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7 Fun Ways to Encourage Creative Play in Your Toddler

When it comes getting creative with a toddler, know it will be equal parts fun and messy.

Chrissy Gibbs, who owns Wiggle Worms, an hourly child care center located in Spotsylvania Towne Centre, says it’s easy for toddlers to create.

“Toddlers are naturally creative. When you give them just a few things, it is amazing to see what they come up with,” Gibbs says.

Coupling creative activities to teach fine motor skills is something Sherilyn Preston, owner of Minnieland Academy in Salem Fields, likes to do. She stresses the importance of using activities to develop those skills, explore creativity and are help with overall physical ability. Her preference is using hands-on involving food to ensure safety. “That way if they put it in their mouth it won’t hurt them,” Preston says.

Creative Crayons

She teaches the kids to make “crayon” popsicles by freezing fruit juice or water with food coloring in an ice cube with a popsicle stick. Once frozen, toddlers can paint with it. If popsicle sticks are not available, the cube can be held with a napkin, recommends Preston.

Playful Paints

Painting with pudding is always a hit at Minnieland. However, if trying to avoid a big mess, Preston recommends placing the pudding in a ziplock bag. Toddlers can dip their fingers in the bag and make different designs on paper, Preston added. This can also be done with yogurt.

Novelty Necklaces

With cereal that is O-shaped, such as Cheerios and Fruit Loops, looping the cereal through a piece of yarn can make a cereal necklace.

Colander Crafting

Toddlers can develop fine motor skill by learning to place pipe cleaners in the holes in a colander. Once inserted, the children can bend them to create a piece of art, Preston shared.

Smear Sketching

Gibbs says shaving cream is a great way to get toddlers to use their natural creative instincts. Spray shaving cream on a table top or cookie sheet for children to trace designs with their fingers.

Sparkle Shaker

A bottle of half water and half oil with glitter makes fun craft. “They really like seeing the oil and water mixture with the glitter,” Gibbs says.

Box Murals

Big boxes are always fun for toddlers. Place your toddler in the box along with markers or crayons, allow them to draw inside the box. This is a great activity to allow parents a moment to prepare dinner or get another chore completed.

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