There’s no doubt that an arts and crafts afternoon is a brilliant way to keep your small person occupied (not to mention a great development tool), but there’s only so much crafting you can do without another trip to Hobbycraft. Or is there? We’ve scoured Pinterest for the best toddler-friendly craft ideas – that can all be made with items you’ll probably already have lying around the house. So minimal expense but the enjoyment is off the charts. Result.
Dish brush fireworksSome blank paper, an old dish brush and a few pots of paint is all it takes for your tot to make these fun firework shapes. Just keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t think your Farrow and Bell clad walls could do with a firework display… [Pinterest via sassydealz.com]
Homemade ring tossWho knew so much fun could be had with some paint, paper plates and an empty kitchen towel roll? And once finished, this craft activity is the perfect summer garden game. [Pinterest via lovethispic.com]
Bottle bird feederTempt birds of all varieties into your garden by setting up this feeder. All you need is an empty squash bottle and two wooden spoons. Once you’ve made the four holes, your toddler can help thread the spoons through and fill it with seeds – then you can both watch out for all the birds that use it. [Pinterest via gugutotheoutdoors.com]
Leaf printsAs soon as the leaves start falling, collect lots as they’re the perfect craft utensil – and free! Your small person can enthusiastically paint one side and then press it onto a blank piece of paper, with your help, to make pretty autumnal prints. [Pinterest via artsforthehomecatia.blogspot.com]
Spray paint funIf you think you’re up for a super messy activity, this one’s for you. But we recommend you take it outside. Wash out empty cleaning product spray bottles and fill them with different coloured water-based paints, then aim them at a large piece of paper and have some fun! [Pinterest via simplyfrugal.ca]
Pasta necklacesPasta painting is a classic crafting pastime – and is bound to keep your toddler busy for, oh, at least 15 minutes. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be gifted with the end product, too. As long as he doesn’t make you wear it on the nursery run…[Pinterest via thealisonshow.com]
Animal paper platesIt’s easier to make your tot’s favourite animal than you may think. All you need is some paper plates, paint, tissue paper, glue and googly eyes. You can task your little one with painting the plate and then once it’s dried you can decorate it together. Stick a lollipop stick to the back to make it into a mask and let the role play begin! [Pinterest via iheartcrafythings.com]
Cotton wool lambsWhile you may need to draw out the sheep for your toddler, he can get all arty making the lamb’s wooly coat with cotton wool and glue. [Pinterest via spiritedpuddlejumper.com]
Guitar boxHere’s one to add to the musical instrument box – a guitar made from an empty tissue box and strings of varying thickness. Your tot will be serenading you in no time. [Pinterest via cs606223.vk.me]
Clothes peg planeAll you need for this are three lollipop sticks and one wooden clothes peg. Help your toddler paint them all and then glue them together to make a plane. The tough bit will be amusing your child until it’s all dried and he’s able to play with it… [Pinterest via Etsy.com]
Tactile lettersCut out each letter of your child’s name and get him to wrap wool around each one. He’ll have great fun (and may end up in a tangle of wool) and you can display them in his room for years to come. [Pinterest via creativewithkids.com]
Tissue paper flowersLuckily, no Van Gogh-esque art skills are required for this – all you need to draw is a vase and some leaves. Your tot can then stick down cupcake cases as flowers and fill the vase in with scraps of tissue. Makes a great homemade present for grandma when she next comes to babysit. [Pinterest via ginages]
Handprint pictureGot a little ballerina on your hands? She’ll love creating this balletic outfit – and gets to use her hands to do it. Just watch where she puts her hands when she decides she’s had enough – pink handprints all over the carpet may not be exactly the décor theme you had in mind for the living room. [Pinterest via Babble]
Jelly fish friendsIntroduce your toddler to a new underwater creature while making these jelly fish together from paper plates and coloured string. They’ll make a great addition to his bedroom, too.[Pinterest via lisastorms.typepad.com]
Can you suggest any more genius craft ideas? Let us know in the comment box below.