“Step back helicopter parents!”
This time of year the web is stuffed with Autumn Crafts for small children. As we all know attempting craft with any toddler is a bit painful and you end up doing nearly all of it yourself. Lets not forget about Art for Art’s sake. The exploration of colour, texture and mark making. Freedom to express without pressure.
Such activities are open ended and the final product is of less importance than the experience of doing. Step back helicopter parents! Bite your lips, refrain from interfering, sit back and watch you toddler’s brain grow.
Here the hard work is in the preparing and the clean up! Pick somewhere that you are not precious about (the garden perhaps) and set aside some time for clean up. Some forward planning will pay off. Have your clean up gear ready so that messy hands don’t get everywhere on the way to the bathroom!
Don’t be trapped into supplying paint brushes and paper every time. We mixed it up a bit by supplying a spray bottle of paint and a roller. Pick some seasonal interesting items close to hand. We’ve collect feathers, rocks and some leaves from the garden and some Autumn colours of paint.
As the work progresses and my little artist is fully engrossed in the activity, making choices for herself and experimenting. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her and no tantrums or power struggles in sight. Joy!
I found inspiration from this picture and decided to have a go at Fused Plastic Bag Art!
Found at this link:
This is brill and gives loads of info on what you can make from fused plastic bags but we’ve kept it as a nice and simple art activity for the toddlers to enjoy.
Cutting plastic with toddler scissors is hard so they needed help with this, but they are great with a glue stick and these are their creations (after I ironed them on a low heat between two pieces of grease proof paper).
Not bad for two, four and five year olds. You can probably guess who’s is who’s!
I love the randomness of toddler art, they ignore all conventions and clichés. Truly Art for Art’s sake!
This activity has bags of learning potential and is great fun. You can create a collage with any age toddler, using any number of materials from around the house from cotton wool to bottle tops and pop sticks. Today we are exploring paper and card.
For this activity you will need:
Sticky back plastic,
Scrap paper/ card e.g old birthday cards and sweet wrappers,
Optional extras are paper crimpers and shape cutters.
My two little munchkins set about cutting and crimping paper and card developing their hand strength and fine motor skills.
The fruits of their labour get stuck to their sticky window. Will (4) puts stars in a row counting them and Poppy (2) places objects randomly.
Things progress to outside and some flowers from the garden are added by Poppy and Will uses a glue stick to add more layers to the collage.
It’s lovely to have the light come through the collage and have the backdrop of the garden. The best thing about this collage is it can be changed about and worked on all day! 🙂
If you are looking for a wet weather activity to keep the kids busy here is something to try. Suitable for any age.
Grab a couple of coat hangers, some pegs and pens. We used left over wallpaper to draw on.
How many drawings can we make at once? Tape the pegs to the coat hangers and clip in the pens to make multiple pictures!
We taped our coat hangers together to make more copies.
Here is a slightly off the wall, educational, toddler and Pre-school activity. We made prints while learning a bit about fish. My toddlers and I made these lovely detailed prints by dabbing our fish with ink pad sponges.
We pressed our paper on to the fish and pealed it back to produce our rainbow fish prints.
My two found the fish very interesting. They were surprised by how sharp it’s teeth were!
We got our inspiration from this picture we found on the web.
For this you will need some spare fabric (we cut up an old sheet), food colouring and cotton buds.
We watered down our food colouring and set about spotting it onto our cotton squares. As the colour is absorbed by the fabric it created perfect spots of colour.
We experimented further by folding the fabric first and dipping the corners in the colour to produce regular patters, overlapping colours and adding water to spread the colours further.
Some lovely results!
Tiny Adventure toddler workshops Cheltenham.
We are all about Art rather than craft. Free expression and experimentation and if the outcome looks good that is a bonus! Lately we’ve been building up interesting techniques over the top of one another which helps to produce something that is really visually interesting and dramatic (and saves on paper). This lovely piece of paper has had water colour washed over it, it has had painted objects rolled down it, been stencilled with spay paints and had large shapes printed onto it.
Firstly we washed water over it and used water colours.
Secondly we rolled painted objects down it!
Thirdly we printed large shapes on it.
Thirdly we printed large shapes on it.
Fourthly we used stencils and spray bottles.
Finally we we used wool in glue and paint to do string painting!
After we dragged, dropped and flicked our string, we left some of the string on to dry. Here is our very striking final result.
We’ve been playing around with pens and ways to make them more interesting. We’ve taped pens to coat hangers to make a pair of compasses and to rulers for rainbow drawing. We also tried three pens taped inside a cup to produce triple images!
It is lovely watching them play with the coat hanger compasses, discovering what happens with one pen also happens with the other.
The rainbow pens are taped in a line. It is tricky to get them level but worth it. She worked out how to use it fairly quickly.
The three legged cup is a nice idea and produces triple lines and images. I could almost see her brain expanding as she tried everything out!
Perfect for a wet morning!
I took inspiration from Sewing School’s blog and decide it would be fun and a challenge to bring tapestry to toddlers! I saw this lovely tapestry table Sewing School had created.
I loved it. But how to get toddlers sewing? I repurposed a large empty picture frame and chose some netting I’d picked up from Gloucester Scrap Store. This left the problem of needles! With no budget for this I found a perfect solution knocking about in the garage. Plastic plant seed labels!
These have pointed ends but aren’t sharp and they have a ready made hole that wool can be threaded through. I sewed the netting to the frame with wool and attached needles with various threads including ribbon, wool, curling ribbon, and string. We clamped the frame between two chairs to stand it up and…
It’s good team work, passing the needle through to each other!
We quickly got the hang of it and over a couple weeks lots of Tiny Adventurers added to it!
I added buttons to the netting and shapes that could be buttoned on or sewn on and after a while its started to look really lovely!
This is a great collaborative project that can be added to over long periods!
Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.
This is great fun and a nice progression from our Brush Robots!
Small motors are cheap at any electrical store as are the battery casings. I got mine from Maplins. Adding a plastic bottle top off centre causes the vibration. These can be easily and painlessly stopped with a finger while in motion. Here is a little video of one in action.
We’ve tried taping ours to margarine tub lids, paper cups, sponges and so on, observing each object glide across the floor. I was inspired to add the coloured pens to make three and four legged bots by this post from Science Buddies! I had to make adjustments to make it safe and accessible to 1-3 year olds. Thank You Science Buddies! It was great fun!
My favourite thing, Science and Art combined!
Battery casing with wires
Plastic cup or lunch box
Science for toddlers!