“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!
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.
Simple and brilliant!
1cup of Greek yoghurt to two cups of plain flour! That it! Kneed it and you will get a great pizza dough. Spread a thin strip with Nutella and roll into a swirl or make cheese topped buns! This is fab and hassle free!
It’s also great for play time!
Early Years STEM Activity:
This is a simple, fun, cheap and never gets old! We used our motors and OFF CENTRE wheels for this activity which we have used in previous robot building activities. A small plastic lid is used as a wheel for a small motor driven by a couple of AA batteries. This is mounted on a lightweight foam or polystyrene body. Here is a video of them in action!
A motor and battery box can be found at your local Maplin electrical store for a couple of pounds! We use a plastic lid as it doesn’t hurt fingers when it is in motion or if it comes loose. Good duck tape is need to secure the motor well so the vibration from the wheel is transferred to the body to make it move!
We allowed our toddlers to work with their parents to build a bot using foam from our local scrap store, sticks, golf tees, matchsticks, wooden beads and cotton reels! This gave them the chance to problem solve, easily modifying their bots changing the number of legs and leg length for example.
Happy Bot Building People!
Tiny Adventure Toddler and Pre school workshops Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.