How can I get my busy toddler interested in arts & crafts?
Real Mom Problem
“My son has the concentration of a gnat! He won't stay in one place long enough to finish anything. So now what?”
- 1. Focus on the process, not the product
- 2. Let your child take the lead
- 3. Offer a variety of choices
- 4. Praise often
- 5. Have fun
Real Mom Solutions
Introducing your child to different arts & crafts can open up a whole new world of creativity for your little one. Be patient and he'll find something he's into -- then watch his imagination run wild! Not sure where to start? Read on for great tips from the crafty moms of CafeMom!
Not All Kids are into Arts & Crafts
It really depends on your child. I used to do fairly formal arts and crafts with my twins but they never really loved it. Then along comes my daughter, who makes up her own craft projects. I do think that the process is the fun part, not just the end result. I have always allowed them to create whatever they want with glue, scissors, paper, play-do, paint.
All you can really do is offer them the paper and crayons. Some really love to color and create, others would rather play. All children are different.
Just get the stuff out. My son starts getting excited the minute I head to the closet that holds all the craft stuff. If keeping them engaged the whole time is a concern, have everything prepped before hand. Also realize that if they don't stay engaged that is alright. The point is to have fun.
Don't try to control the arts and craft time - and do it with them. My 2 yr old won't sit and do a craft or art if I don't do it with her - but if we are doing it together she is all in!
Some kids are just not into arts and crafts. You can give him different mediums to try: markers, paint, finger paint, crayons, scissors, etc - maybe he will find one he likes.
Keep at it -- They'll Come Around!
Most kids LOVE arts and crafts! It's not hard to get them interested. I've found so many great ideas on Pinterest!
It's not hard to get my daughter involved with crafts. If its gets late in the day and we haven't had craft time yet, she lets me know. She loves craft time. We do something every day.
Patience and your own excitement! My son does not sit still at all! However, recently we started working with him on crafts. At first, it will only hold his attention for a few minutes. This is because it's more difficult than running around, and he has energy to spare. Every time we introduce it, he does it for longer and longer, probably because he's getting more confident with it and getting used to what it requires. Keep introducing it. Your kid may not sit still in the first session, but you will be amazed by the 10th.
For me I turn off the TV, sit down at the table have him come sit next to me, get him a drink and then I pull out the crayons and it's on! When he gets bored I switch it up and get him to try to write his name. It works for me
I didn't have to work very hard. Once we put a crayon in our kids' hands, that was it! Now they love to draw, color, paint and do any other type of craft I introduce them to.
Get Them Excited for Craft Time
As a former daycare teacher, I know how challenging it can be to get your kids to do any activities that entail sitting for long periods of time. One activity that kids love to do at this age is pudding art. I make up a batch of chocolate or vanilla pudding, strip the kiddo down, and let him squish, smash, spread, even eat the pudding as he likes. I keep a piece of paper underneath it all to capture some of the "art" he is producing and then let it dry and hang it on the fridge. Kids love to see their finished art work. Another activity my kids love is painting with water. I'll draw on a white piece of construction paper with a white crayon, set up some water cups with food coloring in them and hand them a paint brush or sponge. They usually giggle with delight as the lines I have drawn seem to "magically" appear!
Make it fun and age appropriate! Each day I try to mix it up with something new and let her interest guide the projects.
I find most toddlers like to do what mom does. They are like little sponges soaking up everything. Get your toddler to sit at the table after you have gotten everything ready for the project so they don't get bored waiting. Tell them you need their help as well, they love to help at this age, it gives them a sense of pride. When they complete something make sure to give lots of praise, they will want to do more.
Make sure the activities are interesting and focus more on the process than the product. I always tried to do extravagant projects with my daughter when she was younger, and she never showed interest, so we did a lot of playing in shaving cream and food painting-different textures, and we did stuff like foot painting. Sometimes I would set out a bunch of paint and glue and glitter and such, sit her down on some newspaper, take off her clothes, and tell her to make whatever she wanted.
I have a shelf in our house that is full of different craft items. I think having them in line of sight helps them want to do them more.
Use a variety and do it together. One day we will finger paint, the next make cards and glue stuff, then we will paint with brushes. Change things up, show off what they have created, and do the crafts with them.