I haven’t discussed too many of them on the blog yet, but I’m always trying to keep my toddler busy with projects and activities; many of them are arts or craft projects. This weekend we had some friends over the house that do not have any kids yet, and we were talking about some of the projects I’ve been doing with my little one and she asked “how do you come up with all these ideas? I never could.” To which I responded, “Of course you could. Necessity is the mother of invention and when you are trying to get something done or just keep your sanity- entertainment for a toddler is a necessity”.
Of course there are toys and books, but what I’ve found is that- nothing is as exciting as something new. With that being said I try not to do too many one time activities with her- pre-made craft kits that can be completed in 15 minutes. Besides the fact that they are expensive, they don’t entertain for long enough, they require my attention for most of the time and then they just sit on a shelf. The kind of crafts I try to work on with her are projects that can be completed in stages over time. For example, helping me cut out felt shapes to stick to a felt bored. Making the shapes is one activity and then playing with them is a second activity. Then, from time to time new shapes can be cut and added to the collection (a low price renewal of an existing activity). Or dying pasta to string into necklaces. Dying the pasta is its own activity and then stringing is another activity and the whole process can be completed at different times and repeated for a minimal expense.
The other kind of projects are ones that once they are complete are ready to find a place to live in our home. These projects I drag out over days or weeks, and I try to have a plan ahead of time for how it will then fit into our space and enhance it; not just add to the clutter which I am never short on as it is. For example, this can be something as simple as collecting all their coloring sheets and turning it into a coilage. Which could then have another layer of work over it, maybe painting directly onto it.
Anything can be turned into a creative project for a toddler if you look at it through the right lens. I’m going to try and start sharing some of the projects we’ve come up with. What have you come up with for your toddler?