My 6 year old was home from school this week and I tried to cram in as much fun as we could including a little early St.Patrick’s Day craft. Between a visit from the grandparents, watching The Princess Bride twice , 2 ferry rides and a trip to the aquarium we did a ton of activities. This was his favorite . Salad spinner art is a ton of fun and it’s not a bad work out either. You can find a cheap salad spinner like this one at Ikea for under $4!
- Gather your materials. You will need some paper plates or other sturdy paper , paint ( water it down just a little) and a salad spinner.
- Start by drawing your shamrock or rainbow on the plate. Draw them on both sides so you have a good guide for cutting later after it’s dry.
- Cut the extra off the plate . Fitting in cutting curves is something I am trying to do more for my son who is still working hard at that skill.
- Pour! We poured a little too much but if there is too much just scoop some off.
- Next up rainbow colors. It gets a little messy but all fun things do !
- Next we thought we’d do some color mixing. So we got out our thinner Melissa & Doug Poster Paints and poured them in.
- Carefully watched as it spattered while it spun.
- It turned sorta grey so we added some other green paint and spun it again. I love this picture because it shows out painting experiment which is what my son was calling it. I just liked seeing him so engaged even though he has done more than his fair share of art projects over the last 5 years. I am thankful he is still curious.
- Let everything dry and cut out.
Crafts for toddlers often has more than one goal. My main goal is special time together but often I have a secondary goal like fine motor development, learning colors, or sensory play. My daughter is 20 months old and I have no laundry list of things I want her to know at this age , my goal is to expose her to lots of fun activities and see what she takes a liking to. She loves water play so I thought she might like to try puffy paint again, I was right. This is a great activity for preschoolers too, don’t think simple crafts like this are only for toddlers.
- Gather your materials. You will need some plain old shaving cream, green paint ( darker the better), something to stir with , plain white glue, a marker , scissors and heavy paper.
- Start by drawing a shamrock on heavy paper don’t worry about it being even close to perfect you will be slopping and squishing puffy paint all over it!
- Time to mix. My son who was playing Lego in the playroom but didn’t want to make a craft did pop up to help mix. I do this so often I don’t measure anymore. I usually use about a cup of shaving cream to about 1/4 cup of glue. Then add the paint until it’s the color you want. Ours was greener than it looks but definitely a mint green.
- Start playing.
- She wasn’t sure at first.
- But soon both her hands were squishing, spreading and exploring.
- Yay fun !! We played and played.
- She was not happy when I told her it was time to wash hands.
- But washing the container in the sink was a great treat… for both of us.
- Let dry (at least 24 hours so the paint stays puffy even after you cut into it) and cut out.
Are you sick of these marshmallow crafts? I hope not because I love them! The novelty of using marshmallows as a craft material can intrigue even the least interested little crafter. We did this last week when we had an unexpected but very fun playdate . It was fun to see how exciting the marshmallows were for my son’s friend who’d never made crafts with them before. It’s a fun way of adding some counting and fine motor skills into a simple St.Patrick’s Day craft.
- Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper ( my fave are brown grocery bags), some multi colored mini marshmallows, a marker, green crayons or markers, scissors and white glue.
- Start by cutting open your bag and drawing a shamrock.
- Color it. We used all different shades of green because I have been teaching my son about how a color can have many shades and doesn’t always look exactly the same. Also it’s pretty.
- The boys had a race to see who could color the fastest – they both won, my table did not.
- Add the glue along the outline.
- Add the marshmallows.
- How we avoid too many marshmallows going into little mouths is to give numbers they have to reach and count on the shamrock before they can eat one.
- Let dry.
- Cut around the shamrock.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the kids and I made these cute four leaf clover bouquets. The idea for this craft struck me when I was making a Valentine’s Day heart wreath. All you will need are toilet paper rolls, green paint, green chenille stems, scissors, and a hole punch.
Have your little one paint the toilet paper roll with the green paint. Be sure to get it covered inside and out.
Once dried (we let ours dry overnight) bend the roll in the shape of a heart.
Use your scissors (big kids can cut this, but little ones will have a very hard time) to cut slices a little less than an inch wide.
Use your hole punch to make a hole very close the the bottom tip of the heart.
You can have your little one thread a chenille stem through the holes on four hearts. Then turn the end and twist it to the stem tightly. Be sure to fold the exposed tip over to avoid the metal poking your child.
This is the final result. I wanted to get pictures of my daughter threading the hearts and holding the clovers, but we were having a toddler meltdown moment about getting our picture taken.
These make great four leaf clover wands, you know to turn things green or make rainbows appear. You can use them for decoration. You can always use your four leaf clovers for something more fun. Like maybe something to diffuse a toddler meltdown…a silly mommy.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
Friendship is something that should be cherished and making something special for a friend is a great way to show friends how much they mean to you. Shrinky dinks can be found at any large craft store or here Shrinky Dinks Craft Kit. They are fast and fun to watch shrink , these can be made into zipper pulls, key chains or necklaces.
- Gather your materials. You will need some shrinky dink paper, black and green colored pencils, a hole punch, a brown grocery bag ( or parchment paper), a cookie sheet , scissors and some ribbon or chain.
- Start by drawing some shamrocks- I can’t hide the fact it took me a while to get it right .
- Next color it green.
- Cut out
- Punch a hole in it.
- Place it on the paper bag on the cookie sheet and place in the oven ( follow the instructions given for the temp).
- Watch the WHOLE time. It only takes a minutes or two.
- Let cool.
- Thread the ribbon through and give someone you care about some luck of the Irish!