When your kid draws something and tells you what it is, try going a little further and helping them create a whole new picture out of the first one. For example, my daughter drew a picture in crayon and said it was a rocket, so we turned the drawing into a whole outer space scene! (photo above)
You can also do this when your kiddo draws something random that you think looks like something. Tell them what you see in their drawing and ask them if they want to make it into a new picture. If they’re not interested, don’t force it.
This is a great creative thinking craft! Ask your kiddo questions:
I love what you’re drawing! What is it a picture of? If they don’t know, ask What do you think it could be? (But don’t force them to come up with something.)
Then, have your kid try think of ways they can make the picture into something new- what else they want in the picture, what else goes with the object they created, etc.. Talk about the new picture before you begin making it, or just add things as you go.
Time to think outside of the box! With your kiddo, find a few toys of theirs that you can use instead of a paintbrush. Play kitchen toys work great. Plastic knives can become palette knives, cups become circle stamps, etc…
Kids LOVE being allowed to use things for what they’re not supposed to be used for, so fun is a guarantee on this one. Encourage your kiddo to play around with how they can paint different ways with each object (i.e. thin lines, wide lines, etc…)
If you want to practice shapes, the plastic shape sorter toys work great as shape stamps!! You can also work on color recognition by doing the whole painting in shades of one color.
Have your kiddo trace shapes (help them if you need to) and cut them out. On a separate piece of paper, have them make sea and sky (use paint, chalk, crayon, etc…), and some cotton clouds if you’d like. Then they’re ready to glue the shapes on to make their sailboat!
Use this craft to build shape recognition, as well as color recognition.
Paper and ink. Use photo stick squares to mount it on a black background, and it’s done!
-Use photo squares to mount the finished product to a card, with your kiddo’s name and age below.
Glitter and glue make a great butterfly! Fold the paper in half and then open it back up. Starting at the crease draw half of the butterfly on one side. If your child is big enough, you could draw the lines and they could trace it with glue, or they could even do it completely on their own. Next, fold the paper back over and smooth it out- the glue will transfer to the other side and when you open the paper back up, you’ll have a symmetrical full butterfly. Now it’s time to glitter it up!
-Have your kid experiment with symmetry. Use the same technique, but let your kiddo draw different designs and then observe how they change when they’re reflected across the line of symmetry.
Name game! Start with some thin fabric (I used white and had my daughter color on it, so she was more involved), and cut out the letters of your child’s name. Apply a thin layer of glue to the letters and lay them flat onto some smooth stones. After they’ve dried, paint over them with modge podge (your kid can do this part). Once the stones are completely dry, they’re ready to play with.
Use the letter stones for letter and name recognition. As your kid begins to recognize the letters, they can practice putting them in the right order by lining up the stones to spell their name.
An easier way: If you’re not up for cutting letters out of fabric, you can have your kiddo paint the rocks and then you can paint the letters on.
Going on a “stone hunt” prior to doing this project is a great opportunity to incorporate counting, size and shape skills (how many stones, what size and what kind of shape).
-You can make these stones with numbers 1-10 to practice number order, counting and recognition.
Make a craft using the real stuff! Collect some leaves, grass and dirt (you could even use bark instead of brown construction paper for the trunk) and use glue to recreate your outdoor scene on paper.