A is for Apple: Simple Craft Ideas for Toddlers

Child's hand painted watercolor in heart shape against white background

My toddler is obsessed with the idea of going to school, and although we won’t be sending him to preschool until next September due to his late birthday (poor little guy), we’ve been replicating the classroom experience in our home by reading books, singing songs, writing on a dry erase board and doing simple crafts that are both fun and educational.

Last week he learned about the letter A. We selected an object and an animal that begin with the letter – apple and alligator – and went to the library to borrow books on each. Next, we sang songs about apples and alligators. After that, we used a white dry erase board designed to look like a lined notebook to practice writing uppercase and lowercase As. Finally, we completed some crafts to further reinforce his comprehension.

Children have different learning styles – some respond best by being read to, others by doing hands-on projects and so on. When you provide toddlers with multi-sensory activities, they’re more likely to retain new information, according to Dr. Judy Willis, writing for Psychology Today.

Here are five simple craft ideas to help teach your toddler the letter A:

A is for alligator

Dig out the fingerpaints, and let your little one get his or her hands dirty. This cute project is totally fridge-worthy!

For a simple craft idea that will delight your toddler, just add green fingerpaint!For a simple craft idea that will delight your toddler, just add green fingerpaint!

Materials:

  • Green fingerpaint.
  • 8×10 inch construction paper, white.
  • Scissors.
  • 8×10 inch construction paper, blue.
  • Glue.
  • Silver Sharpie marker.
  • 2 googly eyes.

Instructions: 

  1. Help your toddler cover the palms of his or her hands and fingers in green paint.
  2. Press your toddler’s hands on to the white paper.
  3. Rotate the paper so that the thumbs are toward the top, and use scissors to cut out the hands in the shape of an oval.
  4. Lie the blue paper flat on the table and use glue to attach the white oval in the center.
  5. Use glue to attach one googly eye to each alligator. The eye should be placed where the thumb intersects with the palm.
  6. Use a silver Sharpie to write the letter A.

Underneath the apple tree

Don’t put that green fingerpaint away just yet! If your toddler is older, you could have him or her cut with safety scissors.

Your toddler's thumbprint makes apples in this sweet design.Your toddler’s thumbprint makes apples in this sweet design.

Materials:

  • 8×10 inch construction paper, white.
  • Green fingerpaint.
  • Red fingerpaint.
  • 8×10 inch construction paper, brown.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue.
  • 8×10 inch construction paper, green.

Instructions:

  1. With a pencil, draw a faint circle in the center of the white page toward the top.
  2. Have your toddler use green fingerpaint to color in the circle – the messier the better!
  3. Using his or her thumb and red fingerpaint, have your toddler press down to make apples on the tree.
  4. Cut a long strip of brown paper with scissors and use glue to attach it vertically on the page to make the tree trunk.
  5. Cut horizontally across the bottom of the green paper so that you have a two-inch strip. Use scissors to cut tiny slits in the top half of the paper to make grass. Use glue to attach it.
  6. Cut a circle and several tiny strips from yellow paper. Glue them on to make the sun.

An apple a day

This apple, which upcycles an empty toilet paper roll, is Pinterest-worthy and simple to make – even though it looks super fancy!

Using an empty toilet paper roll and some paint, you can make this marvelous object.Using an empty toilet paper roll and some paint, you can make this marvelous object.

Materials:

  • Two coffee filters.
  • Red paint.
  • 2 paintbrushes.
  • White paint.
  • Empty toilet paper roll.
  • Black Sharpie marker.
  • Glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Green construction paper, scrap.
  • Brown construction paper, scrap.

Instructions:

  1. With a paintbrush, cover both coffee filters in red paint.
  2. Using a different paintbrush, paint an empty toilet paper roll white.
  3. Let the paint dry.
  4. Using a black Sharpie marker, draw seeds on the core of your apple.
  5. Use glue to attach one coffee filter to each end of the toilet paper roll.
  6. Use scissors to cut a leaf from the green paper and a tiny stem from the brown paper.
  7. Glue the leaf and stem to the top of the apple.

Stick with me, kid

This project makes a cute refrigerator magnet when it’s complete – just order peel-and-stick magnets online or find them at your favorite craft store.

Guide your toddler in arranging the sticks to create the letter A.Guide your toddler in arranging the sticks to create the letter A.

Materials:

  • 3 popsicle sticks.
  • Red paint.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Brown construction paper, scrap.
  • Green construction paper, scrap.

Instructions:

  1. Using a paintbrush, paint three popsicle sticks red.
  2. Use glue to attach the sticks into the letter A.
  3. Cut a leaf from the green paper and a stem from the brown paper, then attach with glue.

Spray paint apple

Your toddler will have a blast using a spray bottle to squirt paint onto the paper. Be sure to put a tablecloth down and have your child wear a smock or old t-shirt!

Your toddler can squirt paint onto the paper using a spray bottle.Your toddler can squirt paint onto the paper using a spray bottle.

Materials:

  • 8×10 construction paper, white.
  • Spray bottle.
  • Red paint.
  • Water.
  • Scissors.
  • Brown construction paper, scrap.
  • Green construction paper, scrap.
  • Glue.

Instructions:

  1. Pour a few dabs of red paint into a spray bottle. Fill to the top with water.
  2. Help your child squeeze the spray bottle trigger so that the red paint is applied to the paper.
  3. Let the paint dry.
  4. Using scissors, cut a short, fat strip from the brown paper and a leaf from the green paper.
  5. With glue, attach the stem and leaf to the top of the red apple.

Do you have any simple craft ideas to teach your toddler other letters of the alphabet?

About Erin Balsa

Erin Balsa is a Boston-based mom of two who met her husband on an airplane. Her interests include reading, writing and sleeping through the night.
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