I have become addicted to Pinterest which is good in a way because it inspires me to get up off my bottom and actually do things, but it is also bad because it has a tendency to make me feel like a failure.
My daily routine with Elsa usually involves some colouring in, reading some books and maybe an activity like building blocks or stacking cups. The rest of the time she is either eating, sleeping or watching TV/playing games on my iPhone. Before she was born I was determined not to rely on screens to entertain her but that soon changed when I realised I couldn’t get anything done unless I occasionally let her wind down in front of Peppa Pig. Now that she is a proper little toddler she is on the go all day and it can be exhausting for both of us. She isn’t really interested in the TV much anymore so I’ve cut back on that but she does love the toddler friendly apps on my phone and I don’t mind her playing on them because they are all educational and she gets a lot from them.
Anyway I’ve gone off the point slightly. What I started saying was that we don’t do a lot of crafty type things and when I have tried them in the past she hasn’t really been interested or she’s been too little. I have started to feel a bit guilty about the lack of hands-on activities we do together and that’s where Pinterest has come in handy. I’ve created two boards, Elsa- Learning and Elsa- Crafts, and I am collecting together ideas of very basic activities we can start trying to do now that she is a bit better at focusing on one thing at a time.
There are a lot of ‘Toddler Friendly’ pins that are anything but and if your toddler is like mine then you need something that is quick to make and doesn’t involve anything too fiddly otherwise you’re likely to end up with a big tantrum to deal with. I was inspired by a post I’d seen about little crabs made out of seashells. These little paper plate creatures are the perfect activity for keeping little people occupied for twenty minutes and you can split the activity into two parts if you need a break in between.
FIRST UP YOU WILL NEED:
- Paper plates
- Pipe cleaners
- Pom poms
- Tissue Paper
- PVA Glue
- Glue Spreaders
- Wiggly eyes
I bought a lot of my stuff from eBay but these things are easily found in most supermarkets and pound shops. You don’t need to use the same things I did either, just adapt it to whatever you have lying around.
TO MAKE THE CRAB
- Cut a crab shape out of one plate. This bit is for the mummies and daddies unless your toddler is older and you are comfortable with them using safety scissors.
- Paint it red and leave to dry.
- Once the paint is dry attach 3 long pipe cleaners (or 6 short one) on the underside of the body using the tape. These will be the crab’s legs.
- Finally stick on two wiggly eyes.
Note – If you wanted to you could cut out two parts to the body and attach the other underneath to hide the pipe cleaners but we left it as it was.
TO MAKE THE MONSTERS
Before we decided what we were going to make with all our arty bits we just experimented with the paint and all the different brushes and sponges we had. Afterwards we had a pile of multicoloured plates that seemed perfect for making funny monster faces!
1. Paint your paper plate whatever colour you want your monster to be. I let Elsa go crazy with the paint at this stage.
2. Leave to dry. We actually left our plates overnight so the activity was drawn out over two days.
3. Cut a hole for the mouth and use the offcuts to make spiky teeth. Attach the teeth with tape or glue on the underside of the plates.
4. Give your monster faces some features! Elsa stuck strips of tissue onto one for hair and we gave the other one pipe cleaner arms and legs. Her favourite bit was sticking on the wiggly eyes and a pom pom for the nose!
Note- You could use anything you have in your craft box for decorating the plates. Feathers would make great hair and ribbons would make awesome wobbly legs. Let your little one decide what their monster will look like.
Both these activities were very simple to make and kept Elsa happy for around half an hour, which is definitely a good sign. The best thing is that they are so cheap to do that it really doesn’t matter if your toddler destroys them or loses interest part way through.
I will be attempting to try some more ideas I have pinned on Pinterest in the near future and I hope they are all as successful as these. If you are interested in browsing my boards then you can follow me on Pinterest below. I pin everything from crafts to food and outfit inspiration to gardening ideas! I’m always looking for new inspirational people to follow to so leave me your links in the comments and I’ll check them out.
What crafty activities does your little one like to do?