Give a toddler a glue stick and he'll ask for some paper. Give him some paper and he'll ask for some scissors, but don't give a toddler scissors! A toddler's zest for craft projects is boundless, and it helps him learn important concepts about many aspects of life. Teach your toddler how God made families with simple, interactive crafts. Do the prep work first to avoid loss of interest or total mutiny during the project -- think glitter war.
Family puppets are a great way for toddlers to see and learn all the members of their families. It's also the craft that keeps on giving, providing hours (minutes?) of role-playing time in the future. You can use actual photographs of family members, draw the people or let your toddler color black and white templates of individual family members. Glue the people onto straws, craft sticks or paint stirrers. Alternatively, use small paper bags or old socks to create puppets that move their mouths when they talk. Talk about how God made your family as a special gift.
Introduce family relationships with your toddler by creating a family tree. Prepare the parts of the tree, including a bushy top and a sturdy trunk. Let your toddler glue them together, then add the members of your family to the top portion of the tree. Use photos or write the name of each family member on an apple or another shape. Add texture to your tree by gluing sand, pine needles or small pine cones to the trunk and leaves. Avoid confusing your child with the whole family lineage. Keep it simple by using your immediate family, or you might include the grandparents if your toddler sees them on a regular basis. Write "God Made Families" at the top of the tree.
God Made All Shapes and Sizes
Illustrate the fact that God made all families different by creating people out of a variety of different shapes and sizes. Prepare many colorful circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, ovals and diamonds. Show your toddler how to create a person out of each shape by adding a head, arms and legs to each body shape. Glue the people onto a house-shaped background. Add googly eyes, yarn or felt clothing for texture. Include some cotton ball clouds above the house or gold glitter to represent heaven. Discuss with your toddler how God made people and families in all shapes and sizes and He loves us all.
A mobile provides a decorative display to remind your child of his God-given family every day. Dangle family members from a branch, a wire coat hanger or a cardboard tube. Use a special shape with each family member's name written on it (leaves, hearts, crosses, clouds), photographs of family members or hand-drawn people. Let your toddler add some color and flair to each person with crayons, markers, stickers, glitter or paint. Attach your people with string, yarn or thread. For added color and interest, add curling ribbon or streamers in between family members. Display the words, "God Made Families" at the top of the mobile.
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