Monday, April 14, 2014

Easy Springtime Toddler Craft - Sun Catchers! (And it's great for older kids, too!)

Lucas calls them flowers. Don't tell him I called them sun catchers.

The words "easy" and "toddler craft" don't often go together. Especially if your toddler is one or just barely two years old. Glue and glitter are pretty much out unless you want to be cleaning for the next week, and you can definitely rule out anything complicated like model building or, I don't know, wood carving. When you add in the fact that my toddler doesn't particularly like finger painting, you're pretty much just left with stickers and coloring.

I actually remember doing this craft as a child and thinking it was completely amazing. But I was also easily impressed. Still, your kid will probably like it, too.

Here's what you need:

- Markers (make sure you use the washable ones, and not just because you don't want your child to write on the wall in sharpie.)
- Coffee filters (it's easier for young kids if you flatten them out with your hands or a heavy book first.)
- Water in a cup (that's really two things, but it only gets one line. Too bad.)

1. Hand your child a coffee filter and some markers, and let them go wild.

2. When the masterpiece is complete...

...fold the coffee filter in half, then in half again, then in half again, then in half again (four folds total) so that it looks like this:

3. Put about half an inch of water in the bottom of a cup. Then stick the folded-up coffee filter into the water, pointy side down.

4. Watch! The water will slowly move up the coffee filter, causing the marker to "bleed" upwards. Your older child will probably like watching this process. Your younger child may want to drink the water. So don't leave them alone with the cup. Lucas wasn't particularly interested in this step (besides wanting to drink the colored water,) so I just let him color another coffee filter while this was going on.

5. When the water and color have reached the top of the filter (or when you're too impatient to wait anymore because it seems like it's never going to get the whole way to the edge,) take the filter out of the water. Shake it a few times over the cup to get those last few drops of water off of the tip.

6. Unfold the filter and let it dry by either hanging it up somewhere with a clothes pin or laying it flat on some paper towels. (It should dry quickly either way.)

7. Ta da!! Hang your masterpiece up in a sunny window!

Older kids can experiment with different colors and patterns, and when younger kids get bored of the coffee filters, they can... color on the wall. (Bonus: washable markers come off of the wall more easily than crayons do. Not that I would know from experience...)

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  1. I'm so doing this!! I love doing craft with my son (if you take a look at my latest post, you will see some pictures of how much craft and fun things we do!) and this seems SO easy! Thankyou so much!! Toddler tie dye ;)

  2. I think my boys will love doing this! I'm kind of a non crafter and then I always feel guilty, but this is so easy. A win win!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Great idea!

  4. That's a very good idea. I think that every child would adore it. Also, the washable markers are the best for children.

  5. my sisters and i used to do this when we were little, but we used tissues instead of coffee filters. and if you've ever tried to unfold a wet tissue (though i can't really imagine why you would to be honest) then you know how frustrating it was. we then graduated to paper towels which was easier, but not by much. coffee filters is genius.