The Sprout website offers hundreds of fun, age-appropriate project ideas for your little ones. Maximize your craft time with expert tips from Sprout.
Build interest in the project by choosing a theme your Sproutlet loves. Whether it's dinosaurs or flowers, or Caillou or Elmo, hit the sweet spot to ramp up your child's motivation.
If your child is new to crafting, start with a very simple project. A single-step activity, like gluing pasta on cardboard, might be perfect for your little one's attention span and frustration level.
Get your supplies organized before you announce the activity. Your Sproutlet's eagerness to make Thomas the Tank Engine may evaporate if you're running through the house searching for an empty shoebox. And, of course, have all the basics (like paper, markers and glue) in one nearby place.
Reduce & Recycle
Be good to the earth… and the wallet. Use what you already have on hand. Save bottle tops, cups, magazines, ribbons, tin foil and cardboard tubes. Your child's creativity will thrive as she imagines new ways of using these ordinary objects.
Enjoy the process; avoid focusing on the outcome. Your Sproutlet might enjoy one step of the project (like painting) and stay there for a while. Or she might take the project in a completely new direction. Allow her the freedom to explore.
If you're looking for a distraction while you are on phone or doing the dishes, a craft isn't your best bet. Crafting with a young child requires your presence. Be there to offer direction and help. Your involvement early on builds skills that yield more independence later.
If you're like many parents, you might not consider yourself the "crafty" type. Don't worry, your child will never know. Your job is to offer the enthusiasm, materials and oversight to jump-start your child's creativity.
View It Together
When it comes to crafts, does your child seem unfocused? Try viewing a how-to clip together (on TV or the web). Step-by-step videos can make an abstract concept much more concrete.