When both my children were young one of the things that I enjoyed most was crafting with and they seemed to enjoy it as well. We loved getting the art supplies out of the boxes whether it was just to colour randomly on a piece of paper or to create something together that I had in my head we had a lot of fun doing it. But, I am creative and I love getting crafty and among some of my friends that made me unique, other parents just didn’t know where to start. It was one of the reasons why I started Rainy Day Mum in the first place – a place to share toddler crafts and activities that you could really do as a parent or carer with that age range. Now many years on from there I wanted to bring together some inspiration for you to use with your toddlers and I have put together this A – Z of Toddler Crafts that are perfect to do and try – especially on a rainy day.
No matter how old your toddler is whether just turning 1 or almost 3 and heading into preschool years there will be ideas to get them crafting and make it easier for you as well.
Check out these Seasonal Crafting Ideas for Toddlers: –
- Easter Crafts for Toddlers
- Spring Crafts for Toddlers
- Halloween Crafts for Toddlers
- Christmas Crafts for Toddlers
- Winter Crafts for Toddlers
- Heart Crafts for Valentines Day
Complete A to Z of Craft Ideas for Toddlers
So here it is our complete A to Z of Craft Ideas for your toddlers and you to do together. Spend Quality time having fun and you never know it may get your creative juices going as well.
A IS FOR ABSTRACT
Don’t expect Toddler Art projects to look like what you would expect so our early toddler crafts I always label Abstract Art. It’s fun and you can do it in a number of ways depending on the season and
B IS FOR BUTTERFLY
Do you remember creating these as a kid – folded paper blot print butterflies so easy to make and Toddler’s love to unfold, we simplify but cutting out butterfly shapes already and then give a folded in half to make sure that the wings unfold evenly
C IS FOR CRAFT EQUIPMENT
If you are new to toddler crafts or the mere thought of crafting with toddlers fills you with dread (Rainy Day Dad is one of those!) then making sure you have exactly what you need ready and easy to access is a great start – you don’t need much to get you started in our Suggestions for your First Art Box
D IS FOR DRAWING
Or as T likes to call it at the moment in her 21-month-old little voice “Dawning Mummy”, whether sitting at the table or taking art to the floor or under the table drawing is great for kids. We have crayons, pencils, pens and chalks that are easily accessible to the kids (pens and pencils they ask to use due to injuries incurred using them!). Mega doodles and Giant Floor Art are two of our favourite Drawing Activities for Toddlers
E IS FOR EXPLORING ART
Toddler craft encompasses art as well – to them it’s all the same, and that’s the way it should. We’ve had lots of fun exploring art making some Mondrian Stained Glass Windows and paintings, Recreating Monet’s Water Lilly Pond with wax resist painting, using dot markers to create a sunset like Roy Lichtenstein and drawing on the “ceiling” like Michelangelo – we’re going to continue exploring the art this year and will be getting crafty with J and T.
F IS FOR FINGER PAINTING FUN
With both J and T finger painting was the first introduction to crafting whether it was using Finger Paints or our homemade recipe’s for edible finger paints it’s ideal for Toddlers to create crafts of their own.
G IS FOR GLITTER
It may get everywhere, you will find it in places that you wonder how on earth your toddler put it there but you can’t deny that it lights up their eyes when the tub comes up. I think it’s the way it sparkles and reflects the light that attracts them to it. Our Glitter hanging hearts are a lot of fun to make, whether it’s Valentines or just to hang from a window to sparkle in the daylight and brighten up a room they are a perfect toddler craft.
Looking for a Specific Theme for your Crafting – check out these themed selections of crafts for your toddler and you to do together
H IS FOR HANDPRINTS
Even without making it a craft your home is probably decorated with little handprints but how about turning them into something special – a rainbow fish maybe, or how about sending special cards to family members next Christmas. But don’t stop there you can make some hand print Christmas decorations or anything you want. Just pop onto Pinterest and search for Handprint crafts and there are literally hundreds of different possibilities.
I IS FOR INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION
Crafts don’t have to have an end product in sight, and it’s often difficult to remember this instead of looking at the amazing toddler produced crafts on Pinterest that to every fabulous craft shown there are literally hundreds of bits and bobs that the toddlers produce and paint on, stick together that doesn’t get shown. I’m one of those mum’s I don’t show everything that we make, just the bits that I think others would like to do, if I showed everything then I would never have time to do anything apart from write about them there are so many. So give you toddler the materials, prepare for the mess and let them independently explore crafts themselves. Good things to provide are
- Shaped Sponges or even cut up potatoes and paint
- Paint and different sized brushes and colours
- Sticky Tape and bits and bobs
- Glue and Bits and Bobs
- Stickers and coloured paper
- Junk, paint, sticky tape, glue and some paper
J IS FOR JUNK
Or more accurately bits that I have rescued from the recycling bin that are just “perfect” for toddler crafting – think egg cartons (to make ghosts, trains or frogs), Boxes (a wall for Humpty Dumpty), Cardboard Tubes (a log for the frogs, a space rocket, monsters – well just about anything you can think of) and every other bit of recycling can be used for their crafting fun.
K IS FOR KNIGHTS
We read a lot and love a bit of Knights and dragons so creating dress up clothes of knights to wear like our paper bag knights helmet and our shield or even a dragon to fight them with. Some creative cutting from us Mum’s and carers and they have fully functioning gear to use and dragons to combat.
L IS FOR LIONS
One of my all time favourite crafts that I did with J when he was under 2 years old was our Lion Paper Plate Craft. I modelled what I was going to do and he joined in copying what I was doing. It was a lot of fun and one that I will be repeating very soon with T.
M IS FOR MONSTERS
Children are always fascinated by monsters and you can create them any way you like. We made monsters for Halloween this year by cutting shapes and sticking them together. But you could equally make mini monster puppets.
N IS FOR NATURE CRAFTS
Toddlers love picking up things when out and about and finding somewhere to store them can be problematic so we craft with them. Pine cone owls, Real Leaf Art Work and Pine Cone Ornaments are all made with our nature finds.
Related Article – 100’s of Crafts and Activities Just for your Toddler
O IS FOR OUTDOOR CRAFTS
It follows on so nicely from Nature Crafts, but it’s about taking your craft outside and getting crafty there. We did some apple printing outside, but how about foot print wrapping paper or how about just taking the crafting back to the basics and setting up an easel and free painting.
P IS FOR PRINTING, PAINT AND POTATOES
Okay so it’s the first letter with lots and lots of things but Potato Printing with Paint is such a fun activity – to make it easier for little hands to hold the potatoes cut a handle into the curved surface to make it easier to use. We made Snowmen and Tree Thank you Cards last year using potatoes. We’ve also printed with apples and toys which are equally as fun.
Q IS FOR QUEENS CROWNS
How you decorate them is up to you – it doesn’t have a to be a Queen’s crown it could be a King’s, but as we created ours for the jubilee celebrations in 2011 ours was fit for a Queen. An easy toddler crafts – card, and bits and bobs you can create something to add to the dressing up box for a while and all done with the toddlers hands.
R IS FOR ROLLED ART
Have you tried it – a cardboard box some paper/card and something that rolls inside it with paint or glue then roll and shake the box, we made fireworks back in the Autumn with some conkers rolled around as a Guest post over on The Educators Spin On It.
S IS FOR SALT DOUGH
Salt dough is a great homemade clay like dough which can be baked and then painted, we’ve made salt dough decorations, place names for the table, dinosaurs and what’s more using our quickest ever salt dough recipe instead of waiting for the normal 3+ hours for it to cook in the over an essential of toddler crafts is that it’s quick it can take from 2 to 4 minutes depending on how thick your salt dough is.
T IS FOR TISSUE PAPER
Yes I mentioned it as a Crafting Equipment essential way back in Part 1 of the ABC’s of Toddler Crafts but Tissue Paper is fabulous – we’ve used it to create stained glass windows for Small Hands Creating Hope, and Mondrian inspired window, it’s been used to make Santa’s Hat when scrunched up and we’ve also used it to decorate a Winter Themed Tea Light Holder. You can also produce pictures with the colours from tissue paper as placed on paper with some water the colour bleeds off – check out this post from The Imagination Tree.
U IS FOR UNDER THE WAVES CRAFTS
Children are fascinated by what lives below the waves so any craft that you can do around that is fabulous for them. We had a lot of fun making some paper plate Jellyfish/Octopus as well as making Paper Plate Fish and Rainbow Fish Hand Prints. Or how about taking it to a full scale and creating an aquarium like this one from Learn with Play At Home.
V IS FOR VERY MESSY
You have to expect it, the paint will go EVERYWHERE I’ve got T out of the high chair as a just over 1-year-old and the paint was in her diaper – HOW I have no idea but it was there. It is going to get messy, that is why I love Outdoor Crafting (which is why it was our O in ABC’s of Toddler Crafts) you can wash them down outside in the summer and in the winter, everything can be cleaned outside and it’s not in the house. With some careful planning, overalls, messy mat, vinyl table protectors, bath ready it maybe messy but the mess can be contained.
W IS FOR WAITING FOR THINGS TO DRY
It’s the hardest thing for Toddlers to get, projects that take time to dry before moving onto the next stage, so how do we stop and let it dry before continuing. I time crafts so that we can finish them at around snack time, lunch time, dinner time, play outdoor time you get the idea. The incentive to leave what they are doing, get clean and move onto something that won’t be as messy (messy=fun) needs to be good – food, play outside, a fun bath (check out these ideas from Bath Activities for Kids for inspiration) usually work for us and reduce the tantrums, things then can be put to dry and when they are dry we can come back to them and finish them off.
X IS FOR XMAS
OK so I have taken some liberty here as the only other X’s I could think of was X Ray and Xylophone which really wouldn’t work for toddler crafts. But Xmas/Christmas is perfect for toddler crafting, you can create ornaments for the tree, letter to santa, collages, snowmen, wreaths, cards basically what ever you want and it provides the perfect opportunity to get out the Glitter.
Y IS FOR YELLOW – OR ANY OTHER COLOUR
Being a toddler means that colours are amazing – we did mess free colour mixing in zip lock bags, painting, crayons, pens (J loves colouring the tips of pens with a different colour pen to make new colours!). The joy of a toddler as well is that once they have learnt their colours and crafting with them will help a frog can be pink, an elephant yellow and you could be green with pink dots all over you.
Z IS FOR ZEBRA SKIN MAKING
Our last letter – it’s a Zebra Skin Making (it also rhymes nicely with our Abstract Art Painting which kicked off the series). Yes we have actually made Zebra skin’s and tiger skins, using torn paper they were great fun to make and something that we will do come the summer when in all likely hood J will have a Zoo themed birthday party.
Check out these othere fantastic Kids Activities Selections for more Ideas of what to do with the kids.
- Cardboard Box Creations from Here Come The Girls
- Children’s Music With Art from Rainbows within Reach
- Crafts and Art from Red Ted Art
- Paper Plates from Domestic Goddessque
- Upcycled and Recycled Crafts from Craft to Art
- Valentine Crafts and Recipes from Local Fun For Kids
- ABC of Cooking with Kids
What would you include in an ABC of Toddler Crafts?