When the kids come in for Mommy and Me, they grab a bucket and hunt for something. This week they were hunting for red things. I used to hide things in clear view but unless it's laying in the middle of the floor, the kids just don't see it. This keeps them busy while everyone trickles in. When we are ready to start, they bring their buckets to the circle and show us something that they found.
Developmentally appropriate crafts for toddlers can be hard to find, so I was so excited to find this recently on Reading Confetti. Dot stampers are the perfect first art supply. The kids love them. Be careful in chosing your stampers. Larger stampers allow more ink to come through. If kids pound them onto the surface (which most toddlers will do), it can get messy. You can get Bingo stampers at the dollor store, but I recommend investing in sets designed for kids. There are some different options at various craft stores. Look for sets with washable ink (stay away from the paint ones).
We used copy paper for ours. The kids stamped one sheet then crumpled up a second sheet. Parents wrapped the stamped sheet around the crumpled ball and set it in the pre-cut toilet paper tubes. A little glue held it in place.
Toddlers love repetition. They enjoy the satisfaction of knowing what they are supposed to do. As we work through colors, we make color shakers. I put out an assortment of smalled items in a variety of textures (including jingle bells!), the kids insert objects in the bottles, and moms seal the top with tape. A friend is saving 12 oz. Gatorade bottles for me which work great. They have a wider opening and are made with heavier plastic than the regular water bottles we used to use. The kids love these!