Crafting with Babies and Toddlers

I’ve got three young kiddos at my house and they craft with me fairly frequently. My boys (2 yr and 3 yr) love to scrapbook, make cards, and paint anything I’ll let them. They do live streaming craft sessions for their grandparents about once a week. But, I’ve got to be honest, I was starting to run out of ideas. So, when Naomi @ejsfuncrafting invited me to join in a live craft night focusing on kid crafts I jumped in, knowing it would make me find some new ideas for my own kids. (Probably not the most professional thing to admit but I try to be honest with you guys.)

So, I’ve got some fresh ideas for your kids age 0-5! I’ll be sharing some Dollar Tree DIYs and some Cricut projects that include free SVGs. You are welcome to use all of my SVGs for personal and commercial use. All I ask is that you do not share/sell the file with others. Send them to my site instead!

Babies

Ok, crafting with babies might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. First off, some of it is just ‘crafting prep’. I’m going to teach you a few ways to get your infant ready for their first crafting experiences. Second thing, YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM IF YOU AREN’T CRAFTING WITH YOUR BABY! I hate when people type in all caps, but I really wanted to get my point across. Crafting should be fun. If it’s just going to be stressful, don’t do it yet. Your child isn’t going to remember it at this point anyway.

Alright, now that I’ve had my little rant let’s talk about ‘crafting prep’. Those first few years of life are all about discovering senses. So, before your baby is even born you can start helping them do that! The first sense to focus on is sound. Let your baby hear some noise! Turn on the Cricut (or if you want it to get really noisy the Silhouette), sew a quilt, mix up a batch of cookies. Whatever it is, help your child become accustomed to different sounds. When crafting time comes, they won’t be so overwhelmed with all the different noises going on.

Soon, you will also be able to work on their sense of touch. Allow them to feel different textures and shapes. While any item is good preparation, there are specific toys that do lead more towards a crafty side. My seven-month-old girl is very much in this stage and she loves this bead toy. I also let her play with a bag of orbees (under close supervision) and I was surprised how interested she already was with them. It was adorable to watch.

When you are ready, you can do some simple projects with your baby! If they are still at the ‘eats everything’ stage, I recommend this cute painting project. Simply get a dollar store canvas and squeeze a few dollops of paint on top. Place the whole item in a freezer ziploc bag (freezer is stronger and less likely to puncture) and let your baby play.

Once your baby has mastered not eating everything they see, you can do some really cute handprint projects.

Toddlers

With toddlers you want to focus on different tools, the first being their own fingers! My cute boys did some finger painting on Dollar Tree canvases. For these, I cut out some vinyl shapes with my Cricut and put them on the canvas first. Once the paint was all dry, I pulled it off to show the white underneath. You will notice a little bit of blotching. That is just resulting from my quality of vinyl and paint. If you wanted a more professional look you could use more expensive supplies but I think the blurred lines are kinda cute.

You can also try a fine motor activity. I cut out a letter on my Cricut and covered it in glue. Then I gave each boy a plate full of random craft items and let them decorate. My three-year-old was very particular about what went on and where he put each item. The two-year-old used everything on the plate and was literally dumping them on at the end. If I were to do this project again, I would use cardstock for the large letter to avoid curling with the large amount of glue.

I love how the 3-year-old put the eyeballs in pairs!

Stamps are also a great item for this age, but they don’t have to be traditional stamps! I cut some vinyl rolls in half (to make them smaller for kid hands) and put a little blue paint on a plate. I cut a simple fish out on my Cricut to complete this underwater scene. Here is the SVG if you want to do the same.

This is the SVG! Right click to save.

Painting (with paint brushes) is also a great activity for toddlers. Unlike crayons or pencils, it doesn’t require a lot of force and allows them to have more control over the outcome. If you are looking for mediums to paint I highly recommend the new Dollar Tree craft section. They have a huge range of stuff and you can’t beat the price.

Preschoolers

Preschoolers can use quite a few ‘traditional’ craft supplies. I love anything with stringing beads (or froot loops) or some fun use of markers, but today I wanted to show you two paper plate projects. I found items like these on Pinterest and created SVGs to make them super easy (especially for larger groups).

To make this cute dinosaur, start by painting a paper plate. Fold it in half and then glue the pieces on the inside. Paint some clothes pins for legs. This would make a fun centerpiece at a birthday party!

This is the SVG! Right click to save!

For the unicorn, the child will practice their gluing skills and could also cut the yarn to make the hair. This one also looks super cute with googly eyes!

This is the SVG file! Right click to save!

And, as a bonus I have this little butterfly lacer you can make for you child. Cut and laminate this project and then practice lacing a shoelace through the holes!

What project was your favorite? Have your kids done any projects they really loved? Let me know in the comments! And, if you need any nursery rhyme helps make sure to go check out my free story time SVGs. Happy Craftin’!

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