Tag Archives: arts and crafts projects



Fun Toddler Craft Ideas

Getting a toddler to sit still is often a near-impossible feat. They’re constantly exploring the world around them. That’s a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That’s where toddler crafts come in.

Crafting is great for toddlers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop longer attention spans. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Let them explore and create their own versions of projects.

Here are some craft ideas that your toddler can do (with supervision and the encouragement to use his or her imagination ).

Craft Stick and other Puppets

Puppets are fascinating to toddlers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it’s lots of fun. All you really need are some craft or Popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.

Help your toddler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he’s ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom-pom for the nose, and add some google eyes.
Variation: Make puppet figures based on favorite storybook characters.

Variation: Colonial Corn Husk Dolls and Paper Bag People and Animals. Tutorials are available found on this website.

Paint with Pudding

Paint with Pudding








Paint with Pudding

Kids love to finger paint, but it’s so messy. And there’s also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!

You don’t need different flavors to make different colors. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add food coloring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he’s done, he can eat it with no worries.

Kid's T-Shirt Design

Kid’s T-Shirt Design







Design a T-Shirt

If your toddler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!

Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. For a more permanent design, however, you’ll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your toddler.

Kid's place mat project

Kid’s place mat project








Place mats

Making place mats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your toddler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them on a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he’s done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.

Most toddlers will only enough patience to make one place mat at a time. But he or she can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the table. He or she will be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!

Crafting can help your toddler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it’s a rainy day or he’s just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.

The place mat sample in the photograph above was made with remnants of other paper projects.

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Summer Camp: Sponge Painting

Summer Camp: Sponge Painting
Sponge Painting: The Sun

Sponge Painting: The Sun



Household sponges in various shapes and sizes (Household sponges found in grocery stores can create interesting patterns and designs.)

Craft paints in various colors

Water jar

Paint palette or paper palette

Printing paper like bond or rice paper or sheets of canvas

Markers or colored pencils.

  1. Draw a design or picture on a piece of paper and use it as reference for the sponge painting. Or draw directly on the surface that you are going to paint, i.e., a sheet of canvas.
  2. Cut small pieces of the sponge from the larger sponge. To create an abstract design, snip tinier pieces from the divided pieces of the larger sponge.
  3. Squeeze the paints on the palette.
  4. Dampen the sponges and squeeze out the excess water.
  5. Dab the sponge in the paint and dab it on a piece of scrap paper to test the design and the amount of paint needed. A lot of paint on a sponge will create large blobs of color on the paper or canvas.
  6. With the design as reference, dab the paint on to the paper. Do not drag the sponge because that will smear the paint (unless smearing is the effect you want to create).
  7. Remember to wash and rinse the sponge to use again or use a separate sponge for each color.
  8. Continue until you have completed the painting. Add details with a marker or colored pencil when the paint is dry.

NOTE:  In the example above,  the central design was painted first, then the background.


Create a sponge painting on wood or stone.


Inspired by Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin

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Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-outs: Winter/The Four Seasons Mural

Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-outs: Winter/The Four Seasons Mural
Four Seasons Paper Cut-out/Winter

Winter Panel Four Seasons Paper Cut-out Mural


Papers Scissors

Tracing paper

Glue Stick

  1. Research the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse which are a mix of symbolic and abstract shapes. “I have attained a form, filtered to the essentials,” Matisse once said and this sums up his philosophy as an artist. Study the paper cutouts for color and form; www.henri-matisse.net/cut_outs.html.
  2. There will be four panels or sections for the Four Seasons Mural. The first section will be winter. Plan the design for the season. The sample shown features barren trees. There are other symbols for winter: ice sickles, snowballs, snowflakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, mittens, scarves, knitted caps, etc. Sketch your design on tracing paper.
  3. The sample features three colors that evoke winter: black, silver and white. Other colors that evoke winter include shades of gray and cool shades of blue but mittens and other winter clothing come in a variety of colors. Limit the palette to three colors.
  4. Decide the size of the paper cutout. The sample shown is 4” x 6.” Cut the background paper to the size you want for the paper cutout. The sample shows black as the background color. Silver and white are the color choices for the trees.
  5. Sketch the design on tracing paper. Decide the colors for each part of the design. Blacken the back of the design and flip it over on to the papers you will use. Trace the outline of the shapes.
  6. Use embroidery scissors to cut out the shapes. Embroidery scissors enable you to cut inside larger shapes.
  7. Glue the shapes down and you have the first section of the Four Seasons Mural. Winter is here!


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Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids: Paper Weaving

Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids: Paper Weaving

The craft PAPER WEAVING was adapted from the  project “Stitches, Scraps and Haute Couture/Paper Weaving” found  in Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin and published by Parker Publishing Company in 1971.


Large sheet of thick paper or cardboard for the frame of the mock loom

Two or three different colored and/or pattered papers cut into strips

Ribbon (optional)



Pencil with eraser

Glue stick or scotch tape

  1. Fold paper in half. (Choose any size paper or cardboard from 8 ½” x 11” and up.) Draw lines ¼” to ¾” apart down the length of the fold.
  2. Look at Step II below. Make incisions with the scissors, starting from the fold up to ½” of the edges of the paper. Don’t cut all the way to the end or you will cut the paper/cardboard into strips! Cut up to ½”  at each the end of the paper/cardboard and draw a line across. (In other words, leave an uncut margin at both ends.) This is the weaving “frame” or “loom.” Open the paper or cardboard.
  3. Measure and cut strips of paper to weave in and out of the paper loom. To minimize mistakes, make sure that the strips are a little longer than the width of the loom.
  4. Choose two or three different colored papers to weave through the paper loom. (Alternate ribbon with paper for a different look to the weaving.)  Start at one end and work your way up to the other end. Alternate the in-and-out pattern with each row. (Refer to photograph.)
  5. Trim loose ends and glue the ends down using a glue stick.
  6. Use your paper weaving as a placemats or give it as a gift.  What else can you do with your paper weaving?
Paper Weaving Step I

Paper Weaving Step I

Paper Weaving Step II

Paper Weaving Step II

Paper Weaving Step III

Paper Weaving Step III


Paper Weaving Part IV

Paper Weaving Part IV



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Votive Candleholder

Votive Candleholder

Beat the winter doldrums with a fun craft project! Use it as a Valentine’s Day decoration, give as a gift

 or use it all-year round! Super easy and cheap to make too!

Votive Candleholder


Shells in different sizes

Strand of pearls or beads

Large clear vase with a neck (See photo)

Small votive/candle holder (make sure it fits into the opening of the vase)

Small candle or tea light that fits into the votive holder

Optional: Ribbon (the neck of the vase will decide the width and length of the ribbon)

1. Wash and dry the vase and candle holder/votive so that they shine.

2. Let the shape of the vase dictate where the shells, pearls and other objects of  choice will lay inside the vase.

3. Intertwine one strand of beads or pearls. Add some shells. Mix again.

  1. Place the larger shells and pearls or beads next and then intertwine another strand of beads or pearls.
  2. Finally, arrange the medium objects on top. Add the last strand of pearls or beads.  Mix. Make sure there is enough room for the candle holder/votive which should protrude above the neck of the vase just enough so that it is noticeable.
  3. Optional: Tie a bow around the neck of the vase

If the vase is narrow at the bottom, and widens just below the neck, place the small ones on the bottom. Refer to the photo of the finished craft.

Substitutions for the vase:


Small handmade soaps



Heart-shaped paper cutouts


Mix it up!

Substitutions for the votive/candle holder:

Flower bud

Tiny beads

Colored water



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