12 Art Projects for Toddlers

best simple toddler art projects

I’m often asked for activity ideas for arts and crafts for toddlers, so I collected a few of my favorite toddler art projects. 

Because I believe in keeping things simple and child-centered, these art activities are (for the most part) easy to execute, don’t call for a lot of fancy supplies, and are 100% age-appropriate for little hands. In most cases, you’ll already have these supplies at home.

What do toddlers look forward to in an art activity?

Toddlers are experiential and enjoy expressing themselves through creative play. You will find them working on fine motor skills, painting technique, exploring textures such as the feeling of finger paint or a bowl of dry beans. They also learn through movement, and I always encourage parents and teachers to find ways to get up and wiggle or try these projects standing or sitting on the floor if sitting at a table is too difficult.

12 Toddler Art Projects

12 Simple and Fun Art Projects for Toddlers | TinkerLab.com
Make your own simple paint recipe. Making your own paint can be easy! This paint isn’t super archival and it won’t look like store-bought paint, but it’s especially useful if you have a child who likes to use a lot of paint, and you’re less concerned with a final product. This paint, made with flour, water, and food coloring is economical and easy to whip up in your kitchen.

Sewing with Toddlers. Next time you buy a mesh bag of onions, mandarins, or potatoes, save that bag, combine it with a bit of cardboard and yarn, and you have all the supplies you need for a toddler-friendly loom that’s ready to go. Remember it’s all about the process.

Marbleized Paper. Marbleize your own gorgeous designs with this simple recipe that calls for liquid watercolors and oil as the base.

Contact Paper Leaf Collage. This is one of my very favorite toddler art projects for parents who are mess-averse. Experience the tackiness of contact paper in this non-messy leaf-collecting + composition-building activity, and stay clean along the way. This is a good one to do in late summer or autumn when leaves are plentiful.

12 Simple and Fun Art Projects for Toddlers | TinkerLab.com

Squeezing Paint. For the child who likes to squeeze a lot of paint, this is for you. You might like to couple this with the “Make your own simple paint recipe” (above)

Winter Collage with paper and stickers. Offer your child a selection of pre-cut paper and stickers for this age-appropriate collage activity. This is process art at its finest. 

Glueing Dots and Buttons. Squeeze a few dots of glue on paper (see above) and invite your child to add buttons, beads, or pom poms.  A great activity for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development.

Stringing Beads. Plastic string plus beads with big holes make this a rewarding activity for toddlers who are flexing their hand-eye coordination. You can release all the beads back into the bowl when you’re done and save the materials for another creative beading session.

12 Simple and Fun Art Projects for Toddlers | TinkerLab.com

Tracing Circles. Grab a cup, paper, and a marker, and invite your child to trace circles. It seems easy, but it can be challenging! This is a rewarding experience for toddlers who are learning how to keep their hands steady.

Butterfly Prints with paper and paint. Fold a piece of paper in half, add dollops of paint to one half of the paper, and fold. The results bring out big ooohs, and ahhhs. Printmaking is magical, and this toddler version is easy to pull off.

Body Tracing. Invite your toddler to lie down on a big sheet of paper. Trace their body and then offer them pens or crayons to decorate.

{Tidy} Watercolor Painting. This is one of my favorite set-ups for watercolor painting. Pour liquid watercolors in an ice cube tray, then place that in a big work tray, like a cookie sheet. The whole thing happens within the confines of a tray, keeping the painting in one area.

Bonus: 50 Art Materials for Toddlers

50 Art Materials for Toddlers is a fun post that rounds up our favorite supplies for little hands. We asked our readers to share some of their favorites, which are added in the comments. See what you think!

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12 art projects for toddlers

12 Simple and Fun Toddler Art Projects | TinkerLab.com


  1. Kids always love the colorful stuffs, and it let’s them experience exposure of their own creativity. And to top it all, I always find it amusing that they get to see something they have done – an achievement of some sort – giving them a feeling of being proud of themselves at a very early stage.

  2. Can’t use this site due to moving pop-ups that are difficult-to-impossible to close on an iPad. =(

    • You’re so welcome! I’m happy to hear this has been a helpful place to stop 🙂

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