Sunday, December 22, 2013

Four Winter Toddler Crafts and Activities

Looking for some easy toddler winter crafts and activities?

I'm officially over winter.  Buh-bye shortened days!  Buh-bye cold weather!  Buy-bye staying inside!  Oh, how I wish it were already spring.  But, until warmer, sunnier days come, Chuck and I are going to persevere and have fun indoors.  Here are four crafts and activities that have kept us busy, happy, and sane for the past couple of weeks. 



1.  Cereal Box Gingerbread Men



Cereal Box Gingerbread men
I cut out a whole bunch of gingerbread men from my empty cereal box stash.  (Yes, I'm a proud cardboard hoarder!)  Then, I brought them to the library and let the kids decorate them with googly eyes and foam stickers.  The older 2-year olds had fun making funny men and the babies just watched their moms do the craft. 

Chuck's attention span:  He probably spent about 5-10 minutes on this activity before he lost interest.



2.  Hand and Foot Reindeer Wreath

 hand and foot print reindeer wreath Christmas
I've seen versions of this craft all over the internet... and thought they were so cute and perfect for the holidays.  I traced Chuck's hand once to make a template for the wreath and horns.  I also traced Chuck's foot to make the reindeer's head.  Then, I glued everything together and he helped me add foam shapes and googly eyes.

Here are the different components of the wreath:

parts needed to make handprint and reindeer wreath craft
Chuck's attention span:  He probably spent about 10 minutes on this activity before he lost interest.



3.  Homemade Play Dough


child playing with homemade playdough
I followed this craft clay recipe and we had tons of fun rolling, cutting, and shaping our clay.  Unfortunately, our ornaments cracked when they dried.  Boo.  But, we had such fun manipulating the stuff that I kept leftovers in a sealed bag in the fridge.  It didn't dry out and we got to play with it another day. (Right now the "play dough" is still in our fridge... so we'll try it out again this week.)

He used a blunt plastic knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup, and an olive jar (our makeshift rolling pin) to play with the dough. 

boy using a plastic knife to cut homemade playdough

Chuck's attention span:  This activity was a hit!  We spent about 30-45 minutes on two separate days playing with our "play dough."



4.  Water Bead Play


water bead play
Again, I saw a ton of other mommies raving about these beads so I had to give them a try.  I found mine at Michaels in the flower section.  The beads are made of a special polymer that expands in water.  The resulting beads look a bit like boba balls and are slippery and firm.  They also bounce a bit if dropped.

Here's what the water beads initially looked like ...
what do water beads look like- explanation

After a couple of hours, our beads grew and Chuck had a blast scooping them from container to container.

Warning:  Yes, they can be a choking hazard.  I repeatedly told him that the beads weren't food and I made sure to watch him while he played.  Once we were done with the beads, I threw them away in the garbage can.  (You can't pour them down the drain because they can clog your pipes.)

toddler playing with water beads
Chuck's attention span:  This activity was a hit!  He spent about an hour just scooping the beads from container to container.


So, for all you mamas out there who are also stuck at home with young ones... stay strong!  We can make it through winter!  Hopefully one of these ideas will help keep you sane this week.

Happy crafting, friends!

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