Favorite Art Projects?

Updated on October 30, 2011
E.J. asks from Lincoln, NE
9 answers

I'm going to start being a part time nanny for a very bright 3 year old. We are coming up with a schedule for her day and one of the things is an art project. I have thought of some that I enjoy, but I know that there are some creative mamas out there!!!

Any favorite art projects that you have done with a little one? Love to hear your ideas! Thanks in advance.

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answers from Milwaukee on

We used a terra cotta flower pot and put the child's hand prints on it, then wrote "watch me grow" on it and planted a pretty flower. It was a great mother's day gift.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Hi . I have a few moments and thought i would share this idea.

Run with the idea of the schedule and
-take pictures of her during each activity and
take a picture of the clock -analog, digital, real or paper
-paste them onto the same colored border paper so that the colors match up
-Now you can arrange them each day to organize your schedule.

You can put them in a pocket chart, on a bulletin board, on magnetic tape on the refrigerator...you could let her pick the last one based on behavior or timely cleanup

Later you can print one or two words and mount them onto the same colored framing paper to give a hint to a new reader

She can of course draw a pic of the activity(ies) or cut out pics from magazines or catalogs-
have a nice day

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I don't really have any favorites but I like to go to familyfun.go.com for ideas!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I love painting and so do both of my boys. Finger paints, water colors, washable paint, and canvas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My littles love to do paper bag puppets. Then put on puppet shows for daddy or gramma.

My 4 yr old has the cheap little set of paint that comes with a tiny paint brush. I gove her a little bit of water and she finger paints with it. It's much less sticky, messy, wet than finger paints and has way more colors.

We make collages. We go through magazines, avan catalogs, the funnies and cut things out that they like and they glue stick them onto white paper.

You can download and print craft projects and color pages from whatever cartoon she likes. Go to Nickelodeon.com, Disney.com, Sprout.com is great for preschoolers.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Please know that there is a significant difference between art and craft!

Three-year olds are just learning how to hold (not eat) crayons, etc. so do emphasize ART. That means supply her with the materials, but don't give step-by-step instructions like you do with crafts.

Good art teachers lay out materials and may create art next to the child, but always let the child explore the medium on their own. There should never be any desired outcome. That's why finger-painting is so popular with the shorties! :) I love letting little ones paint with water. Given a paintbrush and bucket of water, they can "paint" houses, trees, sidewalks, etc. It's amazing how long that holds their attention.

Another example: Don't use line-drawing coloring sheets; use blank white paper.

Crafts and coloring sheets are for older kids (ages 6-7 on up).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I wish you had our basement. My ex during the divorce decided that a coat of really toxic paint would make the unfinished basement look swell. Maybe it was the headaches from the paint, maybe it was that I really dislike my ex, but I hated that paint.

So when my daughter had the junior ring dance before party at our house I let all the kids have at the walls with sharpies. Once the studs go up no one will be able to see it anyway other than the million pictures I took. :)

Does that count since she wasn't little, she was 17?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My (almost 3) girl loves all crafts (like her mama, grandma, and great-grandma)! Now that I have the space for a dedicated craft room, it's one of our favorite places to hang out! Anyways, our favorite projects (or projects I set up to keep her busy are):
Easel (paper for paints, dry erase for markers, & chalk board)
Scissors & construction paper (supervise with glue for collages)
Foam crafts (there are foam kits at craft stores for every season)--we make door hangers, book markers, birthday cards, etc
Stamps (as in rubber stamps on paper/cards)
I am hoping to get back to scrapbooking soon--and I will let my girl have her own small book to put her cut up pictures, paper, & etc.

Some of the crafts they make at school and send home weekly:
masks (paper plates: animals, pumpkin, santa, etc)
hanging "mobiles" (paper cut to theme/shapes/colors, tied to a hanger)
collages (cut from magazine: foods, clothes, animals, body parts, red things, etc glued to construction/poster board paper)
Stained glass (use clear contact paper--put pieces of tissue paper on sticky side--place another piece of contact paper to sandwich. cut to shape (window, hot air balloon, etc)

I would say to stay away from food items (beans, macaroni, etc) because these always go straight to the trash in my house--I don't need any more ant/roach bait laying around! Also, if there are some art projects that really come out amazing, you might consider buying inexpensive frames and giving them as "special gifts" for mom/dad/other family members! I have this beautiful paint project my girl did that they framed for Mother's Day and I keep it on my desk at work! I get lots of comments on it!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Take a white basket-style coffee filter, flatten it out and using washable markers let her color a design on the filter. Then, she can dunk her fingers in water and let the water drip onto the filer. The colors will spread when they're wet and she can watch as her design transforms! Let it dry flat. If you don't have filters, you can try using white paper towels.

Make wrapping paper: Cut open a brown paper bag, lay it flat and let her color it with any sort of paint. Later, use it to wrap gifts.

Building with mini marshmallows and toothpicks - a supervised activity because of the toothpicks but it's great fun because they can use their imagination to make so many different structures and shapes connecting marshmallows with the toothpicks. We've made little houses, fences, farms, etc. And it's a fun little treat to eat some marshmallows along the way! Throw everything away when you're done so you don't attract ants or anything worse.

Find some wooden clothespins and let her decorate them with paint or even glue some fun beads or other objects on them. String up some fish line or other string/rope between two hooks on the wall and let her hang her artwork on the string using the fancy clothespins.

Have fun!

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