Naptime. That blessed hour (or two, if you're lucky!) of peace and quiet whilst the littles are sleeping. Whether you work outside of the home or in the home, you know the power of nap time.
It's that time of the day that us parents of littles can collect ourselves, hear our own thoughts again, prep dinner, exercise, do a bit of damage control around the house, or even spend a few minutes reading or praying.
But then it happens. Your toddler stops taking naps. Whether it's a gradual transition to not napping that involves a drawn out process of daily struggle or a change that seems to come all at once, our little people eventually stop taking those beloved naps.
In my home, my youngest still naps faithfully but my oldest is hit or miss. On a day that she doesn't nap, she sometimes plays independently (allowing me to still have some peace and quiet or productive time around the house), but I am also recognizing that this can be a sweet time that she and I can enjoy together, just the two of us.
I want to navigate this transition well. I want to do things with her during this mid-day break that we might not get to do (uninterruptedly) otherwise: read books, cook, work on puzzles, practice kindergarten-readiness skills, or do a craft together.
Yes, crafts. I am not an artistic person and I don't care for messes, so crafts and I generally do not get along. My youngest sister, on the other hand, is the queen of crafting and an excellent mom to two preschoolers. She is my go-to resource for quick, easy, fun crafts.
Below is the most recent craft she walked me through. It is simple and not too messy, so it perfectly fits my crafting capacity. It is also versatile in the skills that can be incorporated depending on your child's age and skill level. I did it with my oldest and we enjoyed it. I hope you do too!
Note: This activity can be adjusted to your child's age and skill level. It can be a sorting, writing, problem-solving, shape recognition and cutting activity, as well as a fine motor skill challenge.
Step 1: Scrounge up the supplies. You will need:
- Colored paper (or white paper that has been colored)
- Pen or Marker
- Glue stick
Step 2: Draw an outline of crayons in a row. Draw the number of crayon shapes of colored paper. The crayons can be drawn in corresponding colors to the paper to add a sorting element to the activity.
Step 3: Cut a strip of each color in the approximate width of the drawn crayons. If the activity is being done with an older Pre-K or Kindergartener, the cutting can be done by the child with child-safe scissors.
Step 4: Cut the strips into smaller pieces. Think triangles, trapezoids, rectangles, etc. The pieces can be mixed together so that they can be sorted or can be cut into sorted piles, depending on the age of the child.
Step 5: Have the child place the shapes in the crayon outlines by color, trying to stay in the lines as much as the cut shapes allow. This is not about being perfect, but about problem solving of putting the pieces together the best way they can. After each crayon is pieced together, they will glue the pieces to the paper.
Step 6: After all the crayons are complete, write or have the child right the name of the color on or close to the corresponding crayon to help recognization of the color with the written name. They can also trace over the written name.
Step 7: Hang the masterpiece at child level for easy review of colors and letter recognition.