5 Fun Art Activities for Toddlers (1-3 years old)

Art activities help children have fun and teach them to be creative. Here’s a collection of simple, yet awesome art activities to engage your child in.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj

5 Fun Art Activities for Toddlers (1-3 years old)

Involvement in art activities, though apparently developing your little one’s creativity also aid her physical development. For, toddlerhood is a stage when fine and gross motor skills begin to develop. And, art activities help in this development. Holding the brush, mixing the paint, making strokes – all these help your little one to develop eye-hand and muscular co-ordination. Therefore, encourage your child to engage in art activities. Here’s a list of 5 fun art activities for your toddler.

1. Vegetable printing: The humble lady’s finger and everyone’s favourite potato can be used in this type of printing. Chop a piece of lady’s finger horizontally and hand it to your child. Let her dip the portion where the hexagonal face with the pods are exposed in her favourite colour paint and print on a plain sheet of paper. She can either make random prints or make prints inside an outline say of an elephant, house or so on. Similarly, you can cut a potato into two halves. On one half, you can carve out any image or pattern such as a star or a smiley. Hand over that half to your child. Let her dip it in her favourite colour paint and stamp it on a plain sheet. Here again, the prints can be either random or follow a set pattern. You can even go creative with any vegetable of your choice.

2. Spray painting: Two old tooth brushes, some paint, a sheet of paper or chart, and cut-outs of animals, people or objects are all you need for this simple fun activity. Cut-out some patterns say that of a whale, dinosaur or Donald duck. Place this pattern on a sheet of paper. Let your child dip the tooth brushes in some paint and rub them against each other so as to spray the paint onto the sheet all around the cut-out. Make sure that the entire sheet is covered with fine spray except for the cut-out. Then, remove the cut-out – your child’s spray painting is ready.

3. Marbling: Take a tray with deep sides. Pour some water in it to fill half the depth. Then ask your child to add some paint to it. She can add one colour after the other – say, five to six colours. Then, using a thin stick or the back of a pencil, help her to gently stir the colours so as to swirl and mix with the water. Allow the water to settle. Now, let your child place a thick card or a rectangular piece of chart (which will fit into the tray) on the surface of the water. Ensure it doesn’t sink. After a few seconds, let your child remove the card and allow it to dry. Once dry, she will see a beautiful marbled pattern on the card.

4. Sand-art: For this activity, you’ll require some fine sand, paint, a cone made out of thick paper, glue, thick cardboard or chart. First draw the outline of your child’s favourite cartoon character or anything else that interests him (Angry bird, face of a tiger, fish, etc.) on the chart. Next divide portions of the sand and give them to your child. Let him mix each portion with one colour of paint. Then, allow the sand to dry. Meanwhile, spread glue on the picture you have drawn on the chart. Once the sand is dry, place one coloured portion inside the cone. Let your child hold the cone above the picture and let the sand fall onto it. For example, if the picture is a tiger’s face, he can pour yellow-coloured sand on the face first. Then, let him drop black-coloured sand to form the stripes. Repeat the process with different colours of sand, until the picture is ready. Allow it to dry. Your little one’s sand art is ready!

5. Free art: Give your toddler a free hand, literally! Give her any surface – chart paper, cardboard, a portion of a wall, a piece of cloth, a pillow-case, or even a professional canvas. Supply her with different colours of paint. Let her feel free to use any of these to dip into the paint and scribble or doodle on the surface – paint brush, old tooth brush, straw, a piece of cloth tied into a bun, a ball of wool, feather, or her tiny little hands. She can even splash the paint onto the surface to form spots and blotches. Give her creativity a free rein and watch the magic appear on the surface.