Toddler Crafts for Our Nature Tripping Week

We has an unscheduled trip to the pediatrician last Wednesday so our Wonderrful World of Wednesday session was postponed.  We had our art activities this morning and as always, we made quite a mess.

Our arts and crafts activities followed this week’s theme which was all about plants.  We started with leaf imprints, puncher-art, and a make-a-garden craft using recycled materials.

We have previously done leaf imprinting so the toddlers already knew what to do. Jakei’s leaf imprints this morning were much more better than those he did before.

Our second art activity which I call puncher-art was too tedious a task for the toddlers so we ended up making more of a mess than art.  For this activity, I used a puncher to make tiny circles from colored papers. I then asked the toddlers to stick the circles onto a printed template.  Jade did try to finish a couple of leaves but soon got bored and started playing with the circles and sprinkling them all over the table. Which was exactly what Jakei was doing right at the beginning.  This kind of activity I would have to postpone until the toddlers are A LOT older.

Our last activity involved materials I scavenged around the house.  The toddlers colored some paper flowers which we attached to plastic stirrers and placed in an inverted bowl.  I’ll make a post with more detailed instructions on how we made our own garden this weekend.

WWW: Finger Painting

My mom was also a stay-at-home mom so we grew up with all sorts of activities she’d prepared to keep us from being bored and making a mess of the entire house. I still remember our origami sessions, art workshops, crafts day, spelling bees, and even Spanish lessons. One of the things I still fondly recall is finger painting with blue paint on white paper.

I asked my mom how she made the blue paint so Jade and Jakei can have some finger painting fun too. The paint turned out quite easy to make. All I needed to do was boil water and cornstarch together until the right consistency is reached. After which, a few drops of food coloring is added and the mixture is allowed to cool.

I divided the cornstarch mixture into three pots and used three different colors for each pot – blue, red and green. I evenly spread one color mixture on oslo paper and instructed the toddlers to use their fingers to create pictures. We worked with one color at a time until the little girl insisted on using all three colors together to make her handprints.

Finding the paint too slimy, Jakei doodled only a few strokes on his sheet and refused to touch it again. Jade on the other hand enjoyed getting her hands all gooey. She actually dipped her entire hand in the jar which is why we have sheets with handprints on them. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the toddlers at work though as my hands were all gooey as well. We’re scheduled to do this activity again next month and hopefully, Jakei would be more willing to get his hands slimy and I would be able to take some nice pictures.

Click here for other art activities we’ve done for our Wonderful World of Wednesday.

Art Fun with Old Medicine Droppers and Homemade Paint

For our Wonderful World of Wednesday activity a few weeks ago, we tried using old medicine droppers and food coloring to make colorful paintings. Again, it didn’t exactly turn out the way I envisioned it but the toddlers were able to create their own unique artwork. Aside from enhancing their creativity, this activity is also a great exercise for developing their fine-motor skills. Jade turned three years old this month and is already quite adept with her pinching skills. She was able to handle the medicine dropper quite well. Jakei needed more practice but was able to use the dropper with minor assistance.

If you would like to try this activity with your little ones, make sure that they are wearing frocks or old clothes and that their work table is covered with a thick stack of old newspapers. Prepare the following beforehand:

Used medicine droppers. We used the ones from their empty vitamin bottles. If your kids have long-said goodbye to medicine droppers, you may try using drinking straws.

Homemade paint (blue, red, yellow). I made ours by adding a few drops of food coloring to a mixture of water and vinegar. The vinegar makes the color more vivid. You may also add some cornstarch to make the paint thicker.

Oslo paper.

Old newspapers for covering the work table and cleaning up spills.

Once you’re all set, instruct the kids to use the dropper to drop paint on the paper and create whatever comes to mind. The paint I made was a little runny so we ended up smudging and slushing the paint around instead. We tried blowing on the small puddles of paint that Jade “accidentally” spilled on her paper but she still couldn’t blow hard enough. I think it might work for bigger kids though.

This was (again) a pretty messy activity but the toddlers had lots of fun the entire time. We also mixed the colors together and they had fun watching the colors change.

Artwork by Jade

Artwork by Jakei

Finger Painting

Cornstarch + Water + Food Color = Fun Messy Art Time

Icky, gooey, squishy, ooey…we had our hands sticky and messy this morning!  It was our first time to try finger painting for our Wonderful World of Wednesday and Jade had so much fun.  She finished painting after painting after painting.  She didn’t stop until she run out of the paint mixture.  Jakei didn’t like getting his hands sticky and messy so all he has to show for this morning’s art session is a sheet of paper with a few scribbles on it.  Oh, but he did enjoy scooping and spreading the paint mixture from the cup to the sheets of paper.

I don’t have pictures of the toddlers at work though.  You see, my hands were full of gooey paint and could not possibly hold the camera.  I’ll be posting pictures of their finished art work instead.

If you would like to try this activity with your toddlers or preschoolers, all you’ll need are

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • food color (we used red, blue, and green)
  • paper
  • newspaper (to make clean up time less tedious)
  • great imagination

Heat the cornstarch and water in a pan until you reach the right consistency.  It should be a little runny but still thick enough to adhere to paper.  Separate the mixture into small containers, add a drop of your choice of food color to each, and mix thoroughly.  Spread the mixture evenly on a sheet of paper.  Get your fingers ready and paint some pretty pictures on the paper.  Lastly, make sure you have lots of fun with your kids!

WWW: Leaf Imprints

For our first Wonderful World of Wednesday art activity, we made leaf imprints on paper.  This activity was inspired by an episode in Special Agent Oso where his special assignment was to help a little girl make some leaf imprints. Their three special steps were:

  1. Place a sheet of paper on the table.
  2. Place the leaf on the paper with the bottom side facing up. (the side where the veins can be clearly seen)
  3. Place another sheet of paper on top and make the imprint using crayons.

The materials were inexpensive and easy to acquire.  Bond paper is a staple in our home, crayons are aplenty, and leaves abound Lola’s potted plants.

materials: assorted leaves from the garden, bond paper, and crayons


Once we had all the materials, the toddlers were all set for their very first leaf imprinting.

arranging the leaves on her paper

first attempt

best work (with mama's help though)

I found out though that Jade was still a little too young to make the imprints as she couldn’t manage to properly hold the crayon and place just enough pressure to make the imprint appear on the paper.   It was still a great turn out for our first attempt on making leaf imprints.  With plenty of practice wielding the crayon, Jade would soon be creating marvelous leaf imprints all on her own.

playing with the leaves

leaf imprint sans the leaf ^_^

Quite expectedly, Jakei’s work was missing the leaf imprint.  He is after all barely two years old.  He was actually more interested in putting the leaves inside his mouth than in making imprints of them.  I finally took the leaves away from him and just let him scribble with his crayons.

See the star on the left side of the paper?  He unintentionally drew that while scribbling and when he saw it, his eyes lit up and he said, “Star!!!”.  My little boy wasn’t able to make a leaf imprint but he was able to draw a star.  That’s all in a day’s work for a toddler.