I don’t know about you, but the holidays get me feeling extra crafty! Whether I’m making crafts for loved ones’ holiday gifts, or just filling up those long winter days, I’m always looking for new projects to do with my toddler!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, I have a few ideas for you from projects I’ve done with my son in years past! You can create these masterpieces on paper, poster board, canvas, a ceramic dish, or even wood! I like to use spray on Mod Podge or any varnish/preservation spray on just about any project that isn’t on regular paper. I’d suggest this for canvas art, wood, and the salt dough ornaments. This really helps to prevent fading over the years!
You could do this all on one page, but I prefer to just slap his handprint down a few times between about two sheets of white paper and then cut them out and assemble the wreath myself. I added the bow, which I cut out of a page where he went crazy finger painting!
Tiny baby toes are the cutest. You can paint them with green washable paint, and then add some decoration yourself and title it “Mistletoes”. Super cute for a grandparent gift!
Painting with tape-star of David, star of Bethlehem
One of our little friends celebrates Hanukkah, so last year I had them do a few crafts to celebrate! We started by mapping out the star of David with washi tape, and then I let them finger paint over the top of it. Once it’s dry you pull off the tape and you have a fun print of the star! You could also create a star of Bethlehem in the same fashion.
Paint hands yellow (or grey or silver or even brown, your choice) and place them on the paper, with the thumbs overlapping. Use fingers dipped in yellow or orange paint to represent the candles! You can paint their wrist a little for the base, or just paint it on yourself.
Handprint Salt Dough Ornament
We gave these as gifts for my son’s first Christmas. They turned out so cute! We added a hole before baking for the string and then placed the salt dough ornament against a cardboard backdrop (ones we purchased at Hobby Lobby I believe). Fair warning, my then 3 month old infant did NOT like having his hands used for crafts!
Here is a simple salt dough recipe:
4 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup of salt
Preheat oven to 325, Mix salt and flour, then gradually add the warm water. Mix it into a dough. Roll out onto a floured surface, then make shapes with cookie cutters! Poke a hole at the top with a toothpick, then bake for about an hour. Let them cool, then paint and decorate!
Messy Painting Cut Out
This is one of my favorites to do with little babies, because the messier the better! I let them go to town finger painting a sheet of paper or two, then I cut them out and glue them together in my own design, like this Christmas tree from two years ago when my son was about 15 months old.
This year we did a watercolor version together! I painted the tree and he painted a page that I eventually cut into presents and glued on under the tree. This is a great project for parents and children to team up on!
Finger Print String Lights
I used to do this one every year when I worked in a day care! It’s so cute and so easy. This year I tried to let my 3 year old take the reins and he took a little more creative license than I’m used to, but it’s okay! I still love how it turned out. You just draw or paint a string for the lights and then use baby fingers for cute little Christmas lights.
Finger Print Snowmen
Same concept as above, only I choose to use a black or blue piece or construction paper so that my white paint shows up easier. Three fingerprints stacked on top of each other, then mom and dad or an older sibling can draw on the extras. For older toddlers, you could cut the eyes, arms, hat, nose, etc out with construction paper and let them decorate their snowman!
Washi Tape Tree Decorating
We have a ton of washi tape laying around, so I let my son decorate a tree I drew on some green paper with this sticky decorative tape. He liked choosing the print and the length and peeling off the backs. It’s a great project for practicing those motor skills!