Naturally, this was another Christmas oriented activity (not 'orientated' - no such word folks), which was a cinch to throw together.
A few bits of coloured cardstock and a tub of foam stickers is all that's required. Riot Art 'n' Craft had a tub of Christmas themed foam stickers on sale for just a couple of bucks, which I picked up on my most recent raid of their shelves.
Looking to keep your tot's hands busy as you frantically wrap pressies? Grab two sheets of paper, write 'Big' on one and 'Small' on the other, and give your child a stash of those ribbon gift-bow thingys in two sizes (big ones and small one, as you may have guessed). Easy-Peasy-Mac-and-Cheesy!
Inspired by big sister Eden's recent play time with shells (see here), I put the biggest shells in our collection into a sturdy shoebox and set my little Ava baby up in front of it. She was so excited, lots of foot wiggling and hand waving!
Naturally, the shells went straight into the mouth for some dribbly fun...
At some point this week, try a game or activity with your little one that you've never played before, which involves sticky tape. Once again, I think we'll all have a bit of this lying around in the lead up to Christmas. For a baby, you might wad some tape up into a ball out of sticky tape for them to play with (and watch their little faces as they explore the 'stickiness' of the ball) . For a toddler, you may teach them how to wrap pressies using some newspaper/catalogues and a few boxes, or you could get them to put bits of tape on you as you call out the names of various body parts (eg: "can you find my nose/mouth/toes/elbows?") - good for younger toddlers. Please post your game in the comments attached to this post, so we can inspire other parents with our ideas!
I love Christmas! Always have, always will. Now that I have children of my own, I may tend to sometimes, perhaps, possibly go a tad overboard. I don't mean by buying lots of pressies for my girls or anything, I mean *drumroll, please* CHRISTMAS CRAFTS!!!!!
Such a simple activity! Eden loves to clean. I mean, this girl LOVES to clean. So, I set her up with a shallow tub with some water in it, a pouring cup, an old toothbrush (for scrubbing), a face washer (for drying) and a container with shaving cream in it ('cause let's face it, shaving cream is fun to play with!), and laid a towel on the floor to mop up any spills.
Initially I was going to make Christmas ornaments with my girl's handprints on them, but as we made them I realised that I wanted to see these keepsakes every day, so they now have a permanent spot in our bedroom. They would make a nice gift for grandparents too, if you're so inclined.
I simply made up a batch of cornstarch clay with Eden's help (see here for the recipe), divided the clay into portions, and rolled it out nice and evenly. Eden and Ava 'smushed' (E's words, not mine) their hands into the clay to leave an imprint. Once they were in bed, I went back and smoothed the imprints out a little - Ava had dug her fingers in, so hers actually had holes in it! I filled it in and smoothed it out, but retained the shape of her hand. I also tidied up the edges of the shapes - Eden's is on a circle, Ava's is on a square with rounded edges - and poked a hole in the top of each shape using a straw (this is for threading some ribbon through later, so you can hang it up).
At some point this week, try a game or activity with your little one that you've never played before, which involves wrapping paper. I figure that around Christmas time, we'll all have some of that floating around the house.
For a baby, this may be wrapping a box (from your recyclables stash) in some scraps of paper, and then letting them tear the paper off and have a good play with it. For a toddler, this may be teaching them how to wrap presents, or adding their own decorative touches to existing wrapping paper (with a potato stamp? Some glitter paint? Christmas stickers?), or making a crown - like the ones the wise men wear in the nativity scene - with leftover bits of paper and some cardboard. Please post your game in the comments attached to this post, so we can inspire other parents with our ideas!
To make these pretty hanging decorations, I cut out two circles of clear contact paper, one slightly larger than the other, and taped the smaller circle to the table, sticky side up. I also had a little bowl with some tissue paper squares, shiny wrapping paper, bits of ribbon, Christmas stickers, and pictures cut from old Chrissy cards in it.
For my Ice: Play Time Challenge, I decided to put little 'treasures' into a silicone muffin tray, cover with water and freeze. In the morning, they were my ice treasures! I had some shells, a rubber ball and some coins for Eden's money box inside, and it was her task to find a way to get the treasures out.
Lately, Eden has been hanging off me every time she sees me using scissors. It's like a moth to a flame. She hovers at my elbow and tries to sneak her fingers on top of mine so she can pretend she's the one cutting. Time to learn how to use them, methinks!
She has a small pair of safety scissors which I bought a few months back, thinking that she was ready to learn back then. Unfortunately, every time she tried to cut paper she got so frustrated by my attempts to teach her 'scissor safety' that the whole undertaking ended up being shelved. When I say 'scissor safety' I mean things like "AAAHHH! Don't cut your hair! Or Ava's! OR MINE!!!", and "Honey, scissors aren't for eating with [instead of a fork]" and "Put the scissors down BEFORE you dance!"...You see the problem.
When I was painting some nursery art for a friend, I put miss E. next to me at the table with a little canvas board and some of her own paints so she could do one too. Kids are such little mimics, aren't they? Check out the concentration on her face...
This blog is dedicated to sharing ideas for creative play for toddlers, for those times when toys just won't cut it (and there will be those times), for when you've had enough of the telly on in the background, and for anyone who has forgotten what life was like pre-Wiggles. If you're searching for inspiration or resources to occupy your pre-schoolers (especially aged 1-4), I hope this blog can help!
Loving wife of B. and mother of three; preschooler Eden, toddler Ava and baby Zac, and both are roles which tend to keep me happily busy. Moments for 'me' tend to revolve around reading or re-reading my books (which B. refers to as my 'other children').