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How to Choose the Right Craft for your Toddler
Doing crafts with your toddler can be one of the most enjoyable, heartwarming and unpredictable ways t spend time together! So make sure you make the most of it by choosing the right craft activity for your toddler. Although there are many ways to do crafts with children in their toddler years, it is important to consider their developmental age, abilities and personality before breaking out the paintbrushes and diving in.
Toddlers aged 12 – 18 months
Toddlers in this age group are still getting a grasp of their fine motor skills. AT this stage they need to refine their ability to use their forefingers well. This why toddlers in this age group are often seen to be playing in a way that demonstrates squeezing, grasping or throwing objects. They enjoy emptying and filling, building, dropping and picking up. They like to put on lids and take them off, investigate how to do or undo buttons and perhaps even try to get a shoelace though a small hole. All of these actions are ways that toddler between 8 and 24 months learn to use their forefingers efficiently. So craft activities for this age group would be wisely focused on similar goals. Great craft types for this age group would include:
·Activities where they get to mix textures and materials.
·Opportunities to touch and materials and textures with their fingers
· Manipulating Play Doh and Clay into specific shapes or forms with their hands (such as balls, sausages or flattening it)
· Using everyday other object to paint with (such as cotton buds, a toothbrush, crumpled paper or a sponge)
· Using materials other than paint or crayons (such as sprinkling sugar, rice, chocolate powder or sap flakes onto glue)
· Sticking objects (such as pasta, beans or crumpled tissue) or shapes onto paper
· Scribbling and drawing horizontal lines
· Painting and decorating anything other than paper (such as dry toast, soap, and old cardboard boxes.
Toddlers aged 18 – 24 months
In this age range, toddlers continue to improve their dexterity in using their forefingers. They also begin to slightly expand their attention span and spender longer on a specific task or craft. They begin to draw with precision and intent, mainly producing straight lines and circles. These toddlers are also becoming increasingly aware of their environment and the world around them, so any crafts that include real objects and materials will be genuinely interesting for them. The types of crafts that will grab a toddler in this age groups attention might be:
· Making musical instruments
· Collages (using real life materials such as magazine photographs, items from nature or household objects
· Painting using tools such as squeeze bottles or marbles
· Using or decorating geometric shapes.
· Using food as art materials (such as painting popcorn or threading cereal necklaces)
· Drawing circles or anything that uses circles to make it.
·Folding, ripping and sticking back together.
· Practice using yellow, blue and red.
Toddlers aged 2-3 years
During this year of development, crafts for toddlers such aim to develop their general hand movements and muscle tone. This is important at this age as these toddlers are preparing their fine motor muscles for pre- writing skills. Activities should also try to help them develop solid visual motor skills as well as hand eye co ordination. Great crafts for this age group are:
· Molding with play doh or clay to make balls, long strips, imitation food, holes in the dough to thread things through
· Decorating and filling empty soda bottles
· Using smaller and more intricate materials to decorate with (such as small beads, sequins or stickers)
· Sprinkling glitter
· Crayon Rubbings
· Mixing and spreading (with a specific goal)
· Using droppers, tweezers or syringes (without a needle) to paint with.
· Threading objects onto a shoelace (such as large buttons, old beads, cereal, etc.)