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Advice & Info #2: How can I get my active toddler interested in arts and crafts?

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With a very busy toddler in the house who's rarely still, I'm jealous of moms whose kids love to sit and do creative activities.

How can I get my active toddler interested in arts and crafts?

Tell me what's worked for you in the replies below.

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by on Mar. 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Replies (41-50):
by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

ok heres some more: try upside down art (tape paper or whatever to the bottom of a table or something) or tape it to a textured wall (maybe brick or something). use window markers (they sell them at walmart target for pretty cheap and they rinse right off) or bathtub markers. other fun things: crayola markers +squirt bottle. if you use a coffee filter, it bleeds n looks really neat too. or markers+eyedroppers or just eydroppers with colored water (i also like to use this to learn about mixing colors and to simulate weather). 

incorporate your art with a book you read. example, you read Rainbowfish then you make a fish. i like to also do Elmer the Elephant and then i have squares already cut out of tissue paper that I give my preschoolers to glue on their elephant (which i also cut ahead of time). if you're more into the outcome thing but personally, I try to avoid these types of I-do-most-of-the-work type of projects because they just aren't as cool or personal and arent as good of a learning opportunity anyway. 

magic paintings: color on white paper with white crayon (i like to do this part before class when the students don't see too) and then let him paint with watercolors. Fun for learning lettters, etc. obviously this can be altered in 100 ways with colored crayons instead of white, this is how we used to dye our easter eggs, etc. :) 

go to the crafts aisle, pick out whatever you think your LO will like (puff balls, tissue paper, feathers, pipe cleaners etc.) set items out, set out glue, let him go to town. 


display his artwork at EYE level for him. the fridge is fine too, but you should tape some up low on the wall or wherever maybe in his room so that he can see.

Never try to force him to do more. if he sits down does one scribble and then is done, that's it. he's done. You can say "would you like to add some other colors?" but be careful doing this becuase if you try to force it too much, you will tell him that his artwork isn't good enough. 

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I'm sorry i just love this post! here's a couple more fun ideas: 

run cars through paint to make car tracks,

using objects as stampers with paint: use toilet paper tubes to make o's or hearts, use green peppers to make shamrocks, or the bottom of celery to make roses with paint, use the bottom of a 2liter pop bottle to make flowers, 

OR objects to paint with for different textures: flowers, sticks, colored ice cubes, feathers, "blow paint" (use straws to blow paint onto paper, marbles (put them in a tub of some sort and then move the tub around to roll the marbles around in the paint). 

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

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!

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 6:05 PM
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by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 6:06 PM
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.
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by on Mar. 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM


by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:09 PM

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 its on!!!!!!!!!!! when he gets bored I switch it up andget him to try to write his name. It works for me

by on Mar. 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

My son for the longest time wasn't interesting in sitting down and coloring for more than 2 seconds at a time plus he ate the crayons. We just made the materials available to him and he eventually started doing it more. You can't push a child into doing something. You have to make the materials (or thing) available to them and let them know that whenever they want to, just let you know and you'll help them.

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 1:16 AM

i found that my kid is always wanting to do things with me dont exspect the child to sit down for a long project make it short and sweet that way the child sees his/hers work and can feel good about it and dont forget the good job way to go you did such a good job sittig there and finshing this craft and that will lead to the longer crafts in the long run what kid dosent want to please there mommy

by on Jun. 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I"m a toddller teacher at a Day care Center. I need some help thinking of thigs to do with them to help them learn about their bodies. The children in my class are to interested in each others bellies . So I decided to do a unit on our bodies. I need simple activities and Crafts that I can do woth them. i am doing this unit for 2 weeks. Please any help will help me with ideas  myslef.

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