Five Tips Friday: Crafting With Toddlers

When toddlers begin to develop fine motor control over their fingers and hands, they can be introduced to simple crafts. These activities, even if they just involve just picking up and pasting pieces of paper, can aid in honing creativity and mental development in toddlers.

I find that toddlers are very enthusiastic about crafting. They love everything from the materials, to the process, and proudly displaying their finished work. You can find hundreds of ideas online for whatever suits you (my Fun things to make & do board on Pinterest is a great place to start!).

I started crafting with Little Dude when he was two, and we haven't looked back. It has become our time - special projects we do together.

Five tips for crafting with toddlers

Here are my top five tips for crafting with toddlers:

1. Be open about the outcome

Don't expect the same result you saw in the tutorial. Give your child the freedom to create and interpret what materials you give him or her. You can provide guidance, but they will want to do things their way and that's okay. Perhaps they can do one craft your way, and another one how they like.

2. Set up a space

Don't expect the messes to be limited. If you use glitter, or cut paper, it's going to end up everywhere. Try to set up a space where your toddler has the freedom to be messy and not contained. Be creative. We live in an apartment, so I make the most use of my balcony, and we usually do crafts on a play mat instead of a table.

3. Choose the right activity

Ages mentioned in craft tutorials are only suggestive. A few toddler crafts I have shared on this blog required lots of help from me. In fact, I always mention when something is more suitable for older children, but I just want to share the craft idea. You are the best judge of what craft is suitable for your child.

4. Show them what to do

When teaching a new technique like using sticky paper, or a new skill like using scissors, always get down to their level and give a demo. It also makes sense to do the craft side-by-side with your toddler which will make them feel more involved and interested in it.

5. Watch out for the small bits

Even if your child no longer swallows small things, don't take chances. Many parents are surprised when their child suddenly decides to swallow a bead or eat chalk. Toddlers are curious and you need to always watch them around potential choking hazards.

For easy toddler craft ideas, have a look at my Busy Hands series,

Five Tips Friday is a series of posts on five quick tips 
about parenting, blogging, social media, travel, or just about anything!

This post has been linked to:
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Anna said...

Great tips, I find the same with my kids. When its warm, its sometimes easiest just to do the crafting outside to contain the mess so that we can relax more

Tarana said...

It's definitely better outside if the weather's nice!

Ayesha Siddiqua said...

Really smart tips! Sharing.

Melissa Matters said...

Thank you for the tips. My son doesn't put a lot of things in his mouth but I stay close when he is using pom poms or other small things.

leandra bramham said...

Great tips!

Merry christmas x

Tarana said...

Thanks Ayesha!

Tarana said...

Yes, with kids, you never know!

Tarana said...

Wishing you the same!

Aimee said...

Awesome tips my youngest is 3 and she is quite the little crafter and artist.

shirleye said...

Like all of the tips, we seem to spend so much time just talking when we do projects. It is a such a good time for all doing projects inside and out.

Tarana said...

Glad you liked the tips!

Tarana said...

It's such a good thing when the weather's on your side!

Jessica said...

Great tips! I really appreciate when other moms advocate letting kids be messy!!!

Sherry Martindale said...

Thanks so much for the tips :) I live with my daughter and granddaughter, who is 3, and they love doing crafts. I think if my daughter would craft with her side by side it would be better. Sometimes my daughter gets so into getting the project right she forgets that Scarlett's only 3 and it won't be perfect. I think if she gave her all the materials and showed her step by step, but let HER do it herself with her own set of materials, they would both have more fun. This way there would be one done "correctly" and one done the toddler way :) Thanks for the insight. You just made craft time more fun for both of tthem I am sure :)

Karen Bell said...

Lots of great tips. I always like to make sure I am prepared.
Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

Tarana said...

I'm all for messy play!

Tarana said...

Thanks Karen!

Tarana said...

So glad you liked these tips, Sherry! With kids that age, it is important to let them learn hands on and just have the freedom to create what they want to.

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