It’s the idea that counts. It doesn’t matter what you have on hand, using what you have and not spending too much time or money on something is okay. What your child produces might be completely different than what you see on Pinterest and Instagram. What people post is what they did or set up so the final outcome is perfect and not as open ended as it could be. Keep that in mind when you’re setting everything up.
These lists have no pictures or step by step details because your child may want to create something completely different than what you had initially planned. Ask yourself who are they primarily for? Are they for kids who can’t read/follow along, older kids or adults? Why are the ones not picture perfect not on Instagram as often?
Edible fails may not look great but they can still taste delicious so embrace it and don’t think of them as ‘fails’. I’ve always considered them great works of art no matter how they look because they’re made by them who in turn are precious to you.
Kids have great imagination and unless you have the time to set it up, create a sample and supervise every step your child does to create the item, it’s okay if it isn’t picture perfect at the end. Your child will feel proud about their own accomplishment and that’s what’s important.
The majority of activities I compile are therefore toddler friendly as long as the materials are not choking hazards and it’s more about exploring the materials rather than the craft itself. Lastly, think about what your child will be doing during the activity. If you’re looking at craft ideas, how perfect does it look? What percentage of it looks like an adult created it? What did the child do to help? If you see a perfect Christmas tree or ornament craft, how much do you think the child contributed?
Kids won’t remember many things they’ve done but they remember the time they spend with you during the process.
One example: With kids 2 and under, you’re the one stamping their foot and hand for the perfect print either ornament, cutout, salt dough. What’s next? Washing their hand and foot? What else? What are they doing with it? Are they painting more? Creating their own picture? Creating their own? Think about the process. Did you set everything up to create gifts? If so, let them have their own time to explore and create something imperfect or just explore for a bit of time until they’re uninterested after the gift creation. This not only redirects them so that they don’t just want to destroy the gifts, but it gives them something to do while you’re working on the gift or cleaning up.
Many, not all kids are also the epitome of greed when it comes to materials. They’ll want everything provided. Go with 2-3 materials max otherwise the original intention will be lost. Ever provided 10 different coloured paints? Brown will be the only colour you see.
Always have the picture perfect craft in mind or do it yourself in your own time but allow your child to enjoy the process and not dwell on the expectation even if they’re 7+. It will be perfect no matter what.
Mix and match materials and create something that represents the holidays. Set different materials out each day and tell your child one thing they can make or make a game out of it. Dice rolls, pair each material or holiday item with a number or letter and it can be a random craft everyday. Have fun and make it about them – not the craft.