Art activities are a great way for toddlers to express themselves, particularly because they may not yet have the verbal skills to get those fabulous ideas out.
They love exercising a little creativity, but there’s an added bonus: art projects help them develop critical fine-motor skills.
Knowing what art supplies to have on hand can be a bit overwhelming, though.
Have no fear! This seasoned toddler mama is here to guide you through it. Here’s my list of 20 essential toddler craft supplies. Some are store-bought, some are household items, and others come from your backyard.
What’s #1 on your list?
1.Paper- this may seem like a no-brainer, but having the right kind of paper is important. I love having a large paper roll on hand for group projects like collages, but of course we always have sketch pads and finger paint paper around too.
2. Crayons- and save your stubs for awesome projects like this!
3. Finger Paint
4. Stamps- there are so many great toddler-size options these days.
8. Toddler-Sized Paint Brushes (we have these by Melissa & Doug)
9. Sponges- sponges are great for applying paint in a different way or even making their own necklaces!
10. Safety Scissors
11. Paper Plates- these can be used to make all sorts of toddler crafts, such as masks, wreaths, and hats. I love this aquarium!
12. Old magazines- these are great to reuse for collages and telling stories with photographs. We often have theme days, such as animals, nature, or transportation, and my kids love searching my old magazines for photos to use.
13. Backyard Finds: pine cones, pebbles, leaves, and flowers.
15. Cotton Balls
16. Sidewalk Chalk
17. Raid your pantry: dry beans, pasta, rice, food coloring, and cupcake liners can all be used for creative play.
19. Shoe boxes- not only are they great for storing craft items, they can be used to make houses or simple dioramas.
20. A parent with an open mind, a little patience, and a willingness to let them explore!
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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