Toddler Activity: DIY Letter Crayons

Today is Crayon Day! Did you know there was a day specifically for crayons? Me neither, but I love how these DIY Letter Crayons turned out. I think it’s so fun celebrating different days with Mila, but the activities along with it are even more fun.

Another thing I didn’t know before Mila and I did this activity was that anyone can purchase a ton of unwrapped crayons. It makes this DIY a lot easier!

Here’s what you’ll need if you want to create some of your own:

This can obviously be done without purchasing the unwrapped crayons. You can use broken ones at home or a smaller amount from a store. Just make sure that the wrapping is taken off. That’s most important.

Before you start cutting crayons for the mold, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, start breaking up crayons to place in the mold. I’m pretty sure this was Mila’s favorite part of the whole DIY. It takes quite a bit of crayons to fill the mold up. One word of advice from me is even if it seems like a lot of crayon in the mold, they melt way down.

Figure out which colors you’d like to put together before hand too. I added a lot of white in between colors to prevent the crayons from getting mixed. Plus, the marble look is cute too.

Anyways, place the mold on a baking sheet then in the oven for about ten minutes or until they’re completely melted.

After they’re melted, let them completely cool before removing them.

That last step is super important. A few of our crayons broke during the removal process. To fix it, I just popped them back in the oven for a little while.

Overall, I think they turned out perfectly! We made sure to do “Mila’s letters” and Jensen’s too. She helped pick out the colors for both. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about letters and colors as well. I love how random activities can hold so much learning opportunities.

One mistake I made through the crayon making process was putting white on the corners. When we make more, I’ll keep away from that. It just made drawing a little harder for Mila and she didn’t understand why she couldn’t see what she was drawing.

Besides that, Mila noticed and loved how one crayon could have so many different colors. I can’t wait to see her future creations!

If you try this DIY out, let me know in the comments. Also, if you’ve done it before, tell me your tips in getting anything out of molds! I feel like it’s all up to patience, but I get too excited.

Before you go, check out what these other moms did to celebrate Crayon Day:

Toddler Activity: Snipped Paper Shamrock Collage

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to work on Mila’s scissor skills and do some more process art. This Shamrock Collage is a fun way to teach them about a ton of different things, while they’re having fun.

Mila is so interested in scissors. Whenever I use mine, she asks for her and tries to cut different things. Although she’s still into using both hands to cut, I challenge her to try and use one hand.

If you didn’t know, toddlers Mila’s age shouldn’t really be cutting paper. They should practice on play-doh or something similar, which Mila does. But, I like seeing how she’s progressed. When she practices on paper, I try to cut strips for her so she can do short cuts.

Anyways, let’s get back to this project. Here’s all the supplies you’ll need:

  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Market
  • White paper

I’m going to go on about scissor skills (sorry!). If you want to age this activity up, use the green paper as a template. This is too old for Mila’s age and for most toddler-aged kids.

Anyways, I found extra scrapbook paper in the playroom. We don’t use a ton of green for crafts, so I actually had a good bit of it. To make the shamrock, I followed this pin. I cut long strips for her to make small cuts too.

She practiced holding the scissors and the paper.

Eventually, I ended up holding the paper for her to help out. She got a little bit frustrated with it, but she cut a good amount.

I ended up getting out play-doh and those scissors so she could continue cutting. Then I cut some extra squares and triangles so she had enough to do the collage. We sort of sham-rock team work. Okay, that was a lame joke, but it was festive.

Next, I placed the cut pieces in a bowl and covered all the white area of the clover in glue. Then, I instructed her to make a collage.

Specifically, I told her to cover all the white with green pieces.

She had a blast picking out the best pieces to put on her shamrock. We found some Irish music to listen to and it all came together pretty quickly.

One thing I would suggest is have a wet washcloth with you.

I think Mila’s going through something about sticky things. Every time her hand accidentally touched the glue, she immediately needed it wiped off. That took some time to do, but we had so much fun.

When she was done placing the paper, she wanted to draw around the sides. I think she just loves using markers.

Honestly, I loved the way it turned out.

It’s so festive and I feel like it’s a project that I can do with her through the years. For now, it’s hanging up on my fridge, waiting for the leprechauns to see!

Let me know what you think about this activity and if you try it out, I’d love to see what you and your little came up with.

Toddler Activity: St. Patrick’s Day ‘Clover’ Painting

Ever wonder how you can combine listening and creativity? This St. Patrick’s Day activity does it.

My house is already rapidly getting ready for spring. Our plants are growing, we’ve been playing outside, and spring cleaning is in full effect. Just over the weekend, our house has rainbows, spring, and St. Patrick’s Day decor up and hanging.

To get Mila ready for next week’s fun holiday, we read Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase.

I thought we could do a painting with it too. When I pre read it, I tried to find repetitive words she wasn’t super familiar with before. Clover is the leprechauns name in the story and is used quite often. So, that’s what I decided on.

To make a regular painting a little more fun, I continued using an unusual painting tool.

The supplies you’ll need:

Yes, you read that right. We’re using a bell pepper to paint!

I guess I just really wanted to play with my food as a child since I’m constantly letting Mila play with hers.

Bell peppers make a clover shape when they’re painted and stamped.

She actually wasn’t super fond on just gripping the pepper though. You can stick a fork in the pepper to do the same effect. It looked like she had more control that way too.

All we did for this activity was read the book and stamp the pepper every time Clover was said.

It turns out, Clover was said way more than I remembered when I first read the story. Mila was constantly going back and forth with from paint to canvas.

There were a few times she didn’t do it because she was so interested in the book. Cute right?

Don’t worry. We read it again afterwards.

Honestly, this was such a cute activity.

It proved that my toddler can actually listen (I’m such a jokester) and she’s so creative.

I think my favorite part of the painting is where you can tell Clover was said three times in a page. She just stamped it quickly in the same spot.

We hope you love this activity as much as we did!

It’s a quick one to do with your toddler or older child. You’ll get a new St. Patrick’s Day decor price and the knowledge that kids can listen when they want.

Let me know in the comments if you try it out.

Make sure to check out these great St. Patrick’s Day activities too!

Also, I’m looking to expand Mila’s Easter/Spring books. Do you have an Easter/Spring childrens book recommendation?

Toddler Activity: Mardi Gras Beads Process Art

Happy Fat Tuesday!

If you’re looking for a quick activity to do with your child today, this one goes perfectly when listening to some jazz music.

You probably have most of the supplies at home too. Here’s all you need:

  • Paint (purple, gold, green)
  • Canvas
  • Beads

Since everyone knows we love process art here, using beads is a fun way to create.

I chose traditional Mardi Gras colors for Mila to use and we had some random beads already here. There were two different sized beads she used too!

All you have to do is instruct your child to dip the beads in the paint and drop them on the canvas.

It can get a little messy, so put paper underneath.

I had to help Mila get paint on the beads. It’s a little tricky, but older kids shouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s also nice to make sure to leave one part of the necklace clean so it’s easy to grab.

I absolutely love how this painting turned out. It would be cute to add an outlined fleur-de-lis too!

Mila loved being introduced to jazz music too. She dipped the necklaces along with the beat! Next year I’ll have to find a beignet recipe!

If you decide to do this activity with your child, let me know how it goes in the comments!

For more Mardi Gras activities check out these blog posts:

Toddler Activity: Celery HeARTwork

Process art is one of my and Mila’s favorite ways to be creative. This week we discovered that celery makes the cutest, little hearts.

Isn’t that just amazing or is it just for me since I’m the worst at drawing heart?

Anyways, this celery heARTwork activity is so easy to set up and your child can be as creative as they want. It was also great for us to mix in with snack time.

It takes playing with your food to a different level.

This is all you need for this activity:

  • Canvas or something to paint on (craft paper makes amazing wrapping paper!)
  • Paint
  • Celery
  • Something to put paint on (I used recycled milk jug lids.)

That’s seriously it! We obviously used different shades of pink and red. You can use whatever colors your child picks.

All they have to do is use their celery sticks like a paint brush. Dip the celery into the paint. Then press it down on the canvas.

At first, Mila wanted to move the celery like a brush. I showed her how to use it like a stamp to clear that confusion. She immediately recognized they were hearts.

Celery transfers the paint MUCH easier than potatoes. That means they don’t have to push down as hard.

Mila had so much fun playing with her food, while eating the same type.

When she would switch to snacking, I had a rule that all four celery paint sticks had to be in the upright position. That made me feel a little more comfortable when she kept switching back and forth!

No paint was consumed during this art project.

I love the way this process celery heARTwork turned out.

She just made the canvas and wrapping paper, but again, this can be used for anything you need hearts on!

The biggest thing to remember while kids do process art is there’s no end goal. This is their time to be as creative as they like.

I think the best part of process art is to see how your child grows with it. They get a better sense of composition, shapes, and colors the more they paint.

Their growth is truly the greatest gift.

As always, I hope if you do this activity, you let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: Super Bowl Artwork and Noise Makers

The Super Bowl is this weekend! If you’re a person who just watches for half time, here are two activities you can do with your kid’s before the game or during.

I incorporated two things Mila loves: art and music. For both of these activities, you probably have everything you need in your home.

When doing these, I would highly recommend a parent to help on a few steps.

Noise Makers Supplies:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Paint
  • Glue – Elmers and hot glue
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon
  • Rice

The first step is to paint both rolls.

I tried to stick with both teams colors, so Mila can shake when either team scores. She was able to help me paint them, but it was messy!

After the paints dried, you can add glitter to them. I did stripes around each side and Mila rolled the glitter on. To get it to stick, I did another coat of Elmers paint on top of the glitter. Then she wanted to add a sticker to both.

When the glue is dried, fold one side of the roll down. Then, put hot glue over top to seal it.

Add rice when the hot glue cools down and the fold and glue the other side too. I didn’t measure out the rice to a science. The rice probably filled half of it!

Then, we added ribbons on the end for extra decorations and to cover up the dried glue. It also double seals the ends so no rice flies out.

These are fun to shake and Mila loves dancing with them!

The next activity is so simple and we turned it into a little gift!

All you need is three things:

  • Brown paint
  • Canvas
  • Potato

To get the football effect with the potato, just carve the laces into it. I used a knife. That was one step definitely not suitable for young kids.

Then, all you have to do is dip the potato in the paint and use it like a stamp. I would suggest to really press down on it. If not, it doesn’t transfer the paint well.

I let Mila do her own design, but it’d be really cute to tape down a rectangle to make a frame. Then put your child’s picture inside of it.

We ended up taking pictures and made our own little frame with a clip. It turned out SO cute.

Other ideas for the potato/football stamp would be table cloths, banners, or place settings. Another idea could be to use the potato stamp for a fun way to keep score. There are so many possibilities.

We had so much fun making these and I can’t wait to see her play with the noise makers. My dad, her papa, is going to love this little gift as well.

I hope this gives you something to do if you get bored during football or are just really excited for the game.

As always, if you decide to try these out, let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: DIY Heart Banner

With only a few days of January left, I thought it was a perfect time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day. Since Mila loves to paint, I incorporated that and my love for decorating in this project.

I also was inspired by this Instagram post to make Mila’s artwork into a banner!

This little banner looks simple, but took two days to make.

Older kids may be able to do the entire project by themselves. Younger children will need their parents help with scissors and a hole punch.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Paper (we used craft)
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Bubble wrap (optional)

We started off doing some process art with bubble wrap. Anytime we can add new ways to create, we do.

I had Mila paint Valentine’s Day colors (pink, purple, and red) on bubble wrap. Then we set our big pieces of craft paper on top. After it was on top, she rolled her rolling pin over it. I told her to do this to make sure the paper picked enough paint up.

We did this for four pieces of paper. She did different strokes of paint for each.

They all came out so individual and Mila enjoyed how different this looked compared to her usual paintings.

Next, we had to wait for everything to dry.

To be honest, this probably would have taken a few hours. I might have waited a couple days. Oops!

Mila is still too little to draw hearts or cut them out, so I did the next steps by myself. If she was a little older, she could have done these steps too!

I drew and cut out different sized hearts. The size variety is interesting to me, but you can do whatever.

If you have extra painted paper leftover, keep it! I have a cute Valentine’s Day card you can make with them!

Next, hole punch two holes on the top of the heart.

Your child can help you put the string through the holes if you’d like. Mila thought it was cool to help put it together this way. It took her a little whole though!

After they’re all on the string, hang it up where ever.

This simple project is fun to do with a toddler and even older kids. You can showcase their art and have festive decorations that are handmade and cute.

The plan the rest of the wall is to put hearts around the canvas she made with reasons why I love her in them.

I can’t wait to make this February special for Mila.

Let me know if you try this project out and what projects you’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day!

Toddler Activity – MLK Day Artwork

With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.

Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.

Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.

Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.

Back to the project though!

This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.

Things you’ll need:

I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.

This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.

I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.

That part really is that easy.

After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’

You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.

I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!

If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!

Toddler Activity: NYE Firework Painting

If you enjoyed last weeks Christmas activities, I have a few New Years ones too!

This first one is a firework painting. Mila loves to paint and experiment with how brushes work. That makes these DIY paint brushes even more interesting for her and toddlers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • Scissors (kid and adult)
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Paper plates

I had all of these supplies at home, but most everything can be easily purchased. Feel free to use whatever color of paint. Mila just picked these three and I added the silver in.

First, you’ll want to cut the paper tubes to make the brush. If your child is learning how to use scissors, guide and help them with this. You can also get this step done beforehand.

We did three different firework shapes to get different looks.

Then, we put our paint on paper plates. Mila poured the red, which might have been a mistake. One recommendation is to spread the paint around. This way when your child pushes down with their brushes, all the bristles get paint on it.

After you get all your desired paint ready, it’s time to start painting.

I let Mila know we were making fireworks because that’s how we celebrate the new year. She’s seen fireworks before, so she understood what they were.

Of course she doesn’t grasp the concept of a new year, but it’s fun to begin those conversations with her.

I did have to show her how to push down on the brush. She got the hang of it pretty quick!

It helped when I really pushed the bristles down to make them more flexible. They are quite stiff at first!

With their finished project, you can either write over top of it or just leave it. Mila ended up making two. The canvas will have ‘2021’ written on it and the paper version will be untouched.

I’ll update this post with a finished picture after her artwork is all dried.

This activity is pretty quick, but a lot of fun. Toddlers and young kids will love making their own brushes. Plus, what kid doesn’t like fireworks without all the noise.

If you try this activity out, let me know in the comments below!

Toddler Activity: Salt Dough Santa

Okay, okay. I know it seems like we’ve been making a lot of ornaments around here, but they’re fun!

These salt dough ornaments are easy to do and make great, last minute DIY gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need for these:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Water (no set amount. I’ll explain!)
  • Paint
  • Glue *optional
  • Glitter *optional
  • Yarn/Ribbon
  • Knife

Admittedly, I have not had the best track record with salt dough. I think I’ve added too much water in the past. This time, they turned out great though.

First, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, if your child likes to help mix ingredients, they’ll think this is really cool. Add the flour, salt, and a little bit of water together. Then start mixing with a spoon or your hand.

Here’s where the water ingredient is tricky. I just kept adding a little bit at a time until it got to a play-doh consistency.

Next, Mila and I rolled the salt dough out into circles. To get the Santa shape, I told her to keep her four fingers together and she kept her thumb held a little out.

For this part, just press their hands in there. It will imprint nicely. I trimmed around her hand to get more of the shape. All I used was a knife!

I ended up getting four hand Santa’s, a ‘snow globe’ with two of her hands, and two little circular ornaments so Mila could paint however she wants. Then I stuck them in the oven.

They’ll need to bake in the oven for two hours. Then take them out and let them completely cool before you start painting.

If you’re child is older, they’ll be able to paint the Santa’s on. Mila likes to paint crazy right now, so I did this for her. I used red, white, and tan paint.

After the paint was dried, I put glue and glitter down where I wanted it. Then, I used yarn to complete it. You could use ribbon too!

Honestly, I think they turned out so cute. They were simple to do and Mila just loves them.

Happy creating and making with your child.