I was gonna post this in Toddlers, but blowed if I can figure out if a few months shy of three counts as a toddler or not. She hasn't toddled for years... but she seems a bit young to be called a preschooler (and anyway, as a future homeschooler I reject that paradigm - ha!).
Recently in a fit of mothering guilt I started doing crafts with DD, and I could use some advice/ideas/reassurance on what kinds of skills we should be working for... or just plain craft ideas! We don't have a huge number of resources... paper and coloured pencils, a packet of felt-tip markers which she's mostly destroyed by now (might replace them for Christmas), some small round glittery stickers, scissors, and coloured Post-it notes. Oh, and like, three colours of paint and a few paintbrushes, but the paint's left over from household projects and the paintbrushes are from my cake decorating kit!
So far we've done stuff along these lines:
*Yesterday I cut brown paper to the size of the grandparents' anniversary gifts, and we used the end of a carrot dipped in red paint to make polka dots on one sheet, and a pipe cleaner to make fuzzy stripes and lines on the other. Today, after that had dried, we used copper paint (left over from my wedding!) on the end of a chopstick to add copper dots on top of that. When that dries, we'll wrap the presents together.
*We made a card for MIL - I drew a heart on coloured paper and DD stuck litttle glittery stickers all around the edge of the heart. I was impressed by how quickly she cottoned on to this concept, but the stickers are really hard to peel off their backings and manipulate, and she finds it a bit frustrating. We made wrapping paper once by decorating brown paper with the same stickers in a random pattern.
*We cut up bits of coloured Post-it notes and stuck them to a piece of paper. DD occasionally cut triangles, more or less by accident, and was thrilled. :p
*She likes to draw, but I haven't figured out anything more formal to do with that yet. I've taught her how to do circles and triangles, and she taught herself to do crescent moons and (although they're a bit hit-and-miss) fishies, like the Christian fish symbol. She also "writes" REALLY well - individual "letters", lines and lines of it. (I just caught her doing it in my cookbook, in fact. Sign.)
So - is this the sort of thing she "should" be doing? What else should I do? The toddler scissors we currently have are a bit rubbish, but I got her some more for her stocking. I plan to mostly fill her stocking with craft supplies, because she LOVES doing "scrafts". What sorts of supplies should I get? (I refuse to buy glitter for obvious housekeeping reasons!) Watercolours?
Should I start teaching her how to cut along straight lines (or even curves/cutting out shapes)? What about colouring in - last I checked she had NO concept of that, and would just draw over the picture. Is it worthwhile teaching her that at this age? I'm not exactly worried that she's "behind" or anything - she has terrific fine motor skills, and she does do playdough at creche during Bible study every week. But I'm the kind of mother who tends to forget about basic childhood stuff, like "I'm a Little Teapot" and clapping games, so I don't want her to miss out. :p
Any ideas appreciated! Including links to crafty-with-small-children blogs, as long as the mothers aren't so super-duper that I'll end up in the bathtub for the rest of the day slugging gin and singing Copacabana. (And I'm in my first trimester, so that would really be non-optimal.)
If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.
I honestly wouldn't worry about "should". If she's engaged with an activity, she'll figure it out or maybe she'll ask or accept your help. If she isn't interested, then she'll let you know pretty quickly.
It sounds like she'd be happy with playdough (homemade or purchased), making animals with pompoms and glue, building sculptures out of odds and ends (bottle caps, fabric scraps, twigs and branches etc.)....
The Crafty Crow is one of my favourite craft sites. She collects links from all over, and she has them organized by ages/stages, holidays, materials, etc. so it's easy to find ideas: