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Three Seasonal Activities to Help Foster Your Toddler’s Creative Skills

By Too Small to Fail

Three Seasonal Activities to Help Foster Your Toddler’s Creative Skills

The holiday season is a great time for families to join together and provides many opportunities to engage your children in the festivities happening around them.

Take advantage of the season to stimulate your child’s senses: sing along to festive music, talk about the colors on the tree, and take in the smells of the Christmas fair.

Spending a lot of time at home together? Holiday-themed art projects can help pass the time and spark creativity. This week we’re offering a handful of fun, free, creative activities that provide opportunities for the whole family to engage in conversations that build vocabularies and early math thinking.

Finger paint wrapping paper

  • Items you’ll need: brown construction paper or newspaper, paints, a paint brush or crayons.
  • Instructions: Cut the brown paper to the right size for gift wrapping. Pour out different colored paints onto some cardboard or into an old plastic container. Use fingers and paintbrushes to decorate the paper. Allow the paper to dry and use as festive and unique wrapping paper.
  • Ask your child to tell you a story about what they’ve painted: What did you make? Why did you choose that color? How does the paint feel? How many colors did we use?

Collage greetings cards

  • Items you’ll need: construction paper, different colored card for mounting, glue, and decorations for your cards. You can use tissue paper, glitter, cotton balls, sequins, string, colored paper, or paint.
  • Instructions: tape a small rectangle of brown paper onto a sheet of scratch paper. Put out the glue, paints, crayons, and other materials for your child to experiment with. When he has finished, allow the paper to dry, mount onto cardboard, and send as greetings cards to family and friends.
  • Ask your child to describe the card: What is your favorite part? Which item is the biggest? How many items did you use? How will people feel when they get the card?

Festive playdough

  • Items you’ll need: 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of warm water, 2 tbsp canola oil, 1 ½ cups salt, different colors of food coloring, 4 small bowls and one large bowl
  • Instructions: Divide water into 4 bowls (¼ cup in each), add ½ tbsp of canola oil and a few drops of food coloring to each bowl. In a separate bowl mix 4 cups of flour and 1 ½ cups of salt. Stir 1 cup of the dry ingredients into each bowl of water. Let your child help you pour and measure the different ingredients. Describe to your child the amounts you are using. Add a pinch of glitter for a festive sparkle. Knead until smooth. No cooking necessary!
  • Ask your child to squeeze, roll and mold the play dough. Can she flatten it out into a pancake? Make a ball? Roll it into "worm" shapes? Ask her how it feels. How many shapes can she make? What happens when she mixes two colors of the playdough together?