Toddlers often learn through the five senses so integrating a sensory project centered on polar bears is a craft idea that will not only engage your child but enhance fine motor development. Make use of various materials that you have on hand, as opposed to purchasing new craft items, and allow your toddler to express her creativity through a winter- and animal-themed sensory art project.
Cover your toddler's hand with an old mismatched glove or mitten and encourage him to paint a polar bear on a piece of black construction paper. Add water to white tempera paint and freeze it into ice cubes. The toddler uses the melting paint cubes like a piece of chalk to color a polar bear. For a younger toddler, draw a polar bear image onto the paper before setting him free to let his creative juices flow in the form of watered-down white paint.
Cover a polar bear coloring sheet or printed image from the Internet with a sheet of waxed paper and squirt a mound of shaving cream over the picture. Allow the toddler to use her fingers and hands to spread the shaving cream, coloring the polar bear with a scented fluffy white substance. When complete, allow the shaving cream to dry to a meringue-type feel or fold the waxed paper over onto the shaving cream for ease in cleaning up.
Brush glue over a coloring book image of a polar bear and allow the toddler to adhere miniature marshmallows to the picture to create a polar bear. Save some marshmallows for a snack instead of the toddler picking them off the art project. Alternatively, sprinkle white granulated sugar mixed with iridescent glitter over the glue for a sparkly, yet grainy, effect to a sensory project.
Give your toddler a few cotton balls to play with. Encourage him to pull them apart and squish them back together to gain an understanding for the fibrous nature of cotton. Instruct the child to glue pieces of the cotton ball to a polar bear image or, for more advanced toddlers, suggest that he glue cotton ball pieces in the shape of an oval for the polar bear body and a smaller circle for a head.
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