Your toddler can make this beautiful butterfly, and set up is very easy.
- Clear contact paper
- Pompoms. We used large pompoms and small pompoms because we had them but one set would be enough as well.
First, cut a piece of contact paper and draw a butterfly with a marker. Butterflies are symmetrical, so it doesn’t matter which side of contact paper you draw it on, but it’s just more convenient to draw it not on a sticky side.
Next, peel off the protective sheet, and tape contact paper to a surface sticky side up.
Show your toddler how to stick pompoms to a sticky surface! You can get creative and lay out patterns with pompoms, but random colors work great as well!
As an option, you can stick it on a window or mirror.
Or tape it to a container that has lights inside it. Keychain Flashlights are perfect to make lightbox, or I also used a headlamp once, or any lights that don’t have wires. You just need to place a sheet of paper on top of the container to dim the light if it’s too bright.
Make story stones
Story stones can be a great addition to your story time. I made story stones for Room on the Broom book. We play by matching rocks to the pictures on each page of the book. Another way to play is to recreate a story without a book. And when Scarlett gets a little older I’m planning to make more story stones for other books, and then all stones can be mixed up in a bag, and we can take rocks in a random order and create our own stories. I made these with stones I got at Michael’s, I painted them with white acrylic first, and then painted art with acrylic paint using miniature brushes, and finished the details with brush pen.
Here’s a fun rocket flying activity – place a paper rocket on a straw, have your kid blow in the straw and the rocket launches into the sky! I made 2 simple rockets, pictured on left and right, by cutting out rocket shape from construction paper and taping it together. The key here is to make sure to tape or glue it well so no air gets into the rocket from any openings besides the bottom. Then you place a rocket on a straw, blow in the straw, and it blasts off. Scarlett’s dad engineered this fancy rocket (pictured in the middle), the rocket comes off from the straw as well, and it does fly better than the ones I did. So be creative, challenge dads to engineer rockets, and have fun with your kids!
Play dough and buttons activity
We love playing with buttons. This button set includes a variety of different shapes and colors, and it’s a lot of fun to use them in combination with play dough. Here we made a fun skull for the Day of the Dead and for Halloween. We made a skull shape from play dough and decorated with buttons and sticky gems. You can build cars with playdough, and add button wheels, you can make a face from playdough and add button eyes, nose, mouth. The possibilities are endless, just use caution.
Abacus from cheerios
We made this abacus from cheerios, box and zip ties. Zip ties are perfect for the abacus because you can lock it from both sides using an extra zip tie, and then cutting it off. Cheerios can be substituted with round pasta. We only count to 10 on each row with my 2-year old, but older kids can use this abacus in a regular way.
Car from clothes pin and pouch lids
We made this fun little car using clothes pin, thick straw, pouch food lids, washi tape and a ribbon. These thick paper straws fit perfectly inside the food pouch lid. We tied the ribbon to the center of the car and took different toys for a ride.
Felt world map
I made this world map by cutting out continents from felt sheets. All continents are removable, and depending on the age of the child you can either arrange them on a blue “ocean” felt sheet yourself, or ask your child to arrange them in the right order. I also cut out a few shapes of the animals to be placed to different continents, and I had a few animal felt faces I made for another activity. We also use these cutest japanese eraser animals to place them on the world map. They do come apart, so if your child is too little, you need to be very cautious with these toys.
A house from milk carton
Another crafty idea is to convert a milk carton into a house. I painted it into blue, and then my toddler helped me to decorate it with stickers. We also made windows from sticky notes and hid animal stickers underneath.
Family portrait art
This was the creation we did with my 2 year old but I’m sure older kids can do a more sophisticated family portrait. I helped her to glue our photos on paper, and then she added stickers and doodles. It’s precious to me anyway. Something like this can also be a great gift.
I have a very picky eater so I need to come up with creative ways to present food. Here’s an attempt to create Rapunzel in a tower, well, you can see just Rapunzel’s hair here. Creating a food art together with your child could be a fun creative activity.
Carousel for toys
Check out this carousel we made. It actually spins! Can you guess how? The secret is using a spinner. I attached a spinner to the bottom of the plate with a double sided tape, and then we had a line of animal toys wanting to take a ride. We attached toys with double sided tape as well.