Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Crafting with two


A little while back I wrote a post (Help! What can I do with the baby?) about what to do with the baby when Cakey is painting, gluing and drawing. I received some lovely comments and some great suggestions... so I thought I would write an update about my progress crafting with two.

Cakey is now 3 years and 10 months and Boo is 18 months old. A lot has changed over the last three months. Boo MUST BE INVOLVED in everything we do. If she is not included she makes her unhappiness heard across the neighbourhood.

Thankfully she has discovered that the highchair is a good place to be when Cakey is making something. She has a great vantage spot and can insist on having all the materials Cakey has too.

TIP 1: Rainydaymum's suggestion to ditch the paper and let her paint straight onto the highchair table works a treat. I just hose the highchair down outside afterwards.

TIP 2: Alissa and Sassy suggested giving Boo a snack to keep her occupied during craft sessions. This works too – unfortunately it works best when the food is of the high-sugar delicious but not nutritious variety!!

TIP 3: Laura commented that she works on her own craft project so that her youngest can attack hers and stay away from her older kids' projects. I use this technique to great effect when we are playing with playdough and duplo.

TIP 4: Christie's tip of taping sticky contact to the table for her to stick and unstick things to was brilliant. The first time we tried this she was very puzzled why the table was so sticky.

TIP 5: Lulu suggested opening up the kitchen cupboards for her to pull out the pots and pans which gave me the idea to have special, craft-time only toys to distract her while Cakey and I make something. This technique did work but she has now reached the age where nothing will distract her from getting stuck into the art and craft.


It is getting easier to craft with two as they get older. Although frustrating at times, I am thankful that Boo likes art and craft. Interestingly, as Boo develops her own likes and dislikes, craft activities have become more of a two-way street. Cakey and I have been influenced by Boo's preferences. Boo loves playdough and her experiments with it has re-invigorated Cakey's interest in playdough too. Boo also loves to paint her hands and Cakey has followed suit. Such fun!!

To end this post I will just say I am looking forward to the end of the 'put everything in my mouth' phase. If it is paint Boo will eat it, if it is glue she will eat it, if it is playdough she will eat it, if it is healthy food she will look at it suspiciously and throw it on the floor!!!!!

Something a little bit special is OUT – a new ebook – Zero to Two showcases 25 different activities for babies and toddlers from kid bloggers across the world. These activities are easy to do at home. PLUS the book also includes more than 50 links to additional activities. There are also two free printables – fun stroller cards and lovely finger puppets.


This ebook is available to download right NOW right here at the special price of $6.99 (USD). This launch price is only being offered until Sunday February the 16th, 2014. It will then revert to the full price of $8.99 USD. Purchase this ebook now for immediate download of a pdf file which you can view on your screen or print out in full. Payment is via paypal.

If this is your first visit to at home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along through our facebook page or subscribe via email or RSS. Cheers Ali

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30 comments:

  1. The photos are adorable.

    Would Boo be interested in "drawing" with chunky crayons? My youngest (21 months) enjoys drawing and sticking dot stickers (medium sized ones) onto paper while my 3 and 5 year old are creating. For me, the key is having variety for my youngest so that she is engaged for the same length of time as my older two children. For example, if we are all painting, I try and make sure that my 21 month old has different options - roller paint brush, some feathers and perhaps a paper plate to paint on (I introduce them at different times). We experiment with different things as this seems to keep her happy and busy (winning combination when you have older children creating)!

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  2. Thank you for mentioning us :D - We have started to put T (10 months) in the high chair whilst we craft with play dough, gloop, edible paint or some LARGE pom poms she's loving it and chats away to herself whilst she's mimicing what ever J is doing.

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  3. It's tough when the kids are young to involve them in crafts. My son is nearly 3 and it can still be a challenge! And he even still tries to eat cloud dough. yuck! But, it's great you're doing it so early!

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    1. I often wonder why playdough is so yummy but my cooked meals are so yucky, according to the baby that is - I am not that bad a cook... I don't think!!

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  4. Great post! I remember we did a lot of high chair creating when my daughter was younger. It's great that you keep plugging away at keeping them both involved in art projects rather than giving up.

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    1. I have no say in the matter, they both love to paint and create - which is great... most of the time.

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  5. I used to find the toddlers were happy to "paint" with a bucket of water and a big brush - on the path, fence, walls whatever, but you can be sure that they'll prefer to do whatever everyone else is doing!!

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  6. I used to do various "decoupage" paint techniques that would be good for littlies, splodging with sea sponge, scrunched up fabric, large toothed combs made from thick card were some. I was going to say using old toothbrushes but I remembered that is disastrous with the under 5's who tend to use it for it's original purpose and you end up with multicoloured teeth!

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    1. I was given a sea sponge for Christmas - maybe I will divert in into the painting box.

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  7. I, too, have had difficulties crafting and such with my kids (3yrs and almost 2 yrs). My 3 yr old loves to craft and do worksheets while my 2 yr old just loves to make a mess and destroy everyone else's crafts haha! Thank you so much for posting these ideas! I will definitely be incorporating some of these!

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    1. I am so glad it has been helpful.

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  8. I love this post Ali. Good tips and great writing- thanks for doing a follow up! My youngest is 16 months right now and into everything!

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  9. Great post, I'm expecting my 2nd baby and am going to need these tips as I was not great at doing crafts with my toddler when he was very young - and I'm just starting to get into it! Found you via pinterest, and now following for more ideas!

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    1. Thanks so much Emma. Good luck with the new baby.

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  10. Such great tips! I never really had a problem when my youngest was a baby but now that she's two she's all over my 4 year old's work. I'll have to try to use some of these techniques for her :)

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  11. This is great! I have a three year old and a one year old and we've long moved from the watching stage to the joining in stage. It's messy but it's fun!

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  12. These are great tips! My baby is only 3 mos old (toddler is 2.5) so it's down the road, but definitely good info to keep for later! Pinning this so I dont' forget! :)

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  13. These are fantastic tips - thanks for sharing them! I always breathe a sigh of relief when my kids outgrow the "put everything in your mouth" phase - makes way for so many new activities!

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  14. Great tips. I am filing these away from when my one year old isn't napping any more and we need her to be occupied while we create!

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  15. Visiting from TGIF. I'd love to invite you to link up with us for Fun Stuff Fridays. http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-7.html

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  16. so many great ideas! My girls are 15 months apart so my youngest was almost always involved in everything we did (minus the first year) . Lots of times I made up her own version of projects - edible paints just for her, etc. It worked well and I wasn't worried about what would happen if I had to turn away for a minute. The upside was that she learned early on how to handle paints, etc and has been happily crafting ever since.

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    1. Your girls always look like they are having a ball. 15 months is a small gap - they must have kept you on your toes (still do I bet). :)

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  17. What fun!! I love that you let them 'dig in' to the paint! I am so afraid of a HUGE mess - I need to let them explore with their hands more. Good for you!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week,
    Beth =-)

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  18. Sounds like a lot of fun! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

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  19. Great ideas - I have very few things I can do with my two (3 yo and 20 mos old). Mainly because my younger one eats absolutely everything (including the felt tips off of markers). Definitely in need of ideas!

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