He’s so full of energy that he’s always on the go. If you can’t bottle some of that energy to bounce off the walls alongside your preschooler, wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to get him to sit still for more than five minutes at a time? Some creative craft projects may just be the way to occupy your child so you can catch your breath and enjoy a little one-on-one time together.
1. Sweet Treat Decorating
We try to keep our kids eating healthy, but every once in a while, why not let them indulge in a tasty treat, decorated with colorful sweets? You can use the activity to spend some one-on-one craft time together with your 3- or 4-year old. Prepare some sugar cookies and set out bowls of chocolate chips, frostings, colored sugars, sprinkles and candy coated chocolates, and let her go nuts. If sugar cookies aren’t your thing, you can provide her with crisped rice squares or brownies to pile on the tasty toppings. If you’re careful not to let the kids know your motive, you might even be able to steal a few minutes of peace and quiet at a party by setting the group to work on this edible activity.
2. T-Shirt Embellishing
Just think how easy it’ll be to get him to cooperate at dressing time when he gets to put on his custom-decorated T-shirt. Start with a plain T-shirt and a pile of fabric markers, fabric paint and stamps. Be sure to cover up the work surface and then let him use his imagination to turn the plain garment into his favorite T-shirt ever. You can encourage some family pride by making it a “Team Last-Name” shirt. Just write the word “Team” and your last name on the back of the shirt and then let him continue with his craft. If he’s already learning his letters, this is a great time for him to practice.
3. Diva Adornments
Her toy box may already be spilling over with dress up costumes and accessories, but it could always use a few extra custom items, right? Why not start with a handcrafted tiara and then spend an afternoon adding some extra odds and ends. Start with a craft foam visor for the tiara and turn it upside down. Now you've got the basic tiara shape. Let her decorate the tiara with glue-on rhinestones or gemstones and glitter. Bend a few pipe cleaners in half to make the points for the tiara and use an instant grab glue to attach them to the top. Other craft projects for the afternoon can include some bead jewelry made from pipe cleaners that you twist together end-to-end and then adorn with metallic or glass beads. If she’s not past the stage of putting things in her mouth, you can skip the beads and opt for fruit circle cereal jewelry instead.
4. Nature Mobiles
How about some nature-inspired mobiles to decorate his room? You can even squeeze a little nature walk into the activity for a little more one-on-one time. On your walk, collect some twigs at least 12 inches long and some pine cones. When you get home, cover your table in newspaper and let your crafty preschooler paint the pine cones with a bunch of non-toxic paints. Before the paint dries, add some glitter to the pine cones for a bit of sparkle and then let them dry. Form an “X” with two of the twigs and tie them together in the middle. Leave some string attached to tie it to the ceiling. Tie the pine cones onto the ends of the twigs. Tie a string around the center of another twig and tie it beneath the “X”. Tie some pine cones to the ends of this twig and hang the mobile in his room.
- The Complete Book of Arts & Crafts; American Education Publishing
- Creative Crafts for Kids; Gill Dickerson, et al
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images