Children in elementary and preschool enjoy making all kinds of crafts, particularly ones about babies. It gives them a feeling of superiority and makes them feel like they are a big kid. Whether you or someone who is close to you is preparing to give birth to a new baby or you are trying to teach young children about babies, crafts are a good way to explore and learn.
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Children will enjoy making a baby cradle for their miniature peanut-shell baby. Have each child bring in an empty toilet tissue roll. Have the children cut the toilet tissue roll in half lengthwise, and then decorate it with stickers, paint or colored markers with designs suitable for a baby. Have the children glue the two pieces together back to back to form the feet and the bed of the cradle. Give each child a peanut shell for the baby figure, and have her decorate the eyes, mouth and nose on the shell with a permanent marker. Provide the children with pastel facial tissue to use as a blanket for the baby, as suggested by the Preschool Education website.
Explain to the children that coloring is a way to create different things and to identify different colors. Discuss with the children how babies color by scribbling. Then, mention that when parents and siblings praise babies, it inspires them to keep coloring, and eventually, they learn how to draw beautiful pictures and stay in the lines. Let each child use a piece of white construction paper and colored crayons to create a baby scribble. Remind them to press down firmly when coloring this craft project. Let them paint over the entire drawing using black acrylic paint that you thin out with a small amount of water. They will find it interesting how the black paint does not stick to the waxy crayon.
Have the children make a baby collage on a piece of poster board by cutting pictures out of a magazine or drawing their own. Tell them to use pictures of baby animals, human babies and all the paraphernalia that a baby will need. You can also have them collect pictures of what they can do to help their parents with the baby such as reading a book or retrieving a toy when the baby drops it.
Baby Bottle Rattle
This is an educational way to get the child involved in making a gift for a new baby. Purchase a baby bottle at the store, or collect several at garage sales and thrift stores. Have the child fill the bottle with colorful plastic beads, or use red or black dried beans, as suggested by the Toddlers Today website. Have children add a few sequins or a bit of glitter to add sparkle to the baby rattle when they shake it. Tell them the importance of thoroughly securing the top and nipple to the plastic bottle while you hot glue it back together. Explain that when infants are around, everyone must keep a watchful eye on them so that they do not put small objects in their mouths. Explain that all infants do this, and it is a big job to make sure they do not hurt themselves. Allow them to decorate the outside of the bottle with different colors of permanent markers.