A Book and a Craft for Toddlers

I can not tell you how excited I am to have Kristina from Toddler Approved guest posting today! Her site is packed with fun play ideas and informative tips for parents.  Be sure to drop by, but only after you check out the fun she is sharing here!


Hi there! I'm Kristina from Toddler Approved and I am excited to share two of my favorite things with you today- a simple toddler craft and an awesome children's book.

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I love to build on teachable moments that pop up during our day to day activities. Monday is Trash Day in our town and my toddler is IN LOVE with trash trucks right now. "Trash truck" is currently her favorite word... so when she was running around the house yesterday feeling annoyed that the trash truck had left, I decided to pull out the next best thing- a children's book about a trash truck.

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman has been a favorite book at our house for several years. The book tells about Mr. Gilly's days as a trash man. The story has some great rhythmic, repeatable sections that my kids love to stomp around to and repeat along with me.  

After we read the book a few times I took out some simple crafting materials based on my daughter's current interests- stickers, shiny things, markers, and lids. We used these materials along with a few other supplies to create a very simple toddler trash truck collage. The reason I love collage art for toddlers is because it is open-ended and can be tweaked to focus on basically anything they are interested in!

Materials Needed for Trash Truck collage:

  • brown paper bag
  • scissors
  • aluminum foil (we wanted something shiny... but contact paper is another toddler favorite)
  • tape
  • stickers
  • markers
  • bottle caps, playdoh lids, and other trash or recycling items
  • anything else that your toddler likes!

To get started, I taped a sheet of foil down on the floor and let my daughter create with the markers and stickers. It was an activity that needed both of my hands, so I didn't manage to snap a photo until she was done. Her favorite part of the activity was talking about each shape- especially the small baby ones. Since I love to embed opportunities to learn new vocabulary words into our activities, I made sure to say the name of each shape or object that she gave me or pointed out.

We talked about the colors, shapes, and textures of the different materials that we were using.

After she was done creating, I taped her collage onto a extra piece of white sturdy foam board that I had lying around and then I drew a quick truck cab and cut it out of a brown paper bag. We stuck everything onto the foam board to create a simple trash truck shape for her.

While she took her afternoon nap I set up a simple trash truck art station for her to use once she woke up. The materials included her collage, several lids and caps, tape, and stickers.

She loved adding lids and stickers onto her collage and also loved dumping and pouring the "trash" from the playdoh and tupperware buckets. We pretended that the playdoh containers were trash cans and she would fill them up, smash the trash down, and then dump it out. 

When her older brother got home from camp he wanted to get in on the action and "help" her create and smash the trash too.

This simple activity provided so many opportunities to learn new vocabulary words and engage my daughter in creating and exploring. We had a lot of fun working on it together. Toddler activities that are simple and are based on the child's interests are always my favorite ones!

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What is your toddler's favorite picture book?

Does your toddler have a current obsession... um, I mean interest... that you like to embed into crafts and activities?

Camp Sunny Patch Honor Counselor Kristina of ToddlerApproved.comKristina is the author of Toddler Approved, where she helps parents capitalize on teachable moments in everyday life and motivates them to discover, create, and learn with their children. She is a mom of a toddler and a preschooler (and has a baby on the way!) and is a former Special Education teacher who is constantly learning how to adapt to and enjoy the developmental milestones her children hit. When she’s not crafting, Kristina runs a Mommy & Me book club, volunteers at her son’s preschool, throws kid’s craft parties, and travels with her family. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest.

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