September 20, 2015

Toddler arts and crafts

I have always loved arts and crafts. When I was pregnant and thinking of what it would be like to have my own child,  I often day dreamed of reading books all curled up in a rocking chair in the evenings and slow afternoons of arts and crafts... especially coloring and drawing. Fast forward to now and I have learned a few things about toddlers and sitting still...  Logan is a mover... always on the go. He loves to run, jump and play...with no time to sit unless you can find something he is really interested in. Through tons of trail and error, I have found that he is more likely to enjoy an activity that is sensory based. Crayons, markers, chalk only hold his interested for a few minutes but throw in something he can get messy with and he is a happy kid.

I thought I would share the activities that we have come across in the last few months that have been the biggest hits. These have entertained my toddler while feeding Quinn and making dinner.

Discovery sand boxes-
Logan loves playing in sand boxes and while we have one outside, I wasn't always thrilled to clean up the sand that he tracked in all over the house and it helped to have something inside that he could do while I cooked. So I made him a mini box. I got a large tupperware box with lid and some fake kinetic sand from Target.
For the first box, I added bugs from the dollar store. We chatted about different kinds of bugs while he hid them in the sand and looked for them. He told me which bug was eating the other bugs and what their names were. We added in a few insect books this week and went on bug hunts while I watered the flowers (which we saw a spider, grasshopper, slug- ewww, beetle and cricket). It was a huge hit. 

For the second box, I also found little construction vehicles at the dollar store. These were/are a HUGE hit! He has played with them for hours. HOURS! We put the lid on and he will ask to play again when we are home. We have been reading a few stories to go along with this one and the other day he made them all go to sleep like in Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and then asked me to make blankets for them. lol.

Water play- (sorry no photos)
Our water table has always been a big hit. This past week, we took a few of the bugs from the sandbox and added them into water to grow. (They are the growing kind- found at the dollar store.)

He then wanted to wash off his cars so into the bowl they went.

I've also made these dinosaur eggs with him and when you add them into water- they hatch! (Our mini dinosaurs were found on Amazon)

This has been in constant rotation in our house since we painted pumpkins last October. I'm constantly looking for things for Logan to paint. I use washable paint, give him a small waterbowl and put the paint colors in old egg cartons. Then he has free range. We paint our hands, feet, fingers, use the brush...
We've even rolled little matchbox cars in the paint and done tire track paintings.
This past week, Logan painted a "Haunted house". He said it was a house for a ghost and I asked him if he wanted me to paint some ghosts and mummies for his house. He helped me pick out each figure I painted and of course we had to add in a dinosaur. It was fun for us both to be painting something to play with together later on. I think it came out great. I want to add some spooky trees and maybe a scarecrow to go along with a few Halloween books we are already reading. :)

Other than that, we've always defaulted to play doh if nothing else sounds good. I'm planning on setting up a monster play doh activity soon with funny googly eyes.

If you try any of these activities... feel free to let me know how it went! Also- if you have one that has been great for your kids then feel free to share it with me!

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