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4 art and craft ideas for your toddler or young child

Art and crafts are a great way to keep your toddler occupied as well as help them learn at the same time.

With all the cutting, glueing, colouring, and general fiddly work with their hands, this builds fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination – and this is all under the guise of having fun!

Of course, not all littlies will like craft, but these are some great art and craft ideas for activities you can do with you toddler or young child. Try these out with your little one – they’re great for rainy days or quiet play time.

Little Gardeners

You need:

  • sand
  • watering cans
  • minature shovels and rakes
  • pots
  • paddlepop sticks
  • colourful plastic office folders
  • items for decorating – shells, beads, buttons, plastic bugs etc.


  1. Cut flower shapes from the plastic office folders and glue them to the paddlepop sticks to make ‘flowers’.
  2. Shovel sand into the pot
  3. ‘Plant’ the flowers in the pots.
  4. Decorate the pots and finally, water them.

Foamy Paintings

You need:

  • Paper
  • Food dye
  • Shaving foam
  • Plastic take away containers
  • Stirring stick


  1. Spray the shaving foam into containers.
  2. Add a few drops of food dye into the containers with shaving foam.
  3. Stir colour into the foam.
  4. Let the children grab some foam and paint on the paper!

Quiet Books – make your own story

You need:

  • Different coloured felt
  • scissors
  • PVA or craft glue
  • permanent pen
  • wool


  1. Pick a design or theme.
  2. Use some felt as the pages and use the rest of the felt to cut out shapes and pictures to use in your stories.
  3. Use the pen to draw on or glue to stick on any details you want to add on a permanent basis to your pages – like clouds or trees.
  4. Using the scissors and wool, make a pouch at the end of the book to store the felt shapes and pictures in.
  5. Bind the book with the wool

Now your child can use the pictures to make their own story each time they read the book.

Homemade Alphabet Scrapbook

Making an alphabet scrapbook is a great learning activity for young children who are learning their letters and alphabet.

Buy an inexpensive scrapbook from a local stationery supplier or the supermarket.

Mark the top of the first page with a big letter A. Continue through the scrapbook marking each page with the next letter of the alphabet.

Spend some time with your child finding objects and discussing what letter they start with. You can either choose to search for objects that start with just one letter – so lets find things that start with the letter ‘A’ – or go on a trip and gather lots of different objects from the same place.

Take photos of objects that you can stick into a scrapbook too – like Grandma, a favourite toy, or an elephant at the zoo!  Print out your photos on plain paper at home if you can. Cut pictures out of old magazines too.

Glue or sticky tape your objects and photos into your scrapbook on the correct letter page.

You can then have quiet afternoon time going through your scrapbook on another day learning letters and looking at or touching the objects in your scrapbook.

You can make a scrapbook of different animals too and under your pictures write the sound that the animal makes, the name of it’s babies, where they live. For example:  dog would have woof / bark, puppies and kennel somewhere on it’s page! Or make a scrapbook of different colours – a whole page of yellow or red or orange things!


These art and craft ideas will surely keep your toddler interested for some quiet time – and you can use them over and over again once they’re made! Find some more great activity ideas in our Things to Do Hub, and share your favourite ideas with other parents on our forum!

Image credit: lanadesign/123RF Stock Photo

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