23 Fun Arts and Crafts Ideas for 1-2 Year Olds

Engaging toddlers in arts and crafts activities not only nurture their creativity but also helps in their cognitive, emotional, and motor skill development.

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or caretaker, providing opportunities for artistic exploration is a delightful way to spend quality time with little ones.

Now, we have compiled a diverse collection of Fun Arts and Crafts Ideas for 1-2 Year Olds.

These activities are designed to be age-appropriate, safe, and stimulating, allowing your child to experiment, explore, and express themselves through the world of art.

Sensory Exploration with Edible Finger Paint:

Introducing your little one to the world of art can be a delightful and safe experience with edible finger paints. Simply mix equal parts of Greek yogurt and food coloring to create vibrant and non-toxic paints. Lay out a large piece of paper or use an easel, and let your child dive in! They can smear, swirl, and squish the paint with their fingers, engaging their senses while developing fine motor skills. As an added bonus, you don’t have to worry if they decide to take a taste!

Nature Collage:

Take your toddler on a nature-inspired adventure by collecting leaves, flowers, and twigs during a leisurely stroll outdoors. Once you’re back home, provide them with a sheet of sturdy paper and non-toxic glue. Let their creativity shine as they arrange and stick their nature finds onto the paper, creating a beautiful collage. This activity not only encourages their artistic expression but also connects them to the wonders of the natural world.

Related: 20 Easy Learning Activities for 4 5-Year-Olds

Handprint Keepsake:

Capture a precious moment in time with a handprint keepsake. Using child-safe, washable paint, gently brush your little one’s hand and press it onto a piece of paper or canvas. Encourage them to explore different colors and textures as they create their masterpiece. Once the paint is dry, you can add their name and the date to personalize the keepsake. This simple yet meaningful activity allows you to preserve cherished memory while fostering their creativity.

Tissue Paper Stained Glass:

Bring a burst of color and light into your home with a tissue paper stained glass activity. Cut out a simple shape, such as a flower or a sun, from a piece of construction paper. Then, provide your child with small pieces of colorful tissue paper and a non-toxic glue stick. Let them stick the tissue paper onto the shape, creating a vibrant stained glass effect. Hang the finished artwork near a window to enjoy the mesmerizing play of colors as the sunlight shines through.

Related: 20 Preschool Goals for 3 5 Year Olds

Sponge Painting:

Sponge painting is a fantastic activity that allows your child to explore different textures and create unique patterns. Cut a natural sponge into various shapes, such as circles, triangles, and squares. Dip the sponge pieces into child-friendly paint and let your little one stamp them onto a large piece of paper. They can experiment with different colors and overlapping shapes, resulting in a beautiful, textured masterpiece. This sensory-rich activity stimulates their creativity and fine motor skills while providing endless opportunities for artistic exploration.

Playdough Creations:

Engage your toddler’s senses and fine motor skills with the versatile and squishy medium of playdough. You can either make your own playdough using a simple recipe or purchase child-safe playdough from the store. Provide your child with different colors of playdough and let their imagination run wild. They can shape animals, create pretend food, or simply enjoy the tactile experience of molding and squishing the dough. Encourage them to explore different textures by adding tools like plastic cookie cutters or textured rollers to enhance their playdough creations.

Bubble Wrap Printing:

Turn bubble wrap into a fun and unique printing tool for your little artist. Cut a piece of bubble wrap into a manageable size and tape it securely onto a table or a tray with the bubbly side facing up. Dip a paintbrush or a sponge into child-safe paint and let your toddler apply the paint to the bubbles. Then, guide them to press a sheet of paper onto the painted bubble wrap. As they press down and lift the paper, vibrant prints resembling bubbly patterns will appear. This activity not only stimulates their creativity but also introduces them to the concept of printmaking.

Sensory Bag Exploration:

Create a sensory wonderland for your 1-2 year old with a sensory bag activity. Fill a sturdy, sealable plastic bag with a clear gel-like substance, such as hair gel or clear hand sanitizer. Add a few drops of food coloring for visual interest and seal the bag tightly. Lay the bag on a flat surface, ensuring all the air bubbles are removed, and then tape it securely to prevent any leaks. Your child can now freely explore the bag, pushing and squishing the gel, observing the swirling colors, and feeling the unique texture. This sensory experience is both captivating and calming for young children.

Paper Plate Masks:

Unleash your toddler’s inner imagination and creativity with paper plate masks. Start with a plain paper plate and help your child cut out eye holes. Then, provide them with safe art supplies like child-friendly markers, crayons, and glue sticks. Encourage them to decorate the paper plate using their own unique designs. They can draw funny faces, add colorful patterns, or even glue on craft materials like feathers or yarn. Once the mask is complete, punch holes on either side and tie a string or elastic to transform it into a wearable work of art. Your child will delight in pretending to be a different character or animal with their handmade mask.

Shape Sorting Collage:

Combine early learning with arts and crafts by creating a shape-sorting collage. Cut out various shapes from colored construction paper, such as circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. Provide your child with a large piece of paper or cardboard and a non-toxic glue stick. Show them how to identify and match the shapes, and then let them stick the shapes onto the collage in their own unique arrangement. This activity not only helps develop their shape-recognition skills but also encourages their creativity as they arrange and glue the shapes to create vibrant artwork.

Ribbon Dancing Streamers:

Create colorful ribbon dancing streamers that will captivate your child’s attention and encourage movement. Cut several long strips of different-colored ribbons and attach them securely to a wooden dowel or a plastic rod. Show your child how to hold the streamers and move them around to create swirling patterns in the air. They can dance, twirl, and wave the streamers, promoting gross motor skills development and imaginative play.

Shape Stickers Collage:

Boost your toddler’s creativity and fine motor skills with a shape stickers collage activity. Cut out various shapes from colored construction paper or purchase pre-cut shape stickers. Provide your child with a sheet of paper and let them stick the shapes onto it. They can arrange the shapes in different patterns, create a picture, or simply enjoy the process of sticking and peeling off the stickers. This activity helps enhance their hand-eye coordination and shape recognition while allowing them to explore their artistic instincts.

Nature Paintbrushes:

Combine nature exploration with a painting by creating nature paintbrushes. Venture outdoors with your child and help them gather different natural materials such as leaves, twigs, or flowers. Once you have collected a variety of items, bind them together using rubber bands or string to create unique paintbrushes. Dip the natural paintbrushes into child-safe paint and let your child experiment with different textures and patterns on paper or cardboard. This activity not only introduces them to the beauty of nature but also sparks their creativity through unconventional painting tools.

Sponge Watercolor Art:

Source: youtube.com

Introduce your little one to the wonderful world of watercolors with a sponge watercolor art activity. Cut natural sponges into small, manageable sizes and provide them with a palette of watercolors or diluted washable paints. Show your child how to dip the sponge into the paint and then press it onto paper to create beautiful, textured patterns. They can explore blending colors, overlapping shapes, and experimenting with different sponge sizes to create their own masterpiece. This activity stimulates their sensory perception and encourages their artistic expression.

Homemade Musical Instruments:

Source: tinybeans.com

Combine art and music by creating homemade musical instruments with everyday objects. Help your child make a drum using an empty container and a balloon as the drumhead. They can decorate the container with stickers or paint to make it visually appealing. You can also make a shaker by filling a small plastic bottle with dried rice, beans, or pasta and sealing it securely. Let your child shake, tap, and explore the sounds they can create with their handmade instruments, promoting rhythm, coordination, and sensory exploration.

Torn Paper Collage:

Introduce your child to the world of texture and color with a torn paper collage activity. Gather a variety of colored construction paper or magazines and tear them into small pieces. Provide your child with a sheet of paper and a non-toxic glue stick. Encourage them to explore the different textures and stick the torn paper pieces onto the paper in their own unique arrangement. This activity promotes fine motor skills, creativity, and sensory exploration.

Sensory Playdough Tray:

Create a sensory experience by setting up a playdough tray filled with various materials for your child to explore. Prepare a tray or a shallow container and fill it with items like colored rice, small beads, buttons, or textured materials. Place a lump of playdough in the center of the tray and let your child freely manipulate and combine the playdough with the sensory materials. This activity enhances their tactile senses, encourages fine motor skills development, and allows for open-ended imaginative play.

Sticker Art:

Engage your child’s fine motor skills and creativity with sticker art. Provide them with a sheet of paper or cardboard and a variety of stickers such as colorful dots, shapes, animals, or letters. Let them peel off the stickers and stick them onto the paper, creating their own unique artwork. Encourage them to explore different sticker placements, patterns, and arrangements. Sticker art allows for independent expression and helps develop hand-eye coordination.

Sensory Bin with Textured Materials:

Create a sensory bin filled with a variety of textured materials for your child to explore and manipulate. Fill a shallow container with items such as dried pasta, rice, cotton balls, pompoms, or fabric scraps. Add in scoops, spoons, and cups for further sensory play. Encourage your child to touch, feel, and explore the different textures, enhancing their sensory development and fine motor skills. This activity provides a calming and engaging experience for young children.

Handprint Animal Puppets:

Combine art and pretend play by creating handprint animal puppets. Help your child trace their hand onto colored construction paper and cut out the handprint shape. Then, assist them in adding details like googly eyes, yarn for hair, or pipe cleaners for whiskers to transform the handprint into an animal puppet. Attach a craft stick or a popsicle stick to the back of the handprint to serve as the puppet’s handle. Your child can now use their handprint puppet to engage in imaginative storytelling and interactive play.

Sohaib Hasan Shah

Sohaib's journey includes 10+ years of teaching and counseling experience at BCSS School in elementary and middle schools, coupled with a BBA (Hons) with a minor in Educational Psychology from Curtin University (Australia) . In his free time, he cherishes quality moments with his family, reveling in the joys and challenges of parenthood. His three daughters have not only enriched his personal life but also deepened his understanding of the importance of effective education and communication, spurring him to make a meaningful impact in the world of education.

Leave a Comment