Folding, painting, cutting: handicrafts not only encourage creativity, but also fine motor skills. Small children between the ages of 3 and 4 in particular love to let their imagination run wild and make colorful decorations with the help of their parents. Handicrafts are the perfect pastime for rainy weekends and help against boredom at home. Especially in spring there are many ideas that are inspired by nature. When toddlers make animals or birds, they learn more about nature and the animal world. We offer you great ideas that you can keep children between the ages of 3 and 4 busy with.
Tinker birds with small children: cut out motifs from cardboard
The cutting out of different motifs promotes the dexterity of the toddlers and accordingly the fine motor skills, which promote language development from the age of two. It is definitely a skill that needs to be learned and practiced, and not one that humans automatically master. Cutting not only strengthens the muscles, but also trains core skills. This includes so-called logical thinking, in which the children learn that an activity has certain consequences.
Children who cut out certain motifs learn to focus on a task for a period of time. Therefore, just cutting them out is a lot of fun for them. It becomes all the more exciting when the individual parts are put together and the children can admire the end result. The first handicraft instructions that we offer you are therefore uncomplicated. The goal: The children should learn to cut out different shapes and glue them on. You need the following materials and accessories:
- Cardboard in white
- Craft cardboard with different patterns (dots, checked patterns, flowers, etc.)
- Two clothespins
- 2 googly eyes
- Colored paper, yellow or yellow crayon
- Zigzag scissors (optional)
For this purpose, the parents first create a template that consists of several parts: wings in the shape of a cloud, a circle for the bird’s body and a semicircle for decoration. The parents cut the individual parts out of white cardboard and provide these stencils to the children. Then the little ones can start doing handicrafts under the supervision of their parents. First transfer the motifs onto cardboard, then cut them out and put the motif together at the end. Cut the beak out of yellow colored paper with the zigzag scissors and glue it in place.
Make birds with small children: cut out handprints
With the next handicraft idea, skill and logical thinking are trained, and the children’s imagination is given free rein when doing handicrafts. It is also a nice gift for grandparents or for Mother’s Day. A thin cardboard is best for cutting out complicated motifs. On the one hand, it should be easy to cut and, on the other hand, it should be thicker than paper. Because untrained children’s hands can easily bend construction paper.
You will need these materials to make the birds out of cardboard. First, put the children’s handprint on orange cardboard and cut it out. Then make a triangle out of three wooden popsicle sticks. Cut a triangle out of cardboard with dotted patterns and glue it to the popsicle sticks. Cut the beak out of the orange cardboard. Glue wiggle eyes and use small clothespins as feet.
We offer you another, much simpler, idea for making birds out of clothespins. Have the children paint three wooden clothespins in one color each. Cut out the beak and feet from orange cardboard. Glue googly eyes and feathers in place. These funny birds look good on the desk in the children’s room, for example, and put you in a good mood. You can also stick magnets to the back of the clothespins and use the birds as fridge magnets. The clothespins can, for example, show off children’s drawings or hold shopping lists. You can of course also create a unique garland for the nursery using clothesline and clothespins. And as a giveaway for Easter or Mother’s Day, they are also ideal. If you are celebrating a children’s birthday party in spring or summer, you can also use the colorful birds made from clothespins as place cards on the children’s table. All you have to do is write the child’s name on the clothespin with a crayon.
Tinker birds with small children: folding figures
The art of origami is becoming more and more popular in Europe. Kinks and folds offer a great opportunity for the children to create uncomplicated origami figures. But before toddlers try it, they should master certain folding techniques. The next craft idea is pretty simple, can be made even by three-year-olds, and is the perfect introduction to the origami world. The birds are not made according to the origami rules (just folding, without gluing), but this way the little ones can practice the simplest folding techniques in a playful way.
For these colorful birds you need the following materials: 1 cupcake paper case in green and 2 more cases in blue, glue, googly eyes and a clothespin. This is how the paper birds are made: Lay the green mold flat on the work surface and fold it in the middle. Also lay down the first blue mold and fold it in four. Fold the second muffin tin in half. Then assemble the bird figure from the three shapes (see photo above) and glue the three elements in place. Glue the clothespin to the back of the paper bird and attach the eyes. Cut the beak out of the blue cupcake mold and glue it in place as well.
Tinker 3D greeting card with paper birds
Another guide that incorporates the simplest of folding techniques. Make a 3D greeting card with paper birds together with the children. Parents must actively help here, as there are certain steps in the instructions that require more skill. Otherwise, however, the children master most of the handicrafts on their own. It’s also a cool idea for families with multiple kids because the older kids can help the little ones gluing. You can send the finished greeting cards to your grandparents. You will definitely be happy. You can also use the greeting cards as a wall decoration for the children’s room.
This is how the colorful birds are made: Cut four circles of the same size out of cardboard. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with a motif punch. Cut out another circle for the bird’s head and a tulip-shaped detail for the tail. You still need 5-6 sheets of green cardboard and a rectangle with the following dimensions: 8 cm wide and 16 cm long. Fold the circles in half and glue them together. Position the bird figure in the middle of the greeting card and put it together by gluing the individual elements. You can attach a wobbly eye to the bird’s head or the children can paint the eye with crayons. Glue a tree branch under the bird figure and arrange the sheets of paper. At the end you can paint in individual details like clouds.
Painting a bouquet with a fork and watercolors: This is how the children learn to mix the paints
With the next handicraft idea, toddlers can get their first insights into color theory, learn to differentiate between the basic colors and practice mixing them. The craft idea is the perfect introduction to painting, as it does not require any special skills and is a lot of fun at the same time. This cute bouquet is guaranteed to win children’s hearts. You need the following materials:
- A sheet of paper or white cardboard
- Orange cardboard beak
- Googly eyes or eyes made of white and black cardboard
Together with the children, dilute the paints with water or prepare a glass of water and a flat brush. Draw a circle for the head and a rectangle for the neck. Then let the children paint the circle and rectangle as they wish. Mix the base colors red, blue, and yellow to get other colors. Before the colors dry completely on the paper, the children can paint the feathers with a fork.
Children who like to mix colors will certainly like the next tutorial. These cute bird figures can be painted as desired and decorated with feathers. You need strips of cardboard for the tail, white cardboard for the body, colorful feathers and googly eyes from the craft shop and of course watercolors or crayons. Cut a circle with a diameter of 15 cm out of the white cardboard. Assign the children to paint the body of the bird. Mix colors or experiment with painting techniques. Optionally, you can buy crayons and teach the child how to hold them correctly. Small children hold pens in their fists, but the hand quickly gets tired. In order to be able to draw details, they should learn the so-called three-point grip. The pen is held with two fingers and rests on the middle finger, which serves as a support. While this grip is better for painting and drawing fine lines, it can prove to be quite a challenge for toddlers. It therefore wants to be practiced diligently.
Four-year-old children can learn to draw precisely with the next handicraft idea. You need feathers, cardboard, plastic cups, googly eyes, watercolors, and crayons. Let the children paint the plastic cup first. Then you can ask the children to draw the bird’s feathers. Then feathers are glued to it.
Making birds with toddlers: practicing using glue
The next tutorial is based on the basic principles of the popular napkin technique. So you can make birds with toddlers and practice the correct use of glue. You need: three wooden popsicle sticks, cardboard in two colors, for example in orange and pink, in blue and purple, etc., black cardboard for the bird feathers on the head and the bird’s feet, googly eyes, and scraps of crepe paper that you put in first need to cut small squares. You still need glue like Mod Podge and a flat brush.
This is how the bird is made: First make a template for the wings and then transfer it to cardboard. Cut out the wings and glue them together (see photo above). Form a triangle with the three popsicle sticks and glue the ends together. Glue the triangle onto the wings. Then cover with the leftover crepe paper and brush generously with glue. Let it dry and glue the beak and eyes in place. At the end, cut out the feet and the feathers on the head from black cardboard and attach them.
Making birds out of popsicle sticks: DIY ideas for toddlers between 3 and 4 years of age
With the next handicraft idea, the handling of different materials is practiced. Wooden popsicle sticks are glued together to form the bird’s body. The children can paint them as they like or leave them untreated. The feathers can be made from real feathers, from paper or from pipe cleaners. Parents can also help with cutting out small details such as feet and beak.
If you want to practice core skills with small children that promote language development, creativity and concentration, then you can make birds together with the youngsters. The bird figures can be tinkered with little effort and from different materials and decorated as desired. At the same time, the motley bird figures create a happy atmosphere in the house. Perfect for spring.
Most children between the ages of three and four can easily master tasks such as gluing, cutting, and folding. Above all, it is important that parents choose suitable handicraft instructions. The best are craft ideas for which the children need a maximum of half an hour. It is also important that after this time there is an end result that the little ones can proudly display.