Five Basic Arts and Crafts Projects for Infants and Toddlers
Providing your children with exposure to a wide array of stimulating and educational activities can help them develop their motor skills and their cognitive abilities more rapidly. This is especially true for infants and toddlers who may be less mobile than their older siblings and may not have the same opportunities to make contact with a wide array of textures and materials during their daily routines. Here are five of the best ways to introduce your little one to arts and crafts from the educational experts at Discovery Point Child Development Centers.
Allowing your baby to touch a wide array of surfaces can help in developing motor skills. Tree bark, grass, carpeting and water are all good choices for allowing babies to interact with their surroundings and can stimulate curiosity and improve hand-eye coordination for babies as young as four months of age. Since many babies have a natural urge to put objects in their mouths as a means of exploring them, these exercises should be closely supervised to prevent accidental swallowing of items not meant for consumption.
A little care can ensure that your baby’s first artistic ventures are safe and memorable. Nontoxic products and careful supervision can allow your infant to get at least most of the paint onto the paper. Be sure to spread butcher paper or other baby-safe materials on the area where your child’s masterpiece will be produced. This can simplify clean-up chores while providing a safer environment for your little one to smear, smudge and create a work of art in your kitchen, living room or backyard.
Small plastic or inflatable pools can provide babies with the chance to splash and play while experiencing the textural and physical properties of liquid. Constant supervision is required for children during water play to ensure their safety. With the proper care and guidance, however, time spent exploring the water can stimulate cognitive processes in your infant or toddler and may help to inspire a sense of adventure in older babies.
Sticking with Velcro
Hook-and-loop connections offer plenty of sensory interactivity for babies. The characteristic sound made when removing Velcro connections can provide auditory stimulation for even the youngest babies. As your infant grows more adept at maneuvering small objects, he or she may be ready to play with foam boards or Velcro boards to make pictures and designs. This can be a good first step toward readying even the youngest babies for their future academic pursuits and can introduce the idea of craft projects and practical creativity at an early age.
Educational toys, including ball pits, that allow babies to interact directly with balls in every shade of the rainbow can provide hours of entertainment for most infants and toddlers. Be sure that all elements of the ball pit or other container are nontoxic and too large for babies to fit into their mouths. Blocks can also be used to build temporary structures; for added fun, tear them down together once playtime is over.
For older children, a pair of safety scissors, crayons, a glue stick and multicolored construction paper can be used to create arts and crafts of all kinds:
- Paper figures of people and animals
- Chains of paper links for use in decorating rooms, doorways and other areas
- Collages and other works of art for display on refrigerators or bulletin boards
At Discovery Point, we are committed to helping each child in our care reach his or her full potential through innovative programs designed to build confidence and creativity in a safe and structured environment. These baby-safe craft projects and starting points for creativity can help ensure a brighter academic future for your little one.