If your toddler is feeling cranky when cooped up inside on a frigid or snowy day, try a winter-themed activity to keep the blah's at bay. While not every parent is a Picasso, that doesn't mean you have to shy away from the more artsy of kids' activities. Get crafty with your little one and dive into an imaginative snowy art project.
Safe Art Materials
Toddlers are notoriously well known for putting non-food items in their mouths. Keeping this in mind, set clear material use rules, always supervise any art making and only use non-toxic materials that are certified safe by the Arts and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI). The ACMI tests and labels children's art items for toxicity and safety.
What 2-year-old doesn't love glitter? While it's certainly one of the messiest of art materials -- you will most likely spend the next month picking stray sparkles off of the floor or carpets -- opal-colored glitter is an imaginative way to simulate the glow of sunlit snow. Start with a blank piece of sky blue construction paper. Give your toddler a paintbrush and clear drying school glue. Squeeze a few quarter-sized dabs of glue on the paper and have her "paint" it out to make a patch of faux snow. Take small dollops of glitter -- yes, both of you -- and sprinkle them over the glue.
Explore the colder aspects of winter by making an icy painting. Freeze a few ice cubes, adding one or two drops of food coloring to each one. Put a thin craft stick in each cube before freezing, to use as a handle. Cover the kitchen table, or another work space, with newspapers or a plastic sheet. Give your 2-year-old a piece of white construction paper and watch as he slides and skates the colorful melting cubes around, making a winter watercolor painting.
Snowy Crayon Resist
Throw a little science into your 2-year-old's art activities. Show your toddler how some things just won't mix, like water and oil or wax. Draw a winter forest together on white paper with white crayons. Sure it's difficult to draw perfect snowy trees with white on white, but the challenge is what makes it fun. Don't worry if your toddler simply scribbles; this is completely normal for her stage of development. Brush a layer of blue watercolor paint -- heavy on the water -- over the crayon to magically reveal your snowy crayon forest.
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