You might not think a toddler or a preschooler is ready to do arts and crafts, or you might just want to avoid the mess that is likely to result. Crafts of any sort are beneficial for small children, and making a lighthouse can spark your child's artistic side while also giving her a mini-lesson in these fascinating structures. So, pull out the art supplies and get to work.
You can use most any craft supply you have on hand to make a lighthouse. Keep it simple for little ones, though, or you risk frustration for both of you. Print some lighthouse coloring pages off the Internet, then collect construction paper, toilet paper tubes, paper plates, paper cups, crayons, markers and paints. The more materials you use, the more artistic your child can get.
There are many ways to make a lighthouse, but keeping it easy is best for toddlers and preschoolers. Have your little one paint or color a paper plate to represent the ocean. Then, color or paint windows and other lighthouse decorations on a paper cup or toilet paper tube. Apply a thin layer of glue to the top edge of the cup and stick it in the middle of the paper plate. Add fish stickers to the plate to make it look like a real ocean and stick a large rhinestone or sequin to the top of the cup to represent the light.
What Kids Learn
Yes, your toddler or preschooler is learning while she makes a lighthouse, but she probably doesn't even know it. Start by telling her that a lighthouse guides boats at night and they are found near the ocean. This connects the craft to a real-life object. In addition, your child strengthens her fine motor skills when she grips her crayon, pencil or paintbrush. Making crafts also boosts creativity in young children. Little ones who do arts and crafts also tend to have a high self-esteem, plenty of self-confidence and an increase in thinking skills, according to the KidSpot website.
As with any activity that you do with a toddler or preschooler, safety is important. Most art supplies, such as crayons and paints, geared for little kids are non-toxic, but tasting them might still result in an upset tummy or a funny-colored bowel movement. Throw away broken crayons since they are small enough to pose the risk of choking. If you decide to use sequins, rhinestones, beads or buttons on your lighthouse, make sure your little one doesn't put them in her mouth because she could choke. Help with any cutting you do to prevent an injury.