Kids love toddler crayons because they introduce them to writing and color. Thick, washable crayons are a must for better grip and accidental scribbles on the wall. It also helps to tape the sheet onto the surface, whether the table or the floor, to keep it from moving too much.
If you’re worried your toddler is going to chew on them, offer just a few and monitor her the entire time. While most child-friendly crayons are non-toxic, sometimes you simply need to catch her before she sticks that crayon in her mouth.
Simply grab a few sheets of construction paper, a large paint brush, and a bowl of water. Show her how to dip the brush in the water and “paint” the sheet. The construction paper will darken at the places she brushed with water, making for neat patterns she created herself.
The limits are endless with play dough. Your 1 year old can squish, roll, tear off bits, poke, and do so much with play dough. You might even show her how to blend two colors to make a new one, or mold simple circles and squares to introduce shapes.
Take painting to bath time with bath tub painting! Whether using a brush or her finger, your 1 year old can “paint” the sides of the tub during bath time. These are bathtub finger paint soaps that simply wash off after she’s done.
Remember that construction paper? Show your toddler how to tear them to pieces. Start with one large sheet, and have her tear them into smaller and smaller pieces. Then, do the same with different-colored sheets.
And finally, practice gluing them onto another sheet to make a collage. You can squeeze the glue on the pieces yourself and have her glue them. Or you can pour the glue into a bowl and have her dip the pieces before applying them on the sheet.
Holding the small pieces also encourages her pincer grasp and fine motor skills.
Diaper companies have caught on to the fact that their boxes make for great crafts. As I was collapsing one of my kids’ diaper boxes, I realized that they had printed pictures in black outlines, perfect for coloring.
Whether your diaper boxes have pictures or not, turn them inside out to make for a large, sturdy canvas. Finger painting works well with cardboard, since they can get heavy for regular paper. Simply place the flattened box on the floor and show your toddler how to paint the surface.
Tip: You might want to dress her in a smock, large shirt, or even in diapers, and do the craft before bath time. This is one project that is bound to get messy!
Want to create keepsakes for friends and family? Have your 1 year old paint unfinished ornaments! Whether with her fingers, a brush, or even her fingerprints or hand prints, these special ornaments make fantastic gifts. After the paint has dried, paint the other side and write a greeting to mark the occasion.
Another gift idea is to have your toddler stamp mini tote bags. These rubber stamps will make a pretty cool pattern, and the ink is washable in case of messes.
Celebrate the fall season by painting pumpkins with your 1 year old! Head to your local pumpkin patch and include a few small to medium-sized pumpkins.
White ones work well if you’re painting the surface (the orange ones don’t show the colors as well). You can also glue pieces onto the pumpkins or wrap them using tissue paper to make “mummies.”
Encourage your 1 year old to practice removing and applying stickers. Start by lifting a small part of the sticker—just enough for her to grasp and pull the rest on her own.
You can make cards, a poster, or simply apply the stickers to a sheet of paper. You can also practice shapes with stickers. Take four sheets of the same color and draw a circle, square, triangle, and rectangle (feel free to add more). Then, have her stick the sticker onto the shape you say.