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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?
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.
Save your stubs for awesome projects like this!
3. Finger Paint
Things may get a little messy with finger paint, but the kids are guaranteed to have a good time!
There are so many great toddler-size options these days.
5. Toilet Paper Rolls
With a little imagination, there are endless ways to decorate with these tubes.
6. Activity Trays
Your kids will love having their own designated, colorful tray.
Is there anything more exciting for a toddler than an unlimited amount of stickers? We think not.
8. Toddler-Sized Paint Brushes
Your little one will love learning to paint with a brush that’s just their size.
Sponges are great for applying paint in a different way or even making their own necklaces!
10. Safety Scissors
Keep those little fingers safe while they cut out fun shapes with a pair of kid-friendly 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 make for excellent artwork inspiration.
A pack of various color felt will jumpstart your child’s creativity process for sure!
15. Cotton Balls
From clouds in the sky to gum balls, there is so much that can be done with cotton balls.
16. Sidewalk Chalk
Ah, good old sidewalk chalk. The kids will love turning the driveway into a master piece — and you’ll love brushing the chalk right off their clothes. Easy clean up is a major bonus!
17. Raid your pantry
Dry beans, pasta, rice, food coloring, and cupcake liners can all be used for creative play.
While we dread the sticky fingers it will lead to, it’s true that glue is essential to a toddler’s art.
Available from Amazon for $9.86
19. Shoe boxes
They are 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 will go a long way!