Wet weather, local lockdowns and coronavirus – in fact, 2020 in general – have left many children stuck indoors. This week is half term and Halloween is this Saturday – and a lot of activities that both children and adults will have been looking forward to will not be going ahead. But staying safe is more important than missing out on trick or treating, and there are still plenty of fun things you can do, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, with other people or on your own. Crafts are an obvious one – what child doesn’t like making things? But when your child is very young it can be hard finding age-appropriate crafts that don’t involve the parent doing most of it themselves!
Here are some ideas for paper plate crafts I did with my two-year-old this week, using very basic equipment that you can buy quite cheaply or might already have at home.
Paper plates – I got these with my grocery shopping
Paint – we used black and orange though you don’t have to be traditional. The paints I used were Giotto school paint in black and the orange from Crayola washable project paint, both from Amazon, which are both suitable for children and are ready to use without needing any mixing.
Something to put the paint in – I have some small plastic trays from the Works which are great for this, but you can also use a plastic bowl or another paper plate
Pipe cleaners – I bought a selection of different coloured ones from Baker Ross
Glue and scissors
Paintbrushes – or a cup of water to wash the brush between colours if you are just using one brush
We also used children’s sponge paint rollers but you can just use paintbrushes
I also recommend a mat or newspaper to cover whatever surface you are doing this on – we sat on the floor and used a big messy play mat from the Early Learning Centre.
I cut some shapes out of a paper plate before we started, so we had a selection of eyes, mouths, and other shapes like features of a cat’s face, a moon, some bats and so on. Put these to one side as you won’t need them until the paint is dry.
My daughter painted six paper plates black and six orange, some of them with a paintbrush and some with a roller, then we left them to dry.
We made one into a spider by sticking pipecleaners on the back of the plate and giving it a face; another became a cat. One of the black plates became a night sky with moon, stars and bats, while the orange plates unsurprisingly became pumpkins. Once they were finished my daughter lined them all up and used them as stepping stones, then they were later fixed along the side of the stairs. My daughter wasn’t very keen on the other Halloween decorations I put up so these were a much more toddler-friendly option!