Why Crafts Are Good For Your Preschooler…

… And Four Ideas of Things to Make

Getting a preschooler to sit still can be a near-impossible feat. They’re constantly exploring the world around them. That’s a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That’s where preschool crafts come in.
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Crafting is great for preschoolers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop a longer attention span. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Here are some craft ideas that your preschooler can do (with supervision). Your older children will also enjoy these crafts, so let everyone join in and have fun on these.
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1. Craft Stick Puppets

Puppets are fascinating preschoolers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it’s a lot of fun. All you really need are some craft or popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.
Help your preschooler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he’s ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom pom for the nose, and add some googly eyes.
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2. Paint with Pudding

Kids love to fingerpaint, but it’s so messy. And there’s also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!
You don’t need different flavours to make different colours. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add a teeny weeny drop of  food colouring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he’s finished he can eat his creation without you worrying.
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3. Design a T-Shirt

If your preschooler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!
Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. If a permanent design is desired, however, you’ll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your preschooler.
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4. Placemats

Making placemats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your preschooler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them onto a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he’s done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.
Most preschoolers will only have the patience to make one placemat at a time. But he can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the whole table. He’ll be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!
Crafting can help your preschooler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it’s a rainy day or he’s just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.
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