If you have two kids under four years old, it’s likely that you know what chaos is. Maybe you can even sense it coming. And if you could pick your top five things that cause instant anxiety at the thought, I bet crafting with your kids makes that list.

But maybe it’s possible to do crafts with your young kids and actually enjoy it. After all, kids tend to love crafts and, let’s be honest, you love showing off their skills (or lack thereof).

Here are some tips for crafting at home with your two kids under the age of four.

pinterest collage image of kids of different ages crafting together, text reads Top tips for crafting with under 4s when there are more than 1 on rainy day mum

Tips for Crafting with Toddlers and Preschoolers together!

Imagine the scene, you have told you 26-month old that we will be doing some painting this afternoon, he’s been going on about it all morning, you have the idea and even whilst he ate lunch managed to decant blue, red and yellow paint into a pallet, find the apron from where Rainy Day Dad had put it after his painting at the weekend and even found brushes to make a Halloween moon and silhouette.

Toddler painting in a booster seat at the table

All of this was carefully hidden so that they couldn’t see the supplies waiting for the perfect moment when the youngest has gone to sleep and we have 30 mins with just the two of us to paint and get messy before she wakes up. She falls asleep and I put on the painting apron get out the paints……

At which point the monitor lights up and the loudest wail ever heard sounds over it. She’s is not asleep anymore but wide awake and wants to play. I run upstairs leaving the other with Paint and brush strapped into the booster seat at the table and run back downstairs to find him still painting the moon – phew! But now we’re stuck.

Making Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

That happened so often that we adapted, the pictures of a preschool covered in paint, the toddler that had decided she would be blue beard and the messes I cleaned up were worth it.

I learnt a lot in those years and wanted to pass on the best advice to you so here goes.

Keep it Simple

From supplies to the craft itself, don’t try to go above and beyond what your kids can handle. Do some research and find something that both of your kids can handle with limited supervision.

toddler and preschooler painting together

Your older child will likely need less help than your younger child, so aim toward something the older one can do independently, so you can help guide the younger child as needed.

Check out some of our easy activities and crafts to do at home with your toddler these are perfect for your older child to do independently and you don’t need to help your toddler as much as you think you would.

Don’t Put a Time Limit on Creativity

toddler creating a stained glass butterfly picture with black cut out butterflies and pink and yellow tissue paper

If you only have a small window of time, that is probably not your best bet for doing a craft, why not read a book together or do some simple sticker activities instead! Allow ample time for everything from set up to the actual craft to clean up.

One craft may naturally lead into another craft or even simple coloring, so let the creativity flow with an open-ended block of time.

Preparation is Key

Whenever possible, have everything prepared for your kids to begin the craft. If they have to wait for you to lay things out or gather supplies, they may lose interest or decide to pick on each other instead. Try preparing your space during nap time or the night before – everything from tarps to protect the table or carpet, to cutting supplies ahead of time and laying out paintbrushes.

This is the same advice we give when cooking with toddlers too!

Let Creativity Flow

Many of us are guilty of the need for control. Plan to give that up during craft time and let their little minds take the craft where they want it to go.

The end result may not be exactly what you envisioned, but they will remember craft time as a fun, imaginative time instead of a tense time of finding out they can’t do anything by themselves.

Join In

mum joining in with toddler at the kitchen table painting and crafting

Instead of hovering over your kids, make your own craft! Whether it’s to show them how to do certain parts or simply enjoying the fun along with them, kids love it when their parents participate!

All you should expect is for your kids to enjoy themselves and probably make some messes along the way. This is one of the super fun parts of being a kid and your kids will love it if you let them be as messy as they want.

Best Crafts to Make with Kids Of Different Ages

Easy Kids Craft to make Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils. Great to do with kids from toddler upwards.
apples up on top book based activity for kids
ice paints on a white piece of paper for kids of different ages to paint together with outside
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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