We love to make crafts in our house and by we, I mean me. I will say though once my son gets started he just can't stop! SO . . . when we were pursuing target one day and Luke became enthralled with a paper-mache dinosaur I immediately thought it would not only be a great craft but make a great gift! Considering Father’s day was coming up (at the time) . . . it was going to make a great gift for dad ;-)
First, I put the Dino back on the shelf and made plans to visit hobby lobby later that week to use my 40% off coupon because, why not?!?!
Since the Dino was brown-ish in color being it was paper-mache I decided to first paint the entire Dino, belly feet and all. I decided to paint it white to keep it a simple and clean canvas. Next, I pulled out an assortment of colors I felt went together well, or well enough.
Sometimes I fail at kids crafts because I'm too meticulous and I care more about matching, clean lines etc. than I should.
I put little guy into his high chair, gave him a selection of brush sizes to pick from while talking about and pointing out their sizes. (I try to use daily activities such as crafts as a learning lesson to grow his vocabulary and understanding of the world around him.) We followed the same routine with the colors and to my dismay he started with orange! I could just see the blue, orange and red being mixed into a horrifying brown color. Once I saw how happy he was and so, so seriously concentrated on the project, I started being able to appreciate the mixed colors and overlapping lines because it showed "him", his creativity, what his little mind wanted to do as well as what his little hands could do.
Projects such as hand prints in paint or clay are so cute and so great to have for the future to mark our children's growing and to preserve memories of their tiny hands and feet. They are also great for babies who cannot participate all that much in the craft at hand (pun intended).
Projects like this are just as important to me now because it’s HIS artwork, literally all of it was Luke's choice. The entire project was done by him and if that's not something special to look back on I don't know what is!
I also like the idea of using an animal or some type of shape as the canvas instead of paper because it adds a 3D element as well as allows you to personalize the "gift" for the receiver in a way that your toddler can't quite do yet. In this case Luke liked the Dino so this is what he picked. If you have a grandparent who likes pigs you can pick a pig for your child to paint, hearts, letters, mailboxes there was literally not joking, a pound sign. . . I mean a hashtag!
All in all, this was a super fun, easy and inexpensive gift or daddy who will be able to cherish it for many years to come!
Thanks for reading and I hope this inspired a new project or gift for you to do with your little ones in the future!
**As I said in the begging of this post once my little guy gets started he doesn't want to stop. Once the Dino was finished he was not satisfied and wanted to continue painting. I gave him a few papers and let him paint more when a light bulb came on! Marble painting! I emptied his craft bin, grabbed some marbles which are everywhere right now and introduced Luke to every preschool teachers fall back craft project! I will write about this in the near future!