Use cotton balls for a variety of craft projects.

Simple Toddler Crafts Using Cotton Balls

by Cara Batema

Cotton balls are awesome craft materials because they’re easy to find, cheap in price and provide your toddler with a stimulating tactile experience. Leave cotton balls as they are or break apart for other intriguing textures. Assemble other craft materials, such as paper towel rolls, construction paper, pipe cleaners, glue, felt, yarn and scissors for a varied craft experience. Kids love to learn, so use the activities as ways to teach your child about letters or animals.

1. Holiday-Inspired Crafts

Cotton balls have boundless opportunities for holiday crafts because they can be used to depict snow, Santa’s beard, a fluffy Easter bunny or even Thanksgiving corn on the cob. Let your child be imaginative with the ways he uses the cotton balls; as a parent, you’ll want to suggest ideas, which is okay, but also give your child a chance to make decisions or explore with the materials. A construction paper Santa or Frosty the Snowman looks adorable with some added cotton ball fluff. Help your toddler glue these shapes together and glue the cotton balls to the paper. Use markers or crayons to draw faces. Add some life to the cotton balls by coloring them with paint or markers.

2. Learning Letters

When you make learning pleasing and entertaining, your kids are much more engaged in learning. Cut out letter shapes made of construction paper. Help your toddler glue cotton balls all over the front of the letter. This activity helps teach early literacy skills to your toddler while also engaging him in a cool craft. Use the completed letters to make words of two or three letters each.

3. Animals

What kids don’t love animals? Using animals as the basis of your craft is a guaranteed way to get your toddler enthusiastic about an activity. Draw and cut out an animal shape from construction paper or cardboard; try a rabbit or a sheep. Help your child put glue on the areas you want the cotton balls to go, and let your child pick up one cotton ball at a time and place it on the glue; this activity helps with fine motor control. Use construction paper shapes or markers to add a face to the animal. Also try making a sheep by covering a paper towel roll with cotton balls. Use pipe cleaners to make legs. Make a hatching bird by coloring a cotton ball yellow. Cut out one groove of an empty egg carton and glue the cotton ball inside. Use construction paper and googly eyes to make a beak and eyes.

4. Cotton Ball Clay

Kids love getting dirty, and they relish in the ability to mash and mold things and explore new textures. Make cotton ball clay for your toddler to create shapes. Tear 3 cups of cotton balls into smaller pieces and mix with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Slowly stir in 2/3 cup flour and cook for five to seven minutes or until the mixture thickens. Pour the mixture on a heavy towel to cool. Once the cotton ball clay is cool, let your child mold it into a shape. Don’t rein in your child here – let him be creative, and the sky is the limit. Set the design aside to dry for 24 hours or until hard. Cotton ball clay works similarly to paper mache, so you can create shapes as well as cover an object to create a mold.

About the Author

Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.

Photo Credits

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