Arts and Crafts for a Two Year Old?

Updated on March 06, 2009
J.B. asks from Edison, NJ
28 answers

Hi everyone! I'm looking for any ideas anyone may have for any arts and crafts activities I can do with a very, very active and curious 28 month old! It's hard to hold her attention (as it is with all two yr. olds) but I want to start doing some easy arts and crafts with her to start getting her to follow directions, focus, etc. (at least try!) I'd appreciate any suggestions!
Thanks!

6 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

used everything! Thanks!!!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I was a toddler teacher and keeping 2 year olds busy is a challenge. You can incorporate anything into a craft. You can make a cloud cut out and have her glue tiny marshmellows to the paper. It is a good treat too! Cut stripes of paper and make tears in the paper for her to tear. THis is help with her fine moter skills. I made a sun and used red, orange, and yellow paper to tear. I hade them glue the torn paper to the sun. You can also use a breakfast tray and put cool whip on it. They love to put their fingers in icky things. THen the usual finger painting, bingo doobers, noodles etc. Alos google toddler activites. You can find lot of useful infomation on the web.

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Springfield on

A big favorite of my two when they were little was to take plastic wrap and cover a large area of my table with it. I usually taped down the edges. Then I would take big globs of washable and plop them down on the plastic wrap

Two things you can do from there: let them just make a mess with their hands mixing it together

or the less messy way: Take large pieces of plastic wrap and put it on top of the first layer (essentially making a sandwich- plastic wrap, paint, plastic wrap) sometimes you need to tape the second layer down too. The paint is nice and smooshly, but not too messy.

I often took the top layer off when the kids were done and then pressed a white piece of paper on top of it almost like you are stamping it. Then my older child would tell me what they saw in their creation (a bird, the sun, etc...- with him it was usually a train!)

Takes a couple minutes of prep, but can be pretty mess free

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from York on

I also have a 2 year and am always trying to find new and educational arts and crafts for us to do. A few activities I would suggest are getting wooden beads with large holes and a shoestring and letting them thread it through the beads, Playdoh is always good I would just put them in a high chair when they play with that, water paints and the books that already have the paint and you just have to dip the brush in water are good to, he also loves stamps Mellisa and Doug brand make some really good stamp sets with washable ink. I would also reccomend getting a book called "PLAY AND LEARN" it is a Montessori method book, they use play to teach children that is were I got the bead idea from there are lots of good ideas that are educational for every age. Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, J.!
I'm just joining, and looks like you have already received lots of responses, but I have a lot of fun ideas for you to try--I am an artist, activities specialist, Mom, and new Grandma! I think it's great that you asked, and that you want your precious, active little one to have ART-astic fun in her life! One idea of many is the old idea of finger-painting--you must be artistic yourself, to want to let her do her "art-thing", KNOWING that a "mess" is probably going to go with the territory! One thing you can do to make it easier on yourself and keep it fun for her, is to ACCEPT that things might get a little "messy" and just prepare for it--for example: sit her on a vinyl tablecloth when she does her art (and even put her on it, outside on the grass, on a nice day)--and dress her for the "job at hand"--in an old swimsuit, or big adult t-shirt that covers her clothes, and then let her have a ball with some big pieces of freezer paper (shiny side up) and some EDIBLE "paints" you can make yourself--chocolate syrup, and colors made with karo syrup and a little food coloring. I suggest this, thinking of the possibility that she is still at an age when things tend to go into the mouth--this way, if it does, "no worries"! She can create, color, paint and play, and if it gets all over her, her hair or clothers--so what?--Just throw the vinyle tablecloth and clothes int the wash, and follow up the art activity with a fun bubble bath or, if summertime, let her play with the hose. More fun if a friend joins her!! And this same idea works just as well as she gets a little older, only switch the the REAL paints when she knows not to put them in her mouth and can be a bit more careful about where the paint goes. While she's little, let her just smear around the colors with her fingers, in a totally random, exploratory way, and if she likes to paint, you can let her morph into more "planned" art, pictures, or whatever, as she gets older. Kids also love to go through magazines, if you task them with "looking " for something, ie: "let's find all the pictures of animals" (dogs, cats, whatever.) When she's little, keep it simpler, like, "let's find everything that is RED" and when she points it out, big smile, and you can cut it out for her. When she has a little pile, spread them out, and make a little game of it--which one is the flower? Where is the dress? etc. Or--let her "paste" (use something sticky and edible like honey or syrup)onto a piece of paper, and make her first collage. You can see the possibilities as the child grows older. Older kids can be entertained for ages, and it's great for something to do when their friend comes over. Four-year-olds, especially, love this, because it is a preschool skill, and they are learning to use scissors, and LOVE to CUT things! Also a great rainy-day activity or something they can do when they are all alone, bored and "can't think of anything to do". Hope these two ideas are helpful; have fun, and let me hear from you if you run out of inspiration! Best regards, M.

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.T.

answers from Providence on

Check out the website perpetualpreschool.com It was a lifesaver when I was teaching young children! There are so many activities, projects, and games that you'll never get bored! Enjoy!

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.T.

answers from Portland on

Hi there J.,
I love doing crafts with my children, and we started early on. We actually have set aside Monday nights for arts and crafts nights. I have gotten much of my inspiration from sites like www.familyfunweekender.com, www.marthastewart.com and a few others. I actually started out by googling childrens arts and crafts and found the sites that fit our family. It's worked very well for us. They also have some great books at either a book store or even the local library (which is great for saving money, jsut copy the ones you like hehehe) I have found that the best way to start these activities though is to make sure you have plenty of different types of materials, so that if soemthing looks fun, you'll alreayd have it on hand. Please don't dismiss every day items in your house as craft supplies either, things such as milk cartons...egg crates...cereal boxes (for hte backs as cardboard of different sizes)...also things like plastic butter tubs and icing tubs. Just try to think of something that you would think would be fun to do with it and you'll both have TONS of fun over and over again. Good luck and send some reports on some of your fun. Maybe you'll give me an idea hehehe. Have a great experience with your daughter, and son as he gets older.

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from New York on

For your two year old to get the most from arts and crafts make it as stress free as possible for both of you.

Choose a project and do as much preparation before hand as possible, i.e. buy a larger sized glue and pour it into a shallow container with an air tight top, precut shapes and objects and store in ziplock bags - it will make for easy set up and fast clean up.

If you are making something like masks:
1. Use precut paper plates
2. Begin by telling her "today we are going to make masks."
3. Put the plate up to your face so she can start to form an idea of the project goal.
4. Have things like glitter, feathers, dried pasta, etc. laid out on the table, and start decorating your mask.
5. While you are decorating your mask talk to her and explain what you are doing, i.e. I am making eyebrows on my mask. First I put on glue and then I put on glitter, see how the glitter is sticking to the glue...
6. This should prompt her to constructively participate in the craft.

Keep in mind:

Two is still a very tactile age, so she will want to get her hands on and in everything...Messy is ok.

Talk about each step as you do it, but also allow for banter and questions...keep it loose. Sing songe while you work.

She will be looking to you for approval and reassurance make sure you praise her in abundance but be sure to be genuine.

When her interest starts to wane do not try to keep her engaged in the craft, use it as a signal to wrap up.

Make sure to have her cooperate in the clean up process! By directing her in the same conversational tone you used while you were crafting cleaning up will be part of the activity.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from New York on

Contact paper collages!! You need 2 pieces of clear contact paper, the same size. Lay one down, sticky side up. Let your daughter stick all kinds of stuff to it. Leaves, ribbon, photocopies of family pics, things she's colored, magazine clippings, material scraps, really anything reasonably flat. Lay the second piece of contact paper over it, to seal the stuff in. Bind the edges with masking tape or colored tape. This is my favorite.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from New York on

dltk-kids.com is a great site for arts & craft ideas. i've been using it since my daughter was 2 and she's 8 now. a lot of the supplies are things just laying around the house. good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

Well this one is kinda messy and will need bath time after as long as you don't mind. Set up paper plates with different colors paints in each one. We would roll out 8-10ft of wrapping paper with the white side up. My son would then step one foot into a paint color and one foot in another then run across the paper. (we did this outside) He would do this over and over and then start with his hands and paint brushes later. Most people(inlaws) thought I was nuts, but he absolutely loved it. He would have huge mural pictures to show dad when he got home. And the best is it would be an hour or more just painting, which was the longest I have seen my son focus on anything. Then he would help me hose down the porch or driveway and his body.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Syracuse on

If you have a space to get messy you can google for corn starch based finger paints.. they are nice and gloppy... my son loved them.. also in a high chair different colore dpudding to finger paint in.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Lewiston on

Two words: Sidewalk chalk! My son loves it! I would take him out to the front steps and let him go to town on the walkway.

I also started getting him interested in cooking when he was around two. I'd sit him on the counter next to me while I'd mix up something (nothing hot) and either let him "help" or give him his own bowl and spoon to stir flour, dry beans, etc.

Another fun activity is making your own play dough - your child can help make it, then you can play with it! We always played with it outside for ease of cleanup ;)

I've found the general rule is the messier, the better. Take advantage of summertime and let your kid really get messy (outside of course)! Soap, paint, glue, all fun and squishy things.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from State College on

i also have a 2 year old. We did paper mache the one day. He loved it.. it gets a lil messy but he liked making it. And when it dries we painted it. Another kewl idea is shaving cream paint. use shaving cream and i cant remember what kinda paint to add but its fun.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My son and I have had a lot of fun with The Little Hands Art Book/Exploring Arts & Crafts With 2-To 6-Year-Olds (Williamson Little Hands Series). You can buy it used through Amazon. It has lots of ideas as well as recipes for play dough, finger paint and more.

Have fun.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.K.

answers from Pittsfield on

Watercolor paints in the snow! You can bring a bowl of snow in side to do this as well. My 2 yr. old loved it and he didn't have to be outside in the cold wind (he hates the cold wind blowing in his face).

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from New York on

Foamies are great for that age. They are pre-cut large shapes and some of the kits are sticker some require glue. they're quick crafts so young ones won't lose interest.

If you need me info or a place to buy them at, let me know.
M.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Providence on

Just 3 quick ones....

Play-dough
Silly putty
Use a shoe box and decorate a little house for her toys

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi J.

I'm a mom of 2 (18 and 35 months). I was a kindergarten teacher before the munchkins came along so i've done a few munchkin crafts. You talked about wanting your daughter to follow directions. At this point, art is the process, not an end product. You can help your child learn guidelines and procedures for using different materials, but she won't be ready to do a step-by-step activity and have a recognizable finished product. You want to let her explore and try a variety of textures at her own pace. Don't feel like you need to have a ton of different projects set up for her at this point.

Here are some different activities we've done at varying times... easel painting - actually this works well pretty early. It's one of the tidiest painting options I've found. I have no spill cups that have matching colored lids to the paint and paint brushes - it helps them not mix the paints up too much. Fingerpainting is good - my son is sometimes funny about the texture, but good for exploring and experiences still. Playdough is good too. Show your child how to roll it between her hands and make balls or roll on the table and make worms. As others said basic crayons are great - try with plain paper sometimes and pictures they can "color" other times. As your daughter gets a bit older and gains more finger control, you can let her try using safety scissors. Don't expect her to cut anything out at first - my nearly 3 year old loves to "snip" construction paper. She basically just shreds it into tiny pieces. It's great for developing strength in the fingers and coordination too.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.Z.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.,

Where do you live? I have some "Pee Wee" and "Mommy and Me" classes starting up.

Check out www.ArtsPlusMore.com - let me know if you have any questions. We're having an Open House this Monday, 4/16, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm - maybe you can come by?

Two year olds are great :-)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.

answers from New York on

I would love to see what you get as responses to this. My son goes to the library for story time and they do crafts with them there. It usually involves a paper plate. They made masks of different animals (glued popsicle sticks) cut the plate in half, put a black nose on the bottom, cut out eyes, color, and its a pig or elephant, depending on the nose.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi J.,
My 2 yr. old loves the basics- crayons, coloring books, painting (washable tempera), sidewalk chalk, etc. We've recently started "cutting" (mostly me) pictures from magazines and circulars and gluing them on construction paper to make cards or pictures for family members. She can work the glue stick by herself. She also likes to decorate boxes (any sm. ones that come in the mail) with stickers and markers. Recently, I let her paint her hand and feet and make prints with them on construction paper.......it was a total mess but she had tons of fun and the hand and foot prints are in her scrapbook along with the pics I took of her painting.....might be a tough one to do with a 5 month-old in the mix!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, I have a pretty active little boy. When he was younger we took him to a place in Severna Park called Rolly Pollies. They have music, gym, and art. He loved it, and it really did hold his attention. You might want to try it. We loved it soooo much hee took all three classes they offered.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I used to let my son paint 'stuff' in my studio. Put on a smock, hook him up with some tempera paints and give him a coffee can or jar or statue you are ready to discard. I did this out of having nothing ready for my son one day. He loved it and it taught form to him. I had two of those glass 'heads' you could get at Peir One and ikea a few years back. He painted those heads/faces about 30 times, just over and over again. NOW they are both displayed in my family room. I bumped him up to some acrylic paint when he was 4 and, to me, they are totally modern art and are just beautiful! If you have a space to just let him go with the paint- you cannot go wrong!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

We do finger painting outside right now, becaus einside it turns into a zoo quick.

Her eis another great idea: Give construction paper and have her shred into large peices, give her asmall plate with glude on it and let her dip her peices in, or work a paint brush and add glue to the contruction paper and allow her to glue to a piece of paper or paper plate....

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

I've always found that Gymboree or Kidzart programs are really good for toddler arts and crafts.Plus you don't have to worry about clean up.If you are talking about doing projects at home there are crayola products that are only visible on their crayola paper.Keeps those little ones from experimenting on furniture.Plus the standard crayons on white paper really amusing those little ones.Kinda lets them explore and they can really learn their colors that way.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi J.!

I have an alomst three year old myself and I am asking you to please pass on any responses you get on your request because I too would love to do crafts to get her to follow directions. Thanks so much.

C. S. [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Painting with bingo markers are great and it's not messy. Also try some of those paint wiht water water books. Why don't you let him or her use a spray bottle filled with water and let her clean the bathtub. That will keep them busy for hours! good luck. P.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey J.. My son loves to put things on a string. He thinks he is making necklaces and bracelets for his mom and sister and other family members. You can use cherrios or different shaped noodles, and paint them. Not messy and it develops the hand eye coordination from having to put the items on the string.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions