Posted on Aug 2nd 2021
Creative play and learning have a central role in toddler's learning and development. Encouraging your little ones to think creatively has significant benefits for their personal growth, too. Creative learning encourages children to explore different ideas and, most importantly, use their imagination!
Experimenting, creating, experiencing and discovering are the essential parts of creative play for toddlers. Children enjoy acting spontaneously in their creative play, so as a parent, it's imperative to follow your child's lead when it comes to their creative freedom. And remember, you don't always have to give your child new or expensive play materials for them to have fun.
We recommend experimenting with household items, recycled objects and natural materials to spark your little one's imagination. Below are a few creative learning ideas for summer brought to you by your friends at Romp n' Roll.
Maple Seed Dragon Flies
With so many stunning colors, textures and shapes, nature can be the best source of inspiration. And some days, you need to put down the books, unplug from the tv and head outside.
Maple seed dragonflies are an easy yet beautiful craft to try out with the kids.
Materials: All you need are maple seeds, twigs, paint and a hot glue gun.
- After collecting your maple seeds, lay them down on paper and begin painting. Remember, there is no right or wrong color, so paint as elaborate or simple as you wish!
- After the wings have dried, glue them onto the twigs, and you're done!
The possibilities are endless with this craft, and you may even have as much fun as your kids!
Homemade Pasta Bead Jewelry
Play with colors and develop your child's motor and sensory skills with this fun and simple activity. This project requires a little prep time, so we suggest starting early in the day.
- Take a handful of pasta and place it into a plastic bag. You may want to use 3-5 different colors, so have one bag for each.
- Place 4-5 drops of food coloring in each bag, choosing a different color per bag of pasta.
- Next, pour a tablespoon of water in the bag, close the bag and mix the pasta around to spread the dye. Place the dyed pasta on top of a layer of paper towels, allowing them to dry for at least 5 hours.
- Now that your beads are done, it's time to make your necklace! Tape one end of the string to the table and place a small piece of tape on the other end to prevent the string from unraveling.
- Start threading your pasta beads onto your necklace, and you're done!
Making the most of everyday objects is a terrific way to encourage your child's inner creativity.
Edible Finger Paint
Tiny humans don't have excellent scissor-using skills, and they aren't the best at squeezing a bottle of glue. But what they are great at is finger painting...and eating. Finger painting for toddlers is a great sensory activity, along with an excellent art activity for them!
If you are looking to make extra kid-friendly art, try this simple DIY edible finger paint recipe.
Ingredients: This recipe is made from only two ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. All you need is your favorite yogurt and colored (flavored) gelatin!
Instructions: Grab a few bowls, depending on how many colors you want to make, and begin by adding a scoop of yogurt and a little bit of gelatin. The more gelatin you add, the darker the color will be and vice versa.
This recipe is excellent for babies and toddlers because it is entirely made out of food. Plus, there's no need to monitor the little ones during craft time with this recipe!
Paper Towel Roll & Pom-Pom Challenge
A cardboard tube maze is an exciting challenge for little counters and uses hand-eye coordination.
Materials: For this project, all you need are empty paper towel rolls, scissors, a large shoe box lid or any shallow container, a pom pom, glue, and a permanent marker.
- Begin by cutting the empty paper towel rolls into ten 1.5 inch sections. Randomly arrange them inside the cardboard container with room for the pom-pom to roll between pieces.
- Next, glue the pieces down, allowing them to dry for an hour.
- Once the glue is dry, in random order, write numbers 1-10 on top of the pieces.
- Lastly, place the pom pom in the container and let the game begin! The game's object is to tilt the box so that the pom pom rolls through the numbered tubes in the correct order. Depending on the age of your child, you can make many modifications.
For toddlers, they can practice just identifying the numbers as they roll through the tunnels. You can also label the rolls with letters, shapes or colors to work on different skills. Make the game unique to your child!