30+ arts and crafts ideas for toddlers of 2 and 3 years
We've gathered some of the most creative and cutest crafts for toddlers just for you. Get making with your little one today.
Keeping toddlers entertained is hard but rewarding work, so before we take you through our crafts for 3 year olds we just want to say well done to all parents! You're all doing a great job.
Now let's get on to the good stuff – crafts to do with your 2 and 3 year olds.
Painting, building and crafting, in general, are great for building toddlers motor skills and helping their vocabulary to develop. The benefits of getting messy with your toddlers are huge and not to mention a lovely bonding activity.
When planning crafts for 3 year olds and younger children, it's important to choose activities that are suitable and designed for toddlers. Many craft boxes and sets include small species which can be a choking hazard which is why we've collected these crafts for toddlers that are safe, fun and educational.
All the crafts in this article are parent-approved and toddler-tested! Plus many of the crafts below are budget-friendly and use items already in your craft stash like pipe cleaners. We've included a mixture of kits to buy and activities you can try with your existing craft supplies.
We've also collected a whole bunch of craft ideas for kids and a list of crafts for teens so you can keep the whole family entertained throughout the summer holidays. But for now, here's some crafts for toddlers that will start to feed your little one's creativity and curiosity.
33 toddler arts and crafts
Playdough is a great craft for toddlers because it's easy for little hands to manipulate and squish. Make your own playdough for your toddlers to play with Gathered's easy play dough recipe.
It's made from natural materials meaning it's completely safe if it accidentally strays into little mouths!
2. Pipe cleaner crafts
Pipe cleaners are hugely versatile and can be twisted into a variety of interesting shapes, from rainbows to snowmen!
Discover plenty of inventive crafts for 3 year olds in Gathered's favourite pipe cleaner crafts roundup.
3. Rainbow rice
Rainbow rice is a fantastic sensory play activity and it's very easy to make your own. The rice is dyed using food colourings, so it's safe for your child to put into their mouth.
Learn how to make own rainbow rice with Gathered!
4. Paper crowns
Whether you're playing pretend or getting ready for a party, paper crowns will make your toddler feel like royalty.
You can cut out the shape of the crown and help them to decorate it with stickers and glitter!
Find out how to make a paper crown with Gathered.
5. Bubble painting
Bubble painting is one of our favourite craft activities for rainy days! It's easy to set up and can be used to create lots of interesting effects on paper.
Check out our bubble painting guide to get started.
6. Handprint art
Handprint art is lots of fun for little children who haven't developed enough control to enjoy finger painting. With help from a grown-up, toddlers can create their own imaginative handprint art.
Take a look at Gathered's handprint art ideas for more fun crafts for 3 year olds.
7. Salt dough
Salt dough can be made using cheap common ingredients that you're likely to have in your home. It's made using flour, salt and water, but you can add food colourings to it as well.
Salt dough can be baked to make ornaments, so you could use it to make decorations with your child!
Whip up a batch today with Gathered's easy salt dough recipe.
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Crafts for 3 year olds don't come simpler than this mosaic kit. It's a step up from colouring in and will test your toddlers colour matching and sticking skills.
There's six colourful characters for them to decorate and over 400 sticky foam pads to get creative with (a safer alternative to glue!)
9. Egg carton flowers
Affordable crafts for toddlers are a parents dream! I Hearts and Craft's egg carton flowers are a cheap, cheerful activity that uses materials from around the house to create something cute.
Stick their flower creations to a card and give to granny and grandpa as an Easter card.
10. Sewing and colouring kits
Your toddler will love colouring in these friendly woodland creatures and with a little supervision, you can teach them to sew too! It comes with a plastic needle, colourful thread, pens - plus you can choose what woodland animal you'd like.
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This is a wonderful craft for 3 year olds because it will help them to develop their motor skills.
Get the kids glueing and sticking with our easy-to-follow sun catcher tutorial. It's the perfect craft for toddlers and can be made on a rainy afternoon.
We also have a video tutorial for this craft if you need a little extra help.
12. Finger painting
Painting is a great way for toddlers to practice coordination, ready for when they start to hold pens and pencils.
Find lots of inventive projects to try in our pick of the best finger painting ideas.
Stamps are a traditional yet fab craft for toddlers. You can buy stamp kits from all over the web or you can make some for your child using our how to make a rubber stamp tutorial.
Turn old rubbers into your child's favourite animals and help them to start stamping.
14. Colouring pages
Our free printable colouring pages are suitable for both adults and toddlers. Sit down on a rainy afternoon with your children and let them colour in these friendly little faces.
15. Paper plate crafts
There's plenty of crafts for toddlers that use just paper plates. Swans, elephants and even bees can be made from this household item!
Not Toy Gifts have this lovely bumblebee tutorial, which is perfect for little fingers.
Build your own cardboard castle
Got a leftover cardboard box lying around? Instead of throwing it away, you can transform it into a castle! Learn how to make a cardboard castle with Gathered.
16. Flower printing
Another craft for toddlers that uses simple items. Learning 4 Kids explain the benefits of flower printing on their website, but we love it because it's such a simple activity that uses minimal equipment!
17. Handprint puppets
Follow Baker Ross' tutorial to make these handprint sea life puppets. Use your toddler's hands to create their favourite animal then put of a puppet show with their new creations.
18. Jewellery making
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These easy thread wooden beads make the cutest craft for toddlers ever. Get them to practice shapes and colours as well as threading with this affordable kit from Amazon.
19. Natural collaging
Head out in nature with this easy craft for toddlers. Collaging is a great way of letting your kids explore different textures and understand the natural world.
Mother Nature has some great natural suggestions for your collage so you can skip all the sequins and glitter and pick a more eco-friendly approach.
20. Paper weaving
Practice weaving with your toddlers using these colourful paper fish. The kit comes with everything you need to make these rainbow creatures.
21. DIY wind chimes
This is a fab craft if you have kids of multiple ages. Get the older ones covering the yoghurt pots with the tissue paper and threading the bells through and get the younger ones to paint the outside.
Petit Fernand has loads of crafts for toddlers and older children on their website.
22. Fire breathing dragon
Toilet rolls can be turned into a huge range of crafts for 3 years olds. Even a fire-breathing dragon!
23. Moving snail
Colour in this friendly snail with your toddler then use Arty Crafty Kids' tutorial to create this peek a boo snail.
24. Handprint ornament
This glittery salt dough handprint would make a sweet keepsake gift for someone special. Use our easy recipe for salt dough and simple dip their hands in.
25. Marbled paper
Make beautiful marbled patterns using just shaving foam and paint. Alice and Lois explain how it’s done.
26. Superhero mask
What kid doesn’t want to be a superhero? With these free printable mask templates from Itsy Bitsy Fun your toddlers can create their own costume.
27. Boredom buster jar
The idea for when you’ve run out of ideas! Get your little one to decorate a jar, then fill it with strips of paper suggesting fun activities they can try. Great for rainy days – and you can tailor it to their age and interests too. Find the tutorial at 5 Minute Fun.
28. Sticker book
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When you’re on the go or need a quick no-prep creative activity, why not make fun farmyard scenes with this Usborne sticker book, which comes with more than 130 stickers?
Crafts for 2 years olds don't have to be complicated.
29. Reindeer Christmas cards
It’s never too early to start making handmade Christmas cards! We can’t resist this sweet footprint reindeer from Emma Owl.
Part craft, part science… all fun! Little ones will enjoy creating this strange substance, colouring it with food dyes and exploring what happens when they give it a squish.
Find the tutorial for making and painting with oobleck at Babble Dabble Do.
31. Block printing for toddlers
How cute are crafts for toddlers that mimic adult crafts!? We love this mini block printing kit for kids on Etsy. You can turn their creations into cards after too.
32. Kinetic sand
Kinetic sand is super fun for toddlers to play with. Follow our how to make kinetic sand tutorial and then make little scenes, shapes and even write words into the sand with them.
33. Chalk art
We're going old school with this craft for toddlers. Let them get creative on the walls of the house or patio with these fun chalk art ideas.
Keep little ones amused with the best toddler crafts for 3 year olds and under
Getting toddlers involved in art and craft activities is a great way to keep them entertained. It also encourages them to develop their creativity and improves their coordination.
Many of our toddler craft ideas can be made using affordable materials that you may already have in your home. We've also included some fun kits that include everything you need for an exciting toddler arts and crafts session.
These fun crafts for 3 year olds and below will help you keep your little ones amused and develop their skills!
Get ready for Halloween with spooktacular crafts for kids
Create spooky makes and chilling decorations with the kids this October! Take a look at Gathered's easy Halloween crafts for kids to prepare for a hauntingly good craft session.
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.
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