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Top 10 materials for toddler craft activities

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If you’re a parent to toddlers then no doubt there has been many occasions when you’ve found your self-stuck for ideas to entertain the kids or been caught off guard by a rainy day.  Here, I’m going to go through my top 10 materials for toddler craft activities that every parent should have at home for emergencies!

1. Crayons

Crayons are one of the most effective ways for toddlers to mark make. They are easier to handle than pencils and give more of an instant feedback than pencils can for children of a smaller age.

I’d recommend chunky crayons for toddlers as they are less likely to break than thinner crayons.

2. Paper

Paper is a key item to stash. Don’t feel you need to fork out on lots of new paper though as scrap paper will work just as well for craft activities. Scrap paper is perfect for quick doodles at the table as a distraction to stop the toddler falling asleep! It’s also great for papier-mâché or for making flying aeroplanes, there’s no need to use new paper for simple activities like these.

Coloured paper is harder to come by as scrap so I would recommend having a selection of different coloured paper to hand. This you can use for more final artwork pieces or for bits you tend to gift to others.

3. Card

It’s wise to have some card in stock as it’s perfect for those more durable crafts such as making cards to gift to friends and family or in construction crafts. You don’t need fancy card. Just normal white card will do.

4. PVA Glue

Glue is a must have for any craft supply box. PVA glue is so versatile and easy to use. It’s perfect for all general craft making, such as collages. Don’t forget some glue spreaders, just makes it a bit easier for little ones to manoeuvre it about!

5. Old Magazines

Nature, parenting and home magazines are perfect to keep for spontaneous craft activities. You know the days where it’s pouring with rain and you need something to do, then make sure you have a supply of these. You can use magazines in all sorts of ways, colour matching activities, craft collages, build a picture of favourite items or create alphabet pages. So whilst crafting you can throw in all sorts of educational learning opportunities at the same time. 

6. Scissors

Scissors for you and your toddler are another handy item to have. It’s never too early to introduce cutting practice within your craft activities, don’t expect them to necessarily cut much, but allowing them to handle and feel the toddler scissors (safely) will aid their use farther down the line. 

7. Felt Tip Pens

Felt tip pens are brilliant for adding finer details to your toddlers artwork or if you need a more vibrant colour choice than crayons. Just make sure you go for washable felt tip pens so your toddler doesn’t look like their very own doodle at the end of the day!

8. Food Colouring

Food colouring may sound like a strange item to keep in your craft box but trust me it’s not. It’s absolutely fantastic to enhance the experience of sensory play, such as water play, coloured rice, play dough or even to colour shaving foam. You can use it in free play such as a water table or be more specific with different bowls of coloured water and colour matching with objects. 

9. Recyclable Household Materials

Another freebie item that you can collect without having to spend out is recyclable household materials. Keeping some of your household recyclables such as toilet rolls, cereals boxes and egg boxes to be used in construction crafts is great fun. Build yourself a rocket or robot!

10. Paint

Paint is a must have to finish off your crafts. We need to make those robots and rockets look the best they can! I’d advise poster paints for the toddler age range as they are easily cleaned. Don’t forget your brushes and an apron.

Hopefully, this has been useful for ideas on things to keep around the house for quick and easy toddler craft activities. It makes it so much easier to do unexpected crafts when you’ve got some basics to hand. It may sound like a lot but you can get most of this in a plastic box, so dig one out and set yourself up a dedicated craft box. 

Alternatively stock up on some ready made craft kits such as SandArt or Pottery to have on hand when needed.