Arts and Crafts Ideas

Updated on November 12, 2009
M.L. asks from Hugo, MN
15 answers

Hey ladies, I have a 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old and I'm looking for some art ideas that could be good to do with both of them. My 3 year old loves crafts but my 1 1/2 year old doesn't quite get it. I'd like to find somethings to do with them that they can do together. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks so much!

5 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

WOW! Thanks ladies for all the fantastic ideas. I think I have months of activities ahead of us. I will give each and every project a try, I know my oldest will love them and well my middle child will at least get some exposure! I really appreciate your responses! Thank you!

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answers from Des Moines on

ANYTHING WITH FOOD! Make ginger bread houses or snacks that are fun. like ants on a log, peanut butter and pretzels to make log cabins or fruit kabobs ect. these would be great for both of them and tasty.
have fun.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hi M.,
There are LOTS of wonderful website for crafting with kids. Here are a few I use often when planning things for todder-preschool age kids at my school.

Happy Crafting!

H. Peterson, Director
Kindermusik of the Valley

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Check out the blog This woman was a early childhood educater and now stays home with her young son. Each day she posts a new project, usually with a song and book selections to go along with it. We can't keep up with the daily projects, so we choose one each week. On monday we check out the books selections from the library and read them Tues/weds. Then on Thurs or Fri we do the project. My daughter is almost three but has been enjoying the projects since she turned 2. I think the lady's son is actually younger than two. the projects have very simple supplies - you could get by with some good paints, a few brushes, construction and paper plates or egg cartons!

Also - my daughter comes home from daycare all the time with foam art projects that the kids of all ages complete. She just made a foam visor a few days ago and she wears it around the house all the time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Get the book The Toddler's Busy Book (365 creative games and activites to keep your 1 1/2 to 3 year old busy) by Trish Kuffner. My 7 and 8 year old still find things in the book that they want to do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

* coffee filters
* pipe cleaners
* double sided stickey tape or magnets
* washable markers
* reg. glue or glue gun

* googley eyes
* felt to make a sm. face and to put the googley eyes on.

Have the children color the coffee filters w/ markers. Let it dry a few min. Scrunch the middle up (it should look like a bow tie). Wrap pipe cleaner around the middle, then twist it. But make sure you leave enough pipe cleaner for the intena's. Then either put double sided stickey tape on ea. wing and tape to a surface. OR glue magnet to the back of the body (pipe cleaner) and let glue dry. Then it's ready to put on fridge, front door, etc.

I don't have the recipe w/ me for the 2nd craft idea. But you can go to and look up Kool-Aid Playdough. And it will give you the recipe for the Kool-Aid Playdough. There may be an edible version of the Kool-Aid Playdough avail. Anyhow, hope this helps. IF you need more idea's. Please let me know.




answers from Rapid City on

Crafts that will also function later as toys are always great. Making DRUMS, RATTLES, RHYTHM STICKS, ETC. are always fun. Make sure that you choose projects that don't involve choking hazards. (Use paint and markers instead of beads and glue to decorate.) If you do use beans/rice to fill bottles with, make sure you glue the lids on so that baby can't open them and choke on the contents. Also make sure not to use sticks with pointed ends that could poke an eye out.

Use pringles jars, paper peanut butter tubs, etc...

Have fun! :-)



answers from Minneapolis on

Picture Frame
I glued popsical sticks into a square and glued a foam piece of material behind it and had them decorate everything. We added a pipe cleaner so it could be hung and I added a magnet to the back.

Ladybugs and Bees
I took foam circles of red and black or yellow and had the kids clue dots for ladybugs and they glued strips for a bee and added bubble eyes.

Bee Coaster
We cut a piece of cardboard but would do plastic next time and added foam strips black and yellow and made a bee coaster. I added a pipe cleaner to the side and added those bubble eyes.

Our daycare lady added paint to the feet and put it on paper and they made a moose out of it.

I painted my kids hands and made turkeys and used their arm and hand to make a tree and used their palms to make clouds and a hand for the sun and finger tips for grass. It was fun for both.

I took popsical sticks and circle cardboard and had the girls color or paint on the circles and then I ended up making a windmill sort of thing by using popsical sticks, cardboard circles and cord to hang it.

Face Masks
They can decorate paper plates and you can cut it out into a mask that they can wear by adding elastic or add a popsical stick and they can hold it up to their face.

Here's some ideas anyway. My kids were 20 months and almost 4.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Pudding paint is the best craft we've done. Its a great sensory activity also! Just buy vanilla pudding and seperate into smaller containers after you make it, then had food coloring, set them somewhere and let them finger paint and its no big deal if they eat it! Have fun!



answers from Wausau on

Family Fun magazine is a wealth of craft and activity ideas. If you don't want to buy it, see if your library has back issues.



answers from Phoenix on

When your little one gets a little older, check out Smarty Crafts. It's a craft kit of the month based on kindergarten standars. The nice thing is all the materials are provided with instructions & lessons. You can do crafts together and prepare your 3 yr old for school and simplify the activities for your little one. We love our kit every month.



answers from Milwaukee on

Try making goop with them. It's messy but it's non toxic. It's equal parts of corn starch and water. It seems hard but is really not,it soft and gooey when touched. It's a science project.
Make playdough. There are tons of recipes on the web and its loads of fun. It's also nontoci for your little one.



answers from Milwaukee on

I know you have a lot of ideas already, but I thought I would just list some I have seen in the infant and toddler rooms at the Day care I work at.

The do a lot of painting with objects. They recently used old socks and put them on the kids hands and had them paint with that. Paint with puffy paints, fingerpaints, cotton balls and do a dots. Which are like bingo blotters.



answers from Duluth on

i am an usborn books at home consultant and they have fantastic books and even craft type kits for kids of all ages!! i encourage you to check out my website and let me konw if you have any questions or problems finding a book that you think would be good.... there are lots of great books for crafts! :D
thank you in advance for checking out my site and supporting me as a working stay at home mom! :D



answers from Minneapolis on

Since your kids are still at that age where they might be tempted to put small, shiny, things into their mouths, avoid any crafts with small notions like buttons, glitter, sequins, beads, and any type of foam that can break off into tiny pieces. These are all potential choking hazzards.

Good crafts/art activities that both can do together include;

*non-toxic finger paint (some paint and crayons are now made out of soy)

*Origami- this would actually have to be done by you, but they'd love decorating up the paper with crayons/markers, pieces of felt or fabric to make eyes or details with, before or after you fold the papers. Kumon makes a simplified origami workbook for kids ages 2 and up, that is a real hit with my little ones.

*Non-toxic air dry clay projects. You can find a flour based recipe on-line, or purchase some at a craft store like JoAnn Etc. or Michael's. Then have the kids paint their projects.

*The world's largest/longest mural. You can buy a roll of paper (if you're near an IKEA, they sell giant rolls of drawing paper for $6. A really good deal!) or use shelf paper, and have the kids work on a really long picture that seems to never end. They can keep working on it until the paper is gone!

*Thumbprint art. There are several art/drawing books where kids can create animals, cars, houses, and more using only an ink pad and their thumb. Even my youngest could easily do this when he was 2 and loved it. Check out:

*Popsicle stick or clothespin art. There are tons of craft books with ideas on how to make puppets to miniature buildings and birdhouses using popsicle sticks. There are some craft sticks designed with little slots in them so they easily fit together like a building toy (like popsicle version of lincoln logs). Most craft stores sell these pre-painted, with or without slots, plain, small and skinny, big and wide, already shaped on one end to look like animals, people, or objects like flowers. They're cheap, and come in bulk. Just go to Michael's, Joann etc. or Just decorate them with paint, fabric, yarn etc. and voila, instant puppets. The craft stores also sell the old fashioned wooden clothes pins (the kind without the metal hinge so they're safe) and you can do the same. I know someone who make "soldiers" for their son with them and her son was crazy for them.

Hope some of these ideas help.



answers from Omaha on

My kids love the foam stickers that you can by at any craft store or Wal-Mart. They are fairly inexpensive and create hours of fun! They only have to peel and stick the shapes!Sometimes my kids like to put them on empty bottles and make decorative vases, decorate cheap picture frames, or decorate cards to send to family members. You can also buy the foam pieces in geometric shapes that you can use to create flowers, houses, and animals. My kids also like me to draw a simple picture (such as a sidewalk with a house and a tree) and the kids add the stickers to decorate the scene! It's a simple idea, but the kids love to do it!

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