Since then, I’ve been tracking down fun ways to help her get creative and practice her hand-eye coordination.
It’s never too early to prep her for epic video game nights, right?
Here are a few of our favorites drawing games. What are yours?
Let’s get warmed up with a super easy one.
Just pick out a favorite book, read it together. Then get out whatever craft supplies you have on hand.
My daughter has been really into pirates, Peter Pan, and Captain Hook lately, so we used a cheap pirate stencil book and stamp paints to design some arrrr-tistic adventures.
- Hang the pictures around your kid’s room and, at bedtime, make up more stories about the pictures.
- Don’t have stencils or stamp paints? No problem. You can make your own stencils with heavy stock paper or simply create your scenes with crayons, markers, colored pencils, stickers, pictures from magazines, or whatever else you have on hand.
- Want even more craft ideas, specific to a few classic children’s books? Pop over here.
For the Plane:
Although it may be tempting to rely on a bunch of movies and iPad apps, if your toddler is like mine, she’s going to want your undivided attention for every tap, prompt, and scene change anyway. So, why not save yourself the money (and pack less) with a simple, small notebook of paper and a couple of crayons?
- Draw “balloon” letters with dotted lines for them to trace.
- Line the left and right side of the paper with shapes for them to connect by drawing a line to the ones that match.
- Take turns adding to a drawing to create a funny creature.
- Draw a pirate map and add people and places to it, making up a story as you go. Even my 3 year old could do this. Her drawings weren’t more than squiggles, but she sure knew what they were and had a lot of fun telling me all about it.
- Draw dots, stars, or balloons in all different colors on the page. Then have them circle the blue ones, the green ones, etc.
- Write single-digit numbers on each page and draw that many number of a certain shape or critter on each page. Have them count with you.
- Write a letter on each page and think of things that start with that letter to draw on that page, too.
- Take turns drawing something and guessing what it is, without looking, by asking questions. Is it red? Is it loud? Is it bigger than a car? Is it a fire engine!?
- Create a picture with dots and have your tot connect the dots to figure out the picture. Ideas: house, flower, moon, cloud…
- Put the tracing, matching, counting, and circling activities (above) in a cheap photo album and have your child complete the activities with a erasable marker, for reusability.
- Frame your pirate map along with the story your toddler told and/or arrows pointing to and describing key characters and landmarks.
- Use your take-turns creature to make a real-life cuddle buddy, like this.
For Sunny Days:
Shaving Cream Creations
- Squirt some shaving cream in a sheet pan.
- Have your toddler smear it all around. (Ooey gooey fun!)
- Randomly drop some dots of food coloring on the cream.
- Have your toddler use toothpicks or a plastic fork to swirl it around.
- Lay a piece of paper on top and gently press.
- Remove paper and squeegee off the shaving cream excess.
- Hang to dry.
- Use the dried pictures as photo frame mats.
- Fold and make them into cards to surprise a grandparent, a friend, or a teacher.
- Cut into bookmarks and laminate with contact paper, making sure to note the artist’s name and age on the back.