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Fun Crafts for Kids

How To Add Educational Crafts To Your Child's Playtime

When Big Brother or Sister heads off to school, younger siblings may be jealous. If your youngster is left behind with an abundance of energy, curiosity and creativity, consider adding educational crafts to your day's activities.

"Because children learn through their senses, arts and crafts projects are ideal for learning," says Trish Kuffner, author of The Arts and Crafts Busy Book (Meadowbrook Press, 2003). "The following activities will help your child develop skills like sorting, matching and classifying. They will also learn to recognize patterns, shapes and colors."

Try some of these craft activities with your preschooler!

Button Collage

This simple project involves counting and sorting. Write the numbers 1, 2 and 4 on separate sheets of cardboard and collect assorted buttons. Have your child sort the buttons by the number of holes in each, placing buttons with one hole on the sheet marked "1," two-hole buttons on the sheet marked "2" and so on. When all of the buttons have been sorted, your child can use glue to create one-hole, two-hole and four-hole button collages on the cardboard.

3-D Number Board

Help your child learn the value of counting, sorting and pattern recognition by making a colorful number board. First, use a marker, ruler and piece of paper to draw a chart with 12 rows. In the top row, write a title like "Danny's Numbers." Along the left edge, number the remaining rows 0 through 10. Next, collect small objects in groups of 1 to 10. Try to find beads, buttons, paper clips, dry cereal and more. Help your child glue each group of objects onto the appropriate row. Finally, put the finished work in a place where your child is able to touch the object as he or she counts it.

Play Dough Shapes

You can use shapes to help children develop their sense of depth perception. First, use a broad-tip marker to draw shapes (circle, square, etc.) on construction paper, one shape per sheet. Cover the sheets with clear contact paper. Have your child roll play dough into ropes and shape them over your drawings. Have your child close his or her eyes and try to identify each shape. You can also play this game with letters and numbers.

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