As my twins hit that 18-month mark, I’ve been scrambling to find activities to keep them busy. They are oh. so. busy. We get outside, we read, we play peek-a-boo running around the island, but when I just want to sit and have a coffee? I always resort to crafts. I don’t care how busy your kids are. If you give them enough freedom to decorate, glue, and paint something the way they want to, they’ll participate.
Case in point: yesterday I had not only my two 18-month-old twins, but all the in-town cousins over as well. That makes for 6 kids under the age of 5. After three hours of noisy play, I brought out these activity sheets and we had even the busiest boy (a 2 and a half-year-old) sitting at the table. When we did this activity with older kids, they wanted to get creative, requesting different colors of pom-poms, stickers that were in the craft box, and paint. When I did the activity with just my two they were entertained gluing cotton balls on the lamb. I usually expect 20 minutes out of a successful craft (just enough time to finish a coffee!)
Alright, so enough about keeping kids busy (and my coffee addiction)… let’s get to the craft, shall we? I’ve created a hand-drawn free printable ‘Happy Easter’ Lamb for you to download and print up for your kiddos to bring to life. I’ve added a place for you to write which of your kids created which piece. If you are planning on using watercolor paint print it on thicker card stock (from experience!), but if you’re just going to color or glue regular old printer paper works great.
I always find that taping down my kids’ paper is the best way to go. Washi tape makes for a cute border once I pull it up off the table too. If you are choosing to glue the cotton balls on, use school glue and paint on the lamb’s body. Let it get a bit tacky before setting it up for your kids to glue. My 18-month-olds love gluing! They go to daycare once a week and have been coming home with glue projects, so I thought it was time to create one for them at home. I had to show them that they could press the cotton balls onto the glue and they would stick, then they were good to go!
A couple of tips about keeping art projects with kids (especially two toddlers!) manageable, from the crazy craft lady (my niece demands paint every time she walks in our doors), there are some tricks to keep you from going mad while paint’s hitting the walls.
- Always tape down their artwork. I don’t care if they’re four and insist that they like it better not taped- there’s no option. They’ll forget about the tape the minute you hand them glue or paint.
- If they still have booster seats or high chairs, strap them in. It’s nice to know that you can wipe the paint off before they start climbing on your sofa!
- Limit the supplies they see. Don’t make the mistake (which I’ve totally done too many times!) of bringing the craft bin out to find what you need or they’ll want to use it all and you’ll be cleaning glitter off the floor and feather bits stuck in glue off your table (not to mention the paint on the walls). Bring out a couple things and have them get creative with that.
- Dress them for mess. Seriously, if you’re planning on going out in the afternoon, strip them down! Save their Sunday best for after they’re cleaned up so they can get as messy as they need (without you cringing about their nice white shirt). You might have noticed that my son is painting his head… and LOVING it. Kids will be kids, after all. If it’s a super messy craft – like finger painting – plan for a bath afterwards.
- Encourage them! Compliment the colors they chose, how well they listened to instructions, the way they grouped all the stickers together — just make them feel good about their craft, and they’ll love to create.
- Step back. (I strongly recommend making a cup of coffee, but hey, that’s my jam.) Let them get creative without you directing them! Kids have crazy awesome imaginations, why limit it? They have rules to follow all day. If you give them the supplies you’ll be amazed by what they create. If it doesn’t work out and it ends up in the garbage because they spent their 20 minutes tearing the sheet to shreds, so be it!
I hope this printable and these tips will help make crafting with your kiddos a bit easier! These lambs make wonderful Easter gifts for grandparents too! I printed off about fifteen and between the cousins in town and grandparents, I only have a few left (two days later). It’s safe to say these have been a hit around here.
Colleen Pastoor is the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle: home to DIY, parties, home décor, printables and lots of babies. She’s a wife; mama to 18 month-old boy/girl twins; and lover of pretty things. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot. Every day deserves to be special, there’s no accomplishment too small to celebrate. She hopes that her children will learn to love the little things in life. You can find her blogging about all these things (and too many photos of her twins) 3 times a week at Lemon Thistle. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.