I don't normally pair up my 2.5 year old with a glue gun.....wait. I never do that. But those two were in the same room this weekend.
I thought she was big enough to 'help' me with a project from Crafting with Ribbons and Buttons because she's got some pretty nice fine motor skills. And she's stopped putting buttons in her mouth.
I thought the gift tags would be a fun project to do together because she likes birds a lot, and there was a bird template. I decided to get as much as possible taken care of ahead of time, and did most of the prep work while she was still asleep.
I traced the pattern on tracing paper (why do I have tracing paper?!).
And I cut out the two pieces of paper for the bird gift tag, and then immediately put the scissors back in their drawer. I picked some blue buttons out of the button stash.
An older child could use the scissors as well, and could have some choice in picking out colors of the paper you use. And could maybe even use this:
But my child is so little I still refer to her as a baby, and so her main task was to pick out buttons.
I would dab some glue on the bird's wing, and she'd hand me a button.
After a few tries, she started telling me where she thought I should put the glue on the bird. Which is why the bird has way more buttons than were originally called for in the instructions.
She liked the project so much that I pulled out another piece of scrapbooking paper just so we could glue buttons to it! This time she even pushed some of the buttons into the glue herself!
I made her wait a few extra seconds to put the buttons on the dabs of glue to make sure she didn't burn her little fingers. Sometimes the glue dried and hardened a bit too much, and I had to reattach the buttons later. But that's not even a problem when you compare it to trying to take care of tiny burnt fingers--or worse, being responsible for them.
Lastly, I punched holes in the paper and handed my little girl a length of ribbon. She's not especially skilled at threading activities yet, but I thought it would be a good way to gauge her patience with this sort of thing.
And then it turned out she can put a ribbon through something just fine! Whoa!
She also wanted to add feet and a tongue to the bird tag, but I feel like that's a bit too ambitious for her first button craft. I could be wrong, though. She did such a great job on her first try!
I'm really enjoying making things with my big girl, and I can't wait to try out new things with her. I think this went fairly well because I had all the supplies ready beforehand, and I told her we were going to make a craft. I also explained what she was supposed to do 10 or so times. She likes repetition and knowing what to expect. She also understands 'hot', so I wasn't worried about her grabbing the glue gun. I'm not about to turn her loose with some craft scissors and a big bottle of Elmer's any time soon, but I thought this was a pretty good introduction to decorating crafts.
I like modifying crafts for little people to enjoy, and I think they may become Christmas ornaments for grandparents! I hope they like buttons.