Arts, crafts & boredom busters for children and toddlers

Spending time doing arts and crafts with your child is rewarding and educational. This time will allow you to bond and share experiences, and young children love to keep the picture or creation you have made together as a special memento. There are many specialist sites and blogs featuring some ingenious ideas for you to try with your little learner. Below are just a selection of some of our favourites!

Handprint Art

The inspiration that can be taken from a simple handprint is amazing. I find it easiest to set up some safe water-based paint on disposable plates, then make some random handprints onto paper. Once this is done the messy paint can be cleaned away and when the handprints are dry, pens or crayons can come out to complete the pictures. As soon as I glance at the dry prints the ideas come flooding in – and of course, you can use footprints and fingerprints too! I love these designs from

Toilet Roll Tube Chinese Dragon

I love recycling and using things that we have around the house, or that would otherwise be thrown away. This toilet roll tube Chinese dragon is a perfect candidate. A little more complex, I think this might be for over 4’s with plenty of assistance, but what great results! We use them to decorate the room for parties or hang them from the tree outside. This fine example is from

Paper Fans

These are super-simple and you can make them using any colour or design that your child chooses. Kids love these on a hot day, to make something pretty and functional is really rewarding when you are a very little learner. These make great personal gifts for family and friends on a summer’s day too! Take a look at these easy to make designs from

Lolly Stick Flowers

Yet again we can be environmentally friendly here by making use of something we would otherwise throw away. Wash and keep ice lolly sticks for this super-simple creation. Coloured paper, tissue paper, felt, cotton wool or fabric can all be used to make the leaves, petals and centre. This idea comes from

Paper Plate Fish

For this one you may need to pick up some low-cost paper plates, but if you can rinse and dry some after your next children’s party, then even better! Water-based thick poster paint is usually best, or acrylics can be used by older children if all surfaces are protected. If you can, get hold of some of these googly eyes, which you should be able to order online. I find that they are good for so many other projects too. Even sticking them to fruit and vegetables has made for hilarious results. Otherwise old buttons or paper eyes can be just as effective. These cheerful fish designs are from

Hands-on activities like these are an essential part of early childhood development. State-of-the-art childcare centres such as the Cherry Bridge Station Centres in NSW, use arts, crafts and activity-based learning as an important part of their early educational curriculum. No one ever said learning needed to be boring!