Getting creative

By admin
04 May 2014

If you have toddlers at home, chances are you’ve walked into a room to find some artistic expressions on the walls, floor or furniture. Why not give them some acceptable alternatives and get creative with them? We give you our top 10 craft ideas.

Have you ever walked into a room to find your toddler has expressed their creative streak all over the walls, floor or furniture? Experts say this is a vital phase little ones go through and it’s important for you to create opportunities of artistic expression for them. Crafts will also help strengthen their motor skills and boost their self-esteem.

“Creative play is also very important for developing a child’s social interaction and problem-solving abilities,” says Sherri Taljaard who runs Scalliwags Play Group in Rivonia, Johannesburg. Take some time out and get messy with your child – here are our top 10 ideas:

Create a collage

Take out your old magazines and create a collage by cutting out pictures according to your desired theme and pasting it onto a white or colourful page. Pick a theme your toddler is interested in such as cars or horses. Try not to control the process too much and let them tear pictures out of the magazines and use the glue by themselves while you simply keep a close eye and guide them.

Make a pretty necklace

Make a necklace from pasta shells. Use coloured string or wool and thread it through the shells. Pasta can also be painted in fun, bright colours before or after threading.

Form friendly faces

Make portraits by pasting whatever material you have lying around the house onto a large piece of paper. First draw an oval shape on the paper, then use collected material to create facial features such as the eyes, nose and mouth. Plastic bottle lids can be added for the nose, buttons for the eyes and pieces of wool for the hair. Let your child lead the project and laugh about silly ideas together.

Create cool prints

Paint a picture using your child’s toy cars. Simply dip the wheels in paint and then drive it all over the page. The car’s tyres will create great prints and will have your little one shrieking with joy.

Make a mosaic

Use old buttons (which you’d probably through away anyway) to make mosaics on a piece of cardboard. Draw a basic picture of something your child likes, or simply the sky and grass if you want to keep it really easy, and paste multicoloured buttons onto the picture. This process is good for developing fine motor skills in toddlers.

Create silly shapes

Recycled wooden ice-cream sticks are great for making wonderful shapes. Paint the sticks in bright colours and allow your toddler to put together shapes with Prestik. The structures can then be glued to cardboard and kept in their gallery of artwork.

Make potato stamps

You can use a potato or sponge for this one. Simply cut the potato in half and cut out a shape on the flat surface. Dip the shape in different colours of paint and stamp it all over a large piece of paper. Make use of this opportunity to show your toddler how the combination of different colours such as blue and red makes new colours such as purple.

In the bag

Stuff paper bags with old newspapers and tie each bag with a rubber band. Then draw different faces on the bags and talk to your toddler about the emotions that go with each face. Use the opportunity to talk about sadness for example. Say, “This face looks sad. It’s okay to feel sad sometimes. I might feel sad because . . .” and let them join in with examples of their own.

Get outside

Pick different leaves from the garden and outline shapes on a page with a pencil or marker. Then apply glue inside the shape and sprinkle glitter on top. This can be done in different shapes, sizes and colours to form a glitter jungle.

Get creative with recycling

Use empty toilet paper rolls to create different shapes by pushing the end of the roll into different shapes. Then dip the end into different colours of paint and use it to stamp shapes onto a large piece of paper. See if you can create objects such as a car or tree with these shapes.

-Katlego Mkhwanazi


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