Hi friends! Welcome to our fifth installment of Toddler Art Tuesdays! I have paired up with the fabulous Lindsay from You Are the Roots to bring you an exciting art activity you can do with toddlers every Tuesday for the month of April. Check out what we created for this week’s theme- “wearable art!”
This week’s activity was a bit of a departure from our typical ooey-gooey art experiences. It turned out to be a great fine-motor activity for the twins and a bit of a labor of love on my part, but seeing them take so much pride in their very own “neckanices” was totally worth it!
The idea for this activity struck me after observing how much the twins enjoyed digging through a box of beautiful shells given to us by my Granny. They loved examining each shell and commenting on the various colors, sizes, and textures they encountered. I picked out a few that were similar in shape and size for our project, along with some plain round wooden beads from my crafty stash. To round out the collection, I found a large stick and used a hand saw to cut it into bead-sized chunks (above left). Then I used my drill to make holes in the wood chunks and the shells. *Note- I used a ceramic bit to make the holes in the shells. To keep the shells from cracking, I placed them on a towel and filled them with a little water before drilling. The water kept the drill bit from getting too hot, and the towel absorbed some of the vibration from the drill. Remember to go slow and steady when drilling the shells to keep them from shattering.
After all the holes were drilled, the twins helped me create some different colors of dye using an Easter egg dye kit purchased on clearance last month. I have been dye-ing (get it??) to try coloring shells with this method after seeing this post at The Educator’s Spin On It! The twins had so much fun watching the dye tablets fizz and color the water.
Once we made the dye, the twins decided what colors they wanted all the pieces to be and dropped them into the dye cups. Then we lined them up on our new blue picnic table to bask in the sun for a few hours. I came out several times and rotated the floating pieces so that each side would soak up an equal amount of color.
After the pieces had soaked all afternoon, I fished them out and let them dry overnight on a paper towel. See how beautifully the colors turned out?
I presented the twins with our basketful of dyed goodies along with some long pieces of turquoise yarn for stringing. To make it easier for their little hands to thread the yarn through the holes in the objects, I hot glued the ends of the yarn pieces to some 1/4″ dowel pins (pictured above). It worked like a charm- the twins were able to thread the yarn easily through the holes in all the natural objects.
We made our necklaces- where else- in our new play fort. We do everything up there these days!
When the twins were done with their necklaces, I simply tied the ends in a bow and snipped off the excess length and stringing peg with a pair of scissors. And there you have it! A simple, beautiful, toddler-created piece of art that would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift as well!
*Be sure to supervise your toddler any time they have something around their neck, a potential choking hazard!
Now, if you don’t mind, head on over to You are the Roots and check out what Lindsay and Ethan were up to this week…if the picture above is any indication, it may just be the cutest post EVER!!
Toddler Art Tuesdays Posts:
- Toddler Art Tips
- Fun with Fingerpaint
- Butterfly Suncatchers
- Painted Nature Collage
- Dyed Nature Necklaces