When it comes to crafting with our kids, the experience of getting creative with our littlest children is entirely different than it is with our older children who have grown a little more patience and experience over the years, even though they’re all still quite young. Crafting activities for toddlers are simply best when they’re very simple but give them some kind of awesomely tactile creative experience that will help them see something new and learn! We come from an avid crafting family, so we’ve always got our eyes peeled for new projects and DIY ideas that we haven’t tried with our little ones before but that will keep the busy and creative on a rainy afternoon.
Just in case you love the idea of catering your kids’ crafts to their young age so that they get more out of it just as much as we do, if not more, here are 15 of the very best ideas, concepts, and tutorials that we’ve come across in our search for inspiration!
1. Tips for doing crafts with little kids
Before you start, are you actually just hoping to learn more in general about the best ways to craft with little kids, because you know you want to start them out creatively very early but your current toddler is also your first? In that case, we have a feeling you might find this collection of tips, tricks, and advice from other parents featured on Design Mom very helpful indeed!
2. Easy clean up tips for crafting with little kids
Are you already totally familiar with the crafting process as far as your kids are concerned in terms of the messes they’re capable of making, and now, before you gather more ideas, you’re just wondering how other parents seem to keep things a little more tidy and clean? Then perhaps you’d prefer to read this advice from Stir the Wonder before you get started, so you’re more prepared to contain the mess once you do find ideas you want to try with your little ones.
3. Tape peeling activity
For older kids, this idea from Making Danish might not seem like much of a craft, per se, but we assure you that this tape peeling activity actually sets your littlest kids up for developing a lot of the skills and curiosity that crafting projects later require! Besides introducing them to tape, things that are sticky, and what that means, you’re helping them practice concentration and refine their steadiness of hand when they grab the little edge, peel the tape off the floor, and stick it somewhere new.
4. DIY pom pom drop game
Does this concept of a DIY project that’s really simple for you to set up but a whole lot of fun for your toddlers to play with really appeal to you? Then we have another suggestion that will keep your little ones busy for hours! check out how Hands On as We Grow made this fantastic pom pom drop game but sticking various lengths of cardboard tubing to the wall at different angles where Baby can reach them and making some yarn pom poms small enough to fit through the tubes. Show your little one how to drop the pom pom into the tubes and voila!
5. Cloud dough
If you’re going to craft with your little kids and start creative activities that will keep them very busy, would you rather do something a little more sensory and hands-on? Well, if you’re heard of how much older kids love kinetic sand then we think you’ll really love the way Powerful Mothering teaches you how to make an even softer and more toddler friendly but similar version called cloud dough! The sensation is so neat and the texture is so fun that our toddlers will play with it for longer than just about any toy they own.
6. Dried flower sensory “soup”
Are you actually currently trying to teach your little kids about nature at the same time as you’re practicing motor skills and simple tasks like picking things up on spoons? Then this fantastic water project from A Crafty Living might be just what you need! Their tutorial shows you how to make a sensory bin called “dried flower soup” from water and dried petals that can be stirred and ladled.
7. “Witch’s brew” soap foam sensory bin
Maybe your kids like things better when there’s some kind of theming to it, or perhaps you’re just the kind of parent who loves bookmarking seasonal projects now so that you have them on the back burner and ready to go when that time of years comes? Either way, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Views From a Step Stool made this super fun witch’s brew sensory craft that involves filling little plastic cauldrons (or any small, bowl-like thing, really) with colourful soap foam.
8. Flower printing
Speaking of teaching your kids about nature, are you actually looking for springlike and summery ways to celebrate the coming warmer seasons but with an artistic twist? In that case, we think your family might get just as much of a kick out of painting with flowers as ours did! Check out how Learning 4 Kids created cool visual textures by dipping daisies in paint and printing them onto paper.
9. Marshmallow print paintings
Just in case you’re really interested in this concept of painting shapes with unconventional things that aren’t paint brushes but one of your little ones is allergic to flowers, here’s a craft that will introduce them to the idea of crafting with food instead! Check out how Learn, Play, Imagine made awesome rainbow dot paintings using mini marshmallows skewered on toothpicks. This craft is also a great excuse to eat some marshmallows; just make sure no little hands pick up the painted ones by accident!
10. Spray bottle art
In the interest if teaching your little ones about art and how much fun and different it can be, are you willing to make a bit of a mess, at least outside? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Adventure In a Box made an awesome abstract design on a large piece of poster paper tapes to the wall using watered down paint squirted from a spray bottle! In fact, this idea is so much fun that we think we’d like to try it whether our kids are interested or not.
11. Card slot drop game
Are you actually still feeling the most interested in the simple motor skills games that require a little bit of crafting on your part but that will keep your kids busy and learning control and coordination for hours? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Busy Toddler cut a slot in the top of an empty oats tub and collected some old playing cards. Show your little one how to put the cards through the slot and they’ll have a blast filling the whole thing up until all of the cards are gone!
12. Stick painting
Are you still quite interested in keeping some kind of nature based element in your kids’ crafting processes because they also adore playing outside and you’d love to keep that up as long as possible, but none of the ideas we’ve shown you so far have quite caught your fancy? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Creating Creatives helped their toddlers paint fun colours all over some twigs they gathered from the backyard!
13. Easy DIY light table
Are you still feeling pretty enthusiastic about the idea of making some kind of DIY based activity that your toddler can use over and over again and stay amused by for many hours, even if you’re technically the one making the initial pieces? Then we think you’ll get a real kick out of the way No Time for Flashcards made this fantastic toddler light table! Their tutorial even gives you suggestions for what kinds of things to use on it for maximum fun at play time.
14. Torn paper collages
Maybe your toddlers are getting a little older and slightly more patient and you feel like they’re ready for crafts that involve them putting parts together themselves, like pasting and glue based projects? Then we think you might get along quite well with something like this torn paper collage idea featured step by step on Popsugar! They’ll have fun tearing the pieces, arranging them, and sticking them down.
15. Baggie painted flowers
Are you feeling quite intrigued indeed in the idea of helping your little ones make something that feels really fun and messy, but it’s also a rainy afternoon outside and you’re hesitant to get really messy inside the house? Then we think you’ll really love the way Toddler Approved decided to let their kids paint with their hands while still keeping all the paint contained! Check out how they cut out shapes, put them in a Ziploc bag, squirted in some colours, and squished the paint around on the paper after sealing the top nice and securely.
Have you made other kinds of toddler-friendly crafts and games with your little ones before that you all enjoyed very much indeed but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you made and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work or fun process in the comments section!