With the stressful holidays coming upon us, I thought it would be a great time to introduce a few of our favorite easy and simple Creative Table Invitations. If you’re not familiar, Creative Table Invitations are essentially open-ended set-ups or provocations that invite children to explore materials, test ideas, and experiment with techniques…in their own way and on their own schedule.
In addition to the aforementioned outcomes, there are two guiding goals that contribute to the design of these invitations:
- They should not take a lot of time to set up
- The materials should be readily accessible or easy-to-find
If you’re a busy parent or a caregiver with a full day of meal-prep, cleaning, and activity planning, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of these invitations.
The Benefits of “Doilies and Scissors”
This activity will:
- Help children develop fine-motor skills
- Offer an opportunity to work independently and build creative confidence
- Teach scissor-skills through practice
- Encourage creative thinking
Creative Table Supplies: Doilies and Scissors
- Construction Paper
Step One: Clear Your Table
Remove any distractions that will take your child’s focus away from the creative invitation. In this case, you should just have your supplies on the table.
Set them up in an inviting way and ask your child if he or she would like to use/explore/experiment with these supplies.
Step Two: Sit Back
Once your child has picked up on the offer, sit back and watch…or even make your own version of the project. You could also make objective comments such as, “I see that you’re cutting the doily into tiny pieces,” or “I hear you counting as you cut.”
If your child needs help with the scissors, by all means step in and offer assistance, but the overall objective is to foster independence and creative thinking so try to keep your involvement to a minimum.
Do you have a heavy-bottom tape dispenser like this? These are great, and enable children to independently remove pieces of tape on their own. For some reason, my three-year old wanted to cut the tape too, and removed it from the dispenser.
My daughter spent about twenty minutes on this before starting a new one. These were promptly taped to our gallery door, so my big takeaway was that there was a lot of pride in the execution of this activity.
- Replace doilies with magazine pages, junk mail, construction paper, newspaper, etc.
- Replace clear tape with washi tape or painter’s tape.
- Tape a large piece of butcher paper to a wall and invite your child to tape their pieces to this vertical surface.
More Creative Table Ideas
Check back soon for more Creative Table ideas. If you liked today’s post, you might also enjoy:
A Sticker Composition with Frames
Why it’s important to keep a clear table for Creative Table Projects
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I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you
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information on your web site.
Thanks so much — and I’m so glad that you found us!
I can’t wait to try this with my daughter.
I just discovered your blog recently and can’t wait to go through everything. So inspiring!
Thanks, Victoria, and welcome! I’m so glad that you found us!
We do stuff like this all the time. My 2 and a half year old LOVES to cut. I haven’t put out doilies yet though, so thanks for tomorrow’s pre-dinner invite. Our latest one that was a big hit was tin foil wrapped around cardboard with sharpies. Really engaging. Thanks for the tip! Meri
It was so fun to talk to you the other day! Sharpies are a FAVORITE in our house, and I bet that our kids would get along famously at the art table (well, that or fight over the materials!).
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