She likes the soft feel of flower petals and the firm feel of the rock.

Opposites Craft for Toddlers

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

You’d think your toddler would get opposites because he wears his left shoe on his right foot and the right shoe on the left foot. Of course, there are more opposites to learn, but you hope he gets things straight before he starts school so you won't always be straightening his clothes. He loves the hands-on aspect of crafts and remembers the lessons longer. It’s time to pull out the craft supplies.

Right and Left, Front and Back

Help her understand the concepts of left, right, front and back using paper dolls or pictures of people. Ask her, “Which side of the doll does this go on?” and have her respond with the appropriate word as she dresses the doll. Ask her to trace around your feet and hands to notice the different between right and left. Provide fabric “l” and “r” letters and fabric glue that she can glue onto her gloves or a pair of cloth shoes.


Your toddler might easily identify large and small or short and tall. Use various sizes of craft foam shapes or stickers he can attach to paper, identifying one side of the page for large and the other for small or have him attach the larger shape on the page and glue the smaller shape on top of the larger. Apply peanut butter to one side of marshmallows and have him make a tall stack and a short stack. Provide a set of stacking dolls or boxes and have him stack the smaller boxes inside the larger ones.


In and out, up and down are orientation opposites your toddler can identify. Provide your toddler with an empty shoe box with a lid and stickers. Give her some stickers and tell her to decorate the outside of the box. Provide a second set of stickers and tell her, “Place these inside the box.” Give her a sheet of paper with a horizontal line in the middle and have her place stickers, shapes or finger prints above and below the line to understand up and down.


Summer and winter appear as opposites, as do spring and fall. Let your toddler colors pictures of the seasons or create a collage for each season, as you ask, “What season is this? How do you know?” Help him identify green as summer and white or bare limbs as winter, for example and green leaves for spring opposite the colorful leaves of fall. Provide various clothing items for your toddler’s paper doll and point out how summer clothes might have no sleeves and short pants, contrasting with the bundling of winter.

Light and Dark

Use craft foam or paper stickers for a light and dark, day and night craft where your child places items such as the sun and clouds she would see during the day in one picture and items such the moon and stars in a night.scene. Provide boiled eggs and dye she can dip the eggs into to create eggs that are dark on one end and light on the other end.


  • Little Hands Art Book; Judy Press
  • The Everything Toddler’s Activity Book; Joni Levine

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images