Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hands-On Toddler Activity #12: Christmas Ornaments

 My husband and I work very hard to instill in our children the importance of good manners. He often says, "These kids have a Southern father and a Midwestern mother, if anything they WILL be polite!" Along with being polite I also want my sons to learn from an early age the importance of giving to others, so we try to make handmade gifts and thank you notes when possible. Making a handmade gift with a toddler is not only a learning experience in giving, but it can also be an excellent practice in practical skills such as fine motor, cooking, measurement, colors, counting, and the list goes on. I decided to help my two year old make a very simple Christmas tree ornament to give to his loved ones. 

First he painted each popsicle stick with green paint. I used some finger paint we had on hand so it'd be safe for him to get messy with. Then he did a little shake of glitter on the wet paint. I know what you are thinking. A toddler....with glitter? Can't be anything but a disaster. But I have these great little shakers, kind of like a salt shaker, that puts out a very controlled amount of glitter. It's mostly safe! After they dried a bit, I used some super glue to glue them into a triangle shape. 

Once that dried, I gave him a tiny container of glue (I used a top from a gallon of milk) and showed him  how to dip his ornaments into the glue then onto the tree. 

When he finished decorating and the ornaments were dry, we added a felt trunk and star, and then a ribbon to hang the ornament. All of his aunts and uncles and grandparents were excited to receive this little handmade Christmas gift. Next task, to start brainstorming Valentine's gifts!

To see the entire list of hands-on toddler activities, click here

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