Arts and crafts aren't just fun for toddlers — they’re actually good for their health and development too! Letting toddlers explore through art can help them express their thoughts and feelings when they’re still developing those skills.
Grabbing crayons and paint brushes will teach your children the motor skills they need in life. Craft projects can also teach children critical thinking, math, and language skills.
Keep reading to learn about some of the toddler activities you can do with your little ones that are both fun and educational!
1. Make your own stamps
Using stamps during playtime is a fun way to incorporate art into your children's lives. The best part about this activity is that you can make your own stamps with items you probably have laying around the house! You'll need foam shapes that you can help your child glue to bottle caps, it's that simple!
Get some paper and ink and start creating works of art with your little ones. Who knows, maybe USPS will call you up for the design?
2. Have fun with paint
We know what you’re thinking — toddlers + paint = a big cleanup. But hear us out! Letting your children paint on their own or as a family is an activity that they'll love no matter their age.
Painting is also easy to do while developing those motor skills we mentioned earlier. You can use paint to create a lot of awesome art. Personally, we can’t get enough of toddler hand and footprints.
A simple project you can do is buy a large canvas, put on some old clothes, and have fun splashing the paint onto the white canvas. We promise the cleanup isn’t as bad as you think it’ll be!
3. Use pine cones to get into the holiday season
In the same way that you can incorporate household items into your craft projects, you can step outside to find all the tools you'll need. Pine cones are a great way to inspire your children to think outside the box (...or cone?)
One fun project you can work on together during the fall is turning pine cones into pumpkins. You'll need some orange paint, black felt for the eyes and mouth, and green pliers for the stem of the pumpkin.
4. Use paper plates to make funky designs
Even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty parent, there are so many projects for toddlers you can try. One of our favorites? Using paper plates! Lucky for us not so artistic folks, paper plates look just like the sun (well...maybe not the same scale, but hang in there with us). Grab some yellow paint or markers and get going! Yellow pliers or construction paper are perfect to use as the rays.
You can even get your children to practice some math skills by having them count out the number of pliers for each plate!
5. Make your own wind chime
This project is a great way to teach your children the value of recycling and reusing. You can make your own wind chime using some old keys or painted pieces of glass, a piece of wood, and some string. Have some fun and paint designs of your children's favorite things to personalize it.
6. Incorporate nature into your crafts
When you head outdoors you’ll find materials all around you — while Michaels is great for supplies, out in nature is also a place where you discover ideas for craft projects for toddlers.
Especially in the fall, you and your little one can spend some time collecting different colored leaves to use in an art project. You can use the leaves to create your own seasonal wreath, or other fall craft projects.
7. Pasta crafts
Pasta should always be a staple in your children's arts and crafts supplies. Teach them some counting skills by having them add up the pieces they'll need to make a necklace or bracelet.
You'll need some paint and glitter to decorate the pasta and some string to put it all together. Your child will love wearing the art they create.
8. Homemade bookmarks can be great gifts
Other craft ideas for toddlers include homemade bookmarks. These are perfect little gifts to give to friends or older siblings, they'd be wonderful stocking stuffers too.
These bookmarks are fun to make as a group. You'll need to help your little ones cut out bookmarks from empty plastic bottles. Then, color the bookmarks using different color permanent markers.
You can punch a hole at the top of the bookmark to pull a thread through it and finish by adding a bead to the end of it. And just like that, a unique bookmark!
9. Have fun with playdough
Playdough is a great way to incorporate all the senses during an arts and crafts day. Your toddler will love molding and shaping the dough into different figures. They'll also enjoy mixing colors to create their own world, whether it's playdough food or animals. Ready to make your own playdough? We put together a guide to help!
10. Get creative with bead projects
Beads aren't just for making necklaces. While you can use them to teach your children some valuable math lessons, another creative idea is to turn them into a bowl.
Grab an oven-safe bowl and coat it with some cooking spray. Have your child pick out an assortment of their favorite colors of beads and layer them in the bowl. Set the bowl in a 375 degree heated oven for 20 minutes. After cooling for another 20 minutes your child will have a beautiful little bowl to put all their favorite trinkets into.
Toddler activities for the whole family
There are so many great toddler activities you can do with your children. From pasta jewelry to painting, these are just a few of the craft projects your little ones will love!
Make sure you check out our blog to find more activities to do with your children — we guarantee you’ll keep them learning and having fun!