It is never too early to introduce a baby to the world of art. Simple crafts can expose older babies and toddlers to colors, textures, and different art mediums. Crafting with toddlers can help teach them about color theory, color mixing, hand-eye coordination, and helps expand their growing imaginations. However, parents are sometimes cautious to introduce toddlers to arts and crafts for fear toddlers mouthing materials which may be dangerous. Also, there is mess involved.
One way to combat the messy factor when considering toddler crafts is to purchase a large plastic tablecloth from the dollar store to place under your toddler before beginning art time. Also, choosing a place that can be easily wiped, such as a tiled kitchen floor, helps contain spills and mess that can sometimes (read: always) accompany crafts and kids. Here are some fun, safe, and easy toddler craft ideas that will keep them entertained and help them explore the wonderful world of art.
This is a simple idea that makes an edible toddler craft as well. Simply place a toddler in their high chair. Mix a drop of food coloring in several small cups (baby food jars or small paper cups work well) and let them create and eat their masterpieces.
Whipped Cream Paint
The same principle as the yogurt paint, whipped cream paint is a fun toddler craft that is also edible. To create less mess, place whipped cream in a large Ziploc bag with a few drops of food coloring and let your toddler smoosh the colors together.
Bathtub Finger Paints
Who says the bathtub is just for bath time? This is an excellent way to keep mess contained while letting your little Picasso explore painting. Place your toddler in an empty bathtub in just their diaper and let them finger-paint on the walls with non-toxic paints. Then, just hose them off when they’re finished.
This is a very easy craft for toddlers they will love. It also requires no glue, which is great. Place clear contact paper sticky side out on the wall, securing with a thumbtack or tape. Then, toddlers can stick objects like paper, magazine pictures, feathers, pom poms, dry pasta or other safe craft items on the collage to create a cute keepsake or piece of art for their room.
Homemade Sculpting Dough
Unless your child has a wheat allergy, homemade Play-doh-like salt dough is a good way to introduce toddlers to sculpting. It doesn’t taste very good but is completely non-toxic. Some good recipes for salt dough and homemade Play-doh can be found here and here.
These are just a few of many easy crafts for toddlers that you can implement at home during arts and crafts time. Your toddler will love experiencing new textures, colors, and exploring the world of art. Happy creating!