There are the ever most popular and beloved finger paintings, coloring books, water color paintings, crazy shape cutting, and many other basics we can do with our kids, but sometimes it's fun for me to make something special from all the basics or beef them up a bit.
We have used old diaper boxes and made them into baby doll beds and school buses for 'L' so her guys could ride around inside them. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of this escapade but I can explain.
1. Let the toddler/preschooler apply glue to one side of the diaper box after you folded in or cut off the top flaps yourself.
2. After the side of the box is saturated undoubtedly in glue help apply the choice of color your child chose for their bus. We chose yellow. (Repeat this step until all sides are covered)
3. While the glue is drying help cut out rectangles for shapes. I made long strips out of basic construction paper and let her cut across to make the rectangles. Also make larger shapes for the front window and back windows.
4. Let toddler/preschooler apply glue to the backs of the rectangles and help guide them to where the windows should go. Let them have fun. If one is out of place let it be. It'll still be a bus to them.
5. If you are comfortable with your drawing skills ask your child who they want to drive the bus and ride in the back. Draw faces of animals or family members in the windows. In our case Daddy "drove" the bus and the family as well as many animals rode in back.
6. Add any personal touches like sparkles or stickers if you'd like. This would also work for the people riding the bus if you'd like.
7. Finishing details like dividing the doors with a line and adding handles, lights etc.
Your bus is complete! Let your child enjoy their new homemade toy they had a hand in making.
Baby Doll Bed
1. Using an old diaper box you now have two options. You may cut the corners half way and fold or cut the remaining flaps to make shorter sides or you may later add a pillow to fluff up the middle. We made both beds.
2. Choose the color of the baby doll bed and let your toddler/preschooler apply glue to one side of the box and help apply the paper. Repeat until all sides are covered.
3. Choose stickers, paints, crayons or cut out more shapes and glue to the sides to let your child express themselves.
4. Finish the project with your own personal touch. I added a small beach pillow for the mattress and let her use her old receiving blankets for baby doll blankets.
All done! Let your child enjoy her reward after all of her hard work; the baby doll bed!
Another project we ventured in was a bouquet of roses or daffodils. This was a lot of fun because she got to collect some things from the beach and I used what I had lying around the house.
Fake Flowers in a Vase
1. Choose your vase. You can use an old one you have lying around, a plastic cup or one of your kids cups. I had a plastic, pink vase lying around after receiving it as a gift when 'H' was born.
2. Go to the beach and have fun! You can go to the beach, park, playground or your backyard, but make it fun. Let your child choose all of the fun stuff like rocks or shells to go inside the vase to hold down your small vase.
3. Go home and collect the rest of your supplies. I used bendy straws for the stems but you can use colorful pipe cleaners if you'd like. For the pedals we used baking cups in the traditional size and the small size for tiny cupcakes.
4. Fill your vase with all of your goodies. You may clean whatever you found first if you wish.
5. Mom, poke holes in the center of your baking cups after counting out how many flowers you would like to make. You can double up the baking cups to make numerous pedals or just use one per stem. Let your child decide.
6. Let your child slide the baking cup onto the bendy straw. We cut a bit of the tip off being that it would stick out too far through the flower. The baking cup will stick well to the "bendy" part of the straw if you did not make your center cut too large.
7. Add any personal touches like leaves made from more pipe cleaners or construction paper glued or taped on. My daughter didn't want to make leaves but wanted to add pieces of straw in the bottom with the rocks and shells so more flowers had a chance to grow.
Sit back and take a break. Display your childs beautiful vase of flowers in their room or in the center of your table. 'L's is still in her room to this day.
You can also make maracas out of old water bottles. For little fingers you can use macaroni noodles and let them drop them in. Older kids might like using a funnel and spilling in rice. You can decorate the outside with stickers, paper or even paint. Another favorite is making masks out of paper plates. We enjoy making crowns out of construction paper. I'll even ask 'L' for an animal and I will cut out a frog for instance, but add a construction paper band for a crown. She ran around in this crown until it fell apart. Which in some cases may be very quickly!
I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas. Don't forget to check out more sites like www.babycenter.com or other mommy sites for more projects and check back here for more crafts in the future. You can come up with your own ideas too! Make them kid friendly and they don't need to be gorgeous but they do need to be fun and age appropriate. Enjoy the time with your children.