I woke up this morning and realized I had no idea what day of the week it was. Is it the weekend? Is it a school day? It’s all blending together. We are doing our best to maintain some level of normalcy around here, and one of the things that helps with that is keeping Jane busy. On nice days, we’ve been going for long nature walks by the beach, exploring trails, and going through our fair share of sidewalk chalk. On the cold and rainy days (ugh, there’s been a lot of those!) I’ve been trying to fill the morning with a creative project. I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the easy, toddler-friendly craft ideas that have worked for us. All of these projects required some level of parent-involvement, but allowed a few minutes of quiet so I could answer emails on my computer while she was in the middle of stamping/painting/gluing/cutting. I linked all of the supplies at the bottom of the post, but nearly everything was made from things we already had around the house. For more ideas, check out the round-up of creative toys and craft supplies I shared last week. Here’s what we’ve been making:

Egg Carton Bugs. I started by drawing the shape of butterfly wings on a big piece of paper, and Jane decorated the wings with “sparkly gems” as she calls them (to avoid gluey-mess I found some sticker gems that she can use herself). Then we painted egg cartons for the bug bodies, added googly eyes (also stickers!) and pipe cleaners for antennas, and glued them to the wings. We also made some caterpillar bugs using longer pieces of the egg cartons too. Pom-Pom and Popsicle Stick Aliens. I have posted a few times about my love for the Kid Made Modern craft kits! We have gotten a ton of creative playtime out of the Cosmic Craft Kit, including making these “aliens” out of pom poms, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. The boxes have little booklets with lots of ideas to get their creative juices flowing — we also fashioned some cardboard spaceships and planets to go along with our aliens. Paper Rainbows. Jane is obsessed with using her safety scissors to cut paper, so I pulled out some colored scrapbooking paper and we cut up a rainbow of colors into tiny squares and strips. Then I outlined the shape of a big rainbow, and started the pattern by gluing down a row of the colors. We worked together to talk about which colors went in which row of the rainbow picture, and used glue sticks to attach them down. It was a good activity that involved sorting, patterns, and colors! When we finished filling in the rainbow outline we crunched up tissue paper and glued it to the page to make clouds, she loved getting to rip up the tissue paper. Sponge Stamps. When we did this activity, Jane looked up and said “Mom this is the best project we’ve done!” — I laughed, because clearly she’s noticing that we’re doing way more arts and crafts at home than normal. I also laughed because it was the most simple project we’ve done too. I took two clean sponges and cut them up into different shapes, poured a few paint colors on a paper plate, and cut open some paper shopping bags from the grocery store and spread them out over our counters. Jane went to town stamping the shapes and mixing colors — it looked so pretty when it was done!Paper Towel Roll Bunny Stamps. I stumbled on this idea on Pinterest and can’t find the original post, but it was a really simple idea that made a very cute craft. We cut the paper towel roll into 2″ piece, flattened two of the pieces to be “ears” and then glued them together to make a bunny shape. Dip it in a few pastel paint colors and stamp away (we actually stamped on top of paper Jane had painted with water colors the day before).Monochromatic Arts and Crafts. I saw my friend Caitlin from The Mama Notes post about pulling out all of her green craft supplies on St. Patrick’s Day and borrowed her idea. We used green markers, crayons, paper, stickers, pom-poms and streamers and decorated shamrocks. Jane loved hanging them up in the window as decorations, and I think I’m going to repeat this idea to make Easter and spring themed projects over the next few weeks! Collage Treasure Box. We got a new pair of shoes in the mail from Ten Little, and the shoebox opened like a drawer. Jane was very excited to fill it with treasures and I suggested we decorate it for an activity. We went through my big stack of magazines and cut out paper in the color green (we did this right after St. Patricks Day) and glued the paper all over the box. It’s currently housing seashells we collected on one of our many nature walks from the past week, and a few of the aliens and bugs we made in the craft projects above!