Toddlers grow and learn at such a fast pace. They are little sponges that soak up everything in their surroundings. As adults in an extremely fast-paced, capitalistic society, it is easy to forget that these adorable-little-demanding-creature-bosses are learning so quickly that they become overwhelmed with their daily happenings, new abilities, and the inability to express themselves. The result is tantrum and parental frustration.
I notice Lennox throwing more tantrums when he is not receiving stimulation, attention, or isn’t being heard. I notice it most when I am on my phone or computer. As a result, I have cut back on technology, even T.V. time. Instead, I try to take advantage of one-on-one time with Lenox as much as possible and substitute screen time with something that interests him, stimulates him, and calms him down; crafts.
In her post “The Importance of Art and Craft in Child Development”, Eva St. Clair of Princess-Awesome.com goes into the details of the many benefits of crafting for toddlers (and children of all ages) physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Some of which are the following:
· Improves fine motor skills
· Stimulates the senses
· Strengthens hand-eye coordination
· Improves decision-making abilities
· Ability to express creativity
· Builds perseverance and patience
· Regulates stress
I have seen a lot of these benefits in Lennox from our week of crafting and less screen time. Lennox has been more patient, listens a lot better, is throwing fewer tantrums, and he has been excited to point out all of the new words we have learned during our crafting sessions. I highly recommend getting nitty and gritty with your children. Remember messes can be cleaned, but time can’t be returned. So, enjoy your children while they are this age. It Don’t worry; I still have to tell myself this all the time. A lot easier said than done; however it is extremely rewarding once you notice a shift in your toddler’s behavior. We hope you enjoy!
Got a Toddler/Craft/Fall Board? Pin Me Around!
Lennox loves apples. He almost eats an apple-a-day, which is not only great for his health, but they have also helped tremendously with those long days and nights of teething.
For this craft, I cut an apple into four vertical slices. We then talked about the apple; it’s seeds, the color, it’s taste. Then we applied red Crayola Washable Paint, let me reiterate, washable paint onto the surface of the apple and pressed it onto paper. Lennox loved stamping the apple, especially all of the table and myself! For the stem, I used a Crayola marker.
It is a super easy craft that involves your child’s touch, smell, and taste senses, and it’s not too big of a mess.
I labeled these crafts in Spanish since we only speak to Lennox is Spanish at home. Side note: It is never too late to teach your toddler a different language, and through crafts, you can both learn new words together. Check out 7 ways I teach Lennox Spanish as a nonnative speaker here.
2. Leaf Imprints
For this craft, Lennox and I went outside and explored the different trees outside. We talked about the leaves, the roots, the birds, different insects, and the trees’ surroundings. We touched the tree, hugged the tree, and I even bravely let Lennox climb on a branch. It is essential to talk and explain things to your toddlers. They will enjoy one-on-one learning time.
We then took some leaves from an oak tree and did the same thing we did with the apple stamps above. We painted the backside of the leaf to be able to get a clear imprint of its patterns. We painted the leaves using fall colors. As we painted the leaves, we talked about each color. Then it became a free-for-all, and Lennox couldn’t resist mixing them all around.
Once we painted each leaf, I placed them In the inside of a folded piece of paper. Then, I closed the folded paper. Lastly, with the help of Lennox, I took a piece of cardboard and pressed it back and forth on the paper to imprint the leaf’s patterns.
Again, a super easy, toddler-friendly craft that gets their minds churning, and their senses exploring.
3. Pin the Leaves Tree
Now that Lennox was an expert on trees, I drew a tree trunk and branches on a piece of construction paper.Next, with a pair of scissors, and Lennox a pair of Crayola Toddler Safety Scissors, we cut strips of paper, and then cut them into small squares. From there, Lennox practiced putting glue onto the individual squares and placing them onto the tree’s branches.
This craft is great for fine-motor. Scissor work is something Lennox will be practicing a lot in preschool, so I wanted to get a head start. Also, learning how to squeeze the glue and pick up the small pieces of paper worked his hand-eye coordination.
Crafts like these have really benefited Lennox. His preschool teacher was very impressed with his fine-motor skills, and I have to say, crafting has been an principal factor in his development.
4. Paper Sunflower
This craft was a lot trickier than I thought. I would say this is more for older toddlers; however; Lennox did assist in cutting the strips of paper. You wouldn’t believe how entertained toddlers can be with a pair of safety scissors.
For the sunflower on the left, I followed Playideas.com’s instructions. As for the flower on the right, I used the strips Lennox, and I cut and overlaid them onto each other with Elmer’s glue to form the shape of a sunflower. For the center of both sunflowers, Lennox balled up tissue paper, and we glued them to the center of the sunflowers.
5. Painting Pinecones
It might be too early for this craft right now, but last year, Lennox and I went on a nature walk and gathered some pine cones. He loved learning about the pinecones and looking for them on the ground. We placed them into a basket and brought them to the table where I let Lennox creatively paint them. He had fun being able to do whatever he pleased with the paint and the pinecones while learning about fall and nature.
We hope you enjoyed our fall crafts thus far. I’m sure there will be more on the way because just as beneficial as it is for Lennox, it helps calm my mom-brain and to distress as well. Please let us know what you think and/or to recommend any awesome holiday crafts that we do in the future.