic physics. Most of all they will be having fun. My daughter loved this and didn’t just explore with her hands, you will see she got her whole body into it.
Gather your materials. You will need some pompoms ( you don’t need a vat of them like I have a handful will be fine too), some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors, and a curious child.
Pop some pompoms in a container and invite your child to explore. She started just adding the pompoms but when she added a really large one that was too heavy to stay on she noticed it left a residue of fluff.
We kept this up for a while and have redone it since. It’s easy peasy and as long as you don’t find the inevitable spill or two of colorful pompoms it’s a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite way to use pompoms?