This year, I was lucky enough to take the summer off and spend some extra QT with my toddler. And in the beginning, it was pretty awesome. I’ve missed having endless amounts of time to spend hanging with him since I went back to work. That being said, we’ve been home eight weeks and I think we’re both ready to get back into the swing of things. I love my toddler, but DAMN, he’s exhausting. I’d pay serious cash for the ungodly amount of energy he possesses. At this point in the summer, we’ve pretty much done anything and everything that I could possibly come up with to keep him busy. With only a few days left, I’m scraping the barrel for ideas.
Lucky for me (insert sarcastic tone here), the kid woke up well before 6:00am today. That means I had a few extra hours to spend keeping him from jumping off staircases and swinging from the chandelier. So by 8:00am, I was desperate. I found a bag of craft sticks and challenged myself to find five ways to keep this kid entertained (hopefully for a length amount of time). If you’re lucky enough to have a busy baby like me, feel free to check out some of the awesome activities I came up with below.
1.) Craft Stick and Clothes Pin Color Match
I used markers to color the end of six or seven craft sticks. Then, I colored the ends of each clothespin with the same colors. I challenged my toddler to attach the clothespin to the craft stick that has the same color. He LOVED this game! In the beginning, I had to help him squeeze the clothespins, but he got it down. Great for color recognition and fine motor skills.
Next, I took a bunch of craft sticks and colored simple designs on each one. I made sure to make pairs of each design that I drew. Then, I laid all of the sticks on the table and had my toddler pick a stick and then find the matching design to make pairs. He really loved this one, too, and we had fun taking turns to find matches. If your child is a little bit older, turn the crafts sticks over to hide the designs and take turns picking sticks to make matches, similar to the game Memory.
3.) The Name Game
Write your child’s name in large capital letters on a piece of paper. Write each letter of their name on the end of a craft stick. Have them match the craft sticks to the correct letter on the paper. If your child already knows how to spell their name, have them do it without the paper that has their name written on it.
4.) Counting Craft Sticks
Cut four small pieces of paper into squares. Write the number “1” and color one dot on the first piece. Write the number “2” and color two dots on the second piece, and so on. Have you child lay the correct number of craft sticks onto each piece of numbered paper.
5.) Craft Stick Puzzles
This was, by far, our favorite! Print out two copies of a simple picture from your computer. I chose a clip art photo of a dog. Lay out craft sticks onto one copy to determine how many you will need. Cut the picture so that the pieces can be glued onto the craft sticks. When it dries, give your child the second picture so that they know what they are trying to assemble. Give them the craft sticks and ask them to assemble them to make the picture.
Need even more ideas??
- Write one letter of the alphabet on each craft stick. Have your child put them in ABC order.
- Write both capital and lowercase letters on craft sticks and have your child match the capital and lowercase letters.
- Try writing a sight word on a craft stick. Write each letter of the word on clothespins and have your child clip the correct letters onto the stick.
After a rough morning, these games kept my kid from climbing the walls for about an hour! Oh, and I think he learned a thing or two, as well. I’ll take it! I hope you try some out and enjoy! Leave me a comment below if you have some more crazy craft stick ideas!