Entertaining Crafts to Do for Toddlers

Ok, I did these little crafts the other day, and since they are made by Mommy, I didn’t think they should go in the craft section.  But they’ve been keeping the boys well entertained.


Dyed Flowers

(Ok, I did these to have flowers for decoration, and I thought I could use Evan’s “help” on it.  It was really neat for us to keep checking on it.  A note: blue and red did the best.  Purple looked black.)


Things you need:


  • White Carnations (or mums or daises.  But carnations did the best)
  • Bud vases (or glasses)
  • Water
  • Food dye
  • Scissors


Cut the carnations at the beginning of a section.  (All flowers need to be cut at an angle at least an inch up.)  Get as many vases as you want colors.  Fill the vases with water and drops of food coloring.  (The more drops, the brighter the color.)  Place a couple of flowers in each vase.  In a couple of days, the flowers will start turning colors.



Pipe Cleaner Animals

(This would be a great craft for older kids, but I have little guys who can’t twist metal very well yet.  These were VERY easy to make, and I know there are harder ones, but I was messing around to see if Evan was ready to do it yet.  No, not yet.  But he loves playing with them.)


Things you need:


  • Four  pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes (optional)


Take the pipe cleaners and knot them together in the middle.  Loop around the knot with the pipe cleaners until you are satisfied by the thickness of the body.  Leaving the pipe cleaners unbent makes an octopus.  Bending each pipe cleaner section to make a knee and then a foot, makes a spider.  Glue the googly eyes on the body.



Easy Rattle

(I think I saw someone do this on a blog, and I remember seeing it on a craft sight.  But which ones?  Sean had a blast with it.  I was surprised that Evan didn’t just open it up and grab the coins.  If you don’t like noise, DO NOT do this.)


Things you need:


  • Clean soda or water bottle
  • A couple of coins


Clean the bottle.  Throw a few coins in the bottle.  Seal it, and let the kid play.





More Halloween Crafts

Tissue Ghosts

(The boys enjoyed this one.  It was easy and fun.  They especially enjoyed decorating the ghosts.)

Things you need:

  • 2 sheets of white tissue paper
  • ribbon or string
  • markers

Wad one sheet of tissue paper into a ball.  (Evan loved that.)  Place the tissue ball into the middle of the other sheet.  Pull the ends together, and tie the ribbon just over the ball, creating sort of a bag.  Flip it over, and decorate the head with a face.  If you want, decorate the rest of the ghost like Evan did.

Paper Pumpkins

(While I was looking for a template to make a pumpkin, I came across this site.  I was planning on cutting out the pumpkin in orange and cutting out eyes, nose, and mouth out of black or yellow.  I liked this idea better.  I let the boys color them however they wanted, and because my boys are young, I cut out the shapes and allowed them to glue them on.  The boys had a lot of fun with this.)


Being a Bat or My Son, My Trainer

Cutting a non-stop swath of destruction, Evan is a tornado.  He doesn’t stop moving, unless he’s watching his favorite cartoon or sleeping.  Even when he sleeps, he rolls, kicks, and punches.  The kid could power a small energy if we could hook him up to the grid.  As for the destruction, it’s typical for your average three-year-old, just toys and crayons strewn across the room as I demand that he stop throwing almonds.  Before any one gives me that control-your-child look, I do make him pick up after himself. 


Did I mention Sean is a tornado in training?  He’s learning from the best, running across the room and throwing balls, especially the small, heavy wood ones (Thanks again, Mom).  The other day when he noticed Evan had juice and looked over to see his own cup on the little table, Sean actually sprinted to his juice across the room.


So I have to recommend that taking care of toddlers is the best form of exercise for those who are trying to loose weight.  I’ll admit I’m done with loosing the baby weight; it melted off with breast-feeding, though it was harder with the first one than the second.  Perhaps that’s because I was running around after Evan as well as feeding Sean.  Now I am working on the pre-baby weight that came with too many nice restaurants with good bread and desserts, sushi gorging sessions, fast food for lunch, and not walking everywhere like I did in college.  I packed on a few pounds, and all I want is to be a healthy weight, not the starving college student weight.  Too hard to keep it up.


Most days Evan is in charge of my workout routine, which consists of walking over 10,000 steps a day.  It means running upstairs and downstairs to get everyone dressed and night clothes put away.  It means running after Evan to get him to brush his teeth or eat a meal.  It means running after Sean when he takes a fork out of the kitchen drawer.  My mom doesn’t believe me, but it’s true.  While I do a small 15 minute workout every other day as the boys play by themselves and I watch the news, I really much prefer Evan’s work outs.


The newest exercise is “being a bat.”  Since we went to the children’s museum last weekend and learned about bats, Evan is a little obsessed.  Yesterday he wanted to be a bat with me.  This consisted of running around the room flapping your arms.  For an exercise routine, it’s not half bad as it gets your heart rate up and works on your legs and arms.  I made my wing flaps large for full effect.  Evan flapped at his elbows; while, Sean got in the act running and flapping his hands.  Yes, it was darling.  Keep this exercise up until they get bored, about ten minutes.


You can always do “the tickle monster,” which you stand above a laying child who is begging to be tickled.  Then you lift your arms straight in the air and bring them down to tickle the child.  Three reps of 15 does nicely, unless you have two kids then you better do four reps.  Be prepared to do this exercise often.


Another favorite of my three-year-old trainer is “Around the Mulberry Bush.”  I chase Evan and now Sean around the dining room table singing “Around the Mulberry Bush” at the top of my lungs as I try to tickle them.  This is great fun, which started when I was pregnant with Sean.  Then I could barely catch Evan.  Now we just chase each other until Evan and Sean gets tired or when I desperately need something to drink and a breather. 


After all the cardio, don’t forget the lifting.  Lift the child off the table he’s standing on.  Lift the child out of the crib.  Lift the child so he can see what you’re cooking for dinner.  Lift the laundry and carry it around the house.  If you are particularly generous, you can lift the child to see the mobile or the wind chimes or just to swing him around.  Usually these lifts are done when you are so tired you just want to curl up on the catch and watch the sticky-sweet ditzy Elmo.


But in case I get bored with my usual routine, my little trainers have come up with several different games and activities to get me motivated.  Sean is working on becoming a quarterback or pitcher (he doesn’t know which yet), so he needs a catcher, which is always me.  Also in training, Evan is attempting to make the US fencing team one day.  Of course, he doesn’t know that fencing does not have light sabers or bats.  We also have soccer in the evening and catch-me-if-you-can just as it turns to dark to see or when I am just too tired to move.  It’s a very strenuous workout that doesn’t stop after the kids go to bed; then it’s housework.


As you can imagine, I should be able to fit into all those tiny shorts I wore in college.  Except I don’t plan on being that thin again, so I choose to even out the workouts with my weakness for anything sweet and chocolaty.  I also find that if I want my sons to eat, I find to set an example, which includes mac-and-cheese, potato salad, sour cream, and French bread.  It’s a sacrifice all mothers must make.  So that our kids understand the good things in life, we mothers bake or buy desserts, in which we teach our kids that all good work deserves a reward.