When the creative urge strikes your preschooler, here are ten easy craft ideas that you can do right away because you probably have all the materials handy.
1. Cottonball Snowman – Draw the outline of a snowman on a piece of paper (dark blue paper is nice) and let your preschooler glue cotton balls in the outline to create a dimensional snowman. Glue on paper eyes and buttons. Use crayons or markers to draw on a hat and arms. Sticker stars are nice for the background.
2. Spiral Snake – Give your preschooler crayons or washable markers and have him or her color a paper plate. The more colors the better, and there doesn’t have to be any specific pattern. When the plate is done, cut it into a spiral, starting with an outer edge. When you get to the middle of the plate, cut a head shape. Add beady eyes. You can hang up this slithery critter by punching a hole in the head and tying on fishing line or string.
3. Rice Rainbow – Put a handful of rice in each of three or so zip-style heavy duty plastic bags. Add a few drops of food color in each bag and zip it shut. Let your preschooler shake and squeeze the bag around until the color is evenly distributed. When the rice is dry (almost right away), set out a piece of card stock or heavy paper and draw the outline of a thick rainbow on it with as many stripes as you have colors. Let your preschooler glue the colored rice to the rainbow with white craft glue. When dry, shake off the excess rice.
4. Pebble Turtles – Decorate pebbles to look like turtle shells with acrylic paint with your preschooler. Working on a sheet of waxed paper will keep things neat. While the pebbles dry, cut out flat turtle shapes out of green paper. Glue the pebble to the turtles and you have insta-pets.
5. Stamping Dots – Your child can make a picture out of dots (anyone have a budding Seurat?) with a new, unsharpened pencil and a washable ink pad or acrylic paint. Dip the eraser end of a pencil in to the ink or a small amount of acrylic paint (squeeze just a little bit on a piece of foil or waxed paper), then stamp on a piece of paper. If you use more than one color, use a different pencil for each color.