Make your own stamps out of potatoes! You’ve got a couple options for how to do this. The easiest way is to use small cookie cutters (think Christmas cookies). You cut the potato in half, then press a cookie cutter down into the potato, as far as it will go. Use a knife to cut away all the potato around the cookie cutter (leave the cookie cutter in the potato until you’re done). When you’ve sliced away all the excess, pull the cookie cutter out, and you’ll have your stamp!
The harder way to do it is to cut a shape into the potato. Use a knife with a pointy tip, and use the tip to draw the shape. Next, cut the shape into the potato using only the tip of the knife, by pushing the tip in and out. Cut at least a 1/4 inch down, and a little deeper if you can. Once your shape is outlined, carefully cut away the excess potato from around your shape. This method allows for unique shapes that you don’t have in cookie cutter form.
Once your potato stamp is finished, you can either use a brush to put the paint onto the stamp, or you can squeeze some paint onto a flat surface and press the stamp in (the way you would press a real stamp into an ink pad). Now you’re ready to stamp!
-Use your stamps to make cards (we made the ones above for valentine cards)
-Make letter stamps, number stamps, or shape stamps to practice recognition skills
-Practice color recognition by using shades of one color in your stamp picture
This is a craft you can do even with little little kids, since all they need to do is rip some paper up! We used cotton for snow, just because cotton is fun.
Tear strips of brown paper for the trunk and branches (or let them draw the tree), and then tear up the leaves (if you little one is having a hard time, start the tears for them) and glue them on.
This can be an excellent language activity:
-Help your child to come up with adjectives that describe each season
– Talk with your kid about how each season looks, sounds, feels, smells, and even tastes (winter tastes like Christmas cookies!)
-Talk with your child about the different things that happen in each season- holidays, birthdays, vacations, snow, rain, etc…
Create this kind of card by using masking tape to tape a border around the card (it actually helps to tape it down to the table). Then take a thin piece of tape and place it down the center, and do the same across the card, to create four blocks.
Using a separate piece of paper, outline letters or shapes and have your child color them in. Then cut them out and glue them into the squares on the card.
If you use colors that contrast enough, you don’t need to have a dark outline around the letters/ shapes. It’ll give it a great different look.
Helpful Hint: Use masking tape that’s cheap, so that it doesn’t stick too much to the card. And when you take the tape off, do it slowly and gentle so that it doesn’t rip off part of the card.
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.
Tie a bead to one end so that the cheerios can’t fall off, and make the string long enough to keep your kiddo busy for a while!
Make a rhythm ribbon to dance with! You’ll need a smooth stick (or wooden dowel), a ribbon that’s not too long (but not too short! about 3 ft is good), and a small piece of string.
Tie a knot at one end of the ribbon, and tie the string around it. Then tie the other end of the string to the stick, so that there is about an inch of string between the ribbon and the stick (this allows the ribbon to move more freely than if you just tie the ribbon to the stick). If you use a wooden dowel, you will probably need to tape around the string once you’ve tied it so that it doesn’t slide off.
Turn on the music and dance!! Have your kiddo play with how the ribbon moves- see if they can make it zig-zag or be straight, or make circles, etc…
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.