Have your toddler use safety scissors so she can help find and cut out pictures for her masterpiece.
If you want to spend time with your toddler while working on an activity that will spark her creativity, try decorating a collage together. You may end up doing most of the work yourself, and it may get messy, but you will make memories that will long outlast any mess she might make.
1Choose a theme that you can talk about together as you create the collage. By choosing a theme like "Things I Like," "Animals" or "Favorite Foods," you can help narrow down the items for the collage while creating a teachable moment. If your toddler is still learning to use scissors, you might be doing the legwork while she directs you. If she has somewhat mastered her scissor skills and she is cutting pictures out of a magazine or newspaper, be sure she is using safety scissors.
2Grab a stack of magazines and let your toddler find images that match your theme. Some of the best magazines are those specifically geared toward parenting, since they're most likely to have bright pictures geared toward kids. As your little one finds pictures, cut them out and begin arranging them on a piece of poster board or construction paper.
3Use stickers as part of your collage. While you might need to be in charge of placing, decorating and gluing, little fingers can use stickers to add a little more life to the collage. Consider swapping poster board for sticky paper to eliminate the need for glue. You can also add pictures of your child, images you've printed from the Internet and even small items that your tot loves, such as a special leaf he found or a few pieces of dried pasta.
4Talk about each item and involve your toddler as much as possible during the process. Even if you're the head decorator, your little one might be able to spread glue or tidy up paper scraps. This is the perfect time to chat about your subject matter and work on your toddler's communication skills. Ask which is his favorite color or ask him to make animal sounds that go along with his pictures as you glue down the images.
5Cut the final collage into a shape so that it has neater edges. By cutting the poster board or construction paper into a circle, heart, square or other shape, you can clean up the edges and turn your afternoon project into a piece of art worthy of display. You can also pop it into a dollar store frame for cheap and adorable wall art.
Things You'll Need
- Construction paper
- Poster board