I am looking for some craft ideas to do with my daughter who is almost 2 years old. There are times of day where we just need to sit down and do something at the table. We have made play dough and I made some colourful penne noodles for her to put on a skinny stick with something at the end (like lacing). I would like to do more now that she is getting older.

I would like to know what type of craft supplies is worth buying for this age that she will be able to use for more then one project. What type of craft supplies should we avoid? Is a <2 year old capable of using safety scissors? Are boxes of ready made crafts worth it? If I made cookies to decorate would she just eat them? I would like things that would help her use her imagination but something she can actually create that she will recognize. She is already drawing rough circles and calling them apples and a few other similar thing. We also need projects/ideas/supplies that have little prep time involved. Books with craft ideas that are suitable for this age would also be great.

asked 13 Sep '10, 21:06

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

Nice question!

I've not got any great suggestions, but two problems I've encountered, which you might want to bear in mind:

Attention span - at that age, they're not going to want to sit around for very long, so it's got to be quick with not too much waiting.

Perfectionism/cleanliness - if you keep stepping in having to do things because they're 'too small', or they're doing it 'wrong', or they're making a mess, they'll lose interest too.

Making a mess is part of the fun anyway.

I found this while googling 'craft ideas for toddlers' :)

alt text


answered 14 Sep '10, 05:43

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

+1 What a lovely image!

(14 Sep '10, 11:10) Emi

The image above made me forget my comment !! I definitely and totally agree with the points about attention span, and perfectionism/cleanliness. The shorter the activities the more fun they can be, and I had to learn about how to deal with the cleanliness aspect of it slowly. Eventually I found a great plastic easy to clean sheet that was placed on the floor or the table during the activities...and messiness was brought under control!

(14 Sep '10, 12:57) Emi

Firstly, you may find some of the answers to this earlier question to be quite useful, particularly Brien s wifes blog

and to answer some of your questions, in my experience (with my daughter)

What type of craft supplies is worth buying for this age that she will be able to use for more then one project.

We always kept (and still do)

  • old magazines around in a large scrap box because these were great for cutting and tearing up into small pieces,
  • PVA glue/White glue in liquid and stick form
  • empty cereal boxes / eggboxes
  • string and ribbon from any gifts received
  • dried leaves

Is a <2 year old capable of using safety scissors?

In my experience tearing bits of paper, coloured paper and thin card with hands could be more fun. They did start using safety scissors at her nursery when she was 2 and a half.

Are boxes of ready made crafts worth it?

Friends gave our daughter Early Learning Centre craft boxes, which contained many colourful bits like these. In all honesty we would open the the packets with the best intentions but would never get around to actually doing anything, the craft boxes were better appreciated when she was around 4 years old.

If I made cookies to decorate would she just eat them?

I think you should give it a go and enjoy the activity, depending on your level of communication with your little one you could try asking her if she would like to make cookies with you. I know that our daughter was keen on getting her hands in the dough and making biscuits/cookies. We decorated baked biscuits for the first time when she was four.

My last bit of advice would be to enjoy whatever you do and add the dates to the some of the pieces that you keep, because it can give you a lot of pleasure. When I look at some of the stuff we did when she was a toddler I always smile!

As a project idea, you could refer to my answer in the link I provided above, the mosaic picture of Nemo was really enjoyable for us as we did it in many stages, today it sits framed on my office wall, and gives us both much pleasure when we look at it.



answered 14 Sep '10, 11:56

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 15 Sep '10, 06:59

When I was a children's librarian, I had "Crafternoon" every Wednesday. Children of (almost) all ages came to do crafts. This meant I needed crafts for teens as well as the little-littles who would stop by.

The most important thing I figured out is that you can often take a more complicated craft, and half-assemble it, so the child still gets to do the parts that make it whole, without the frustration of messing it up. This increases your craft repertoire dramatically.

I often used things from enchantedlearning.com, so much so that I bought myself a membership for the added benefits.

In the craft closet of the library were always pony (large plastic) beads and lanyard (you can cut lanyard at a slight angle, and it works like a needle for pony beads), lots of paper that had been cut out (by the teens) for the littles to glue together (thus not having to deal with 10 little kids using scissors, badly), crayons and printed out coloring pages, stickers to put on paper, and blank name badges, to be used as self-designed giant stickers.


answered 16 Sep '10, 14:25

Sunday's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

+1 Great link! There are lots of great activities and fun pages to print.

(19 Sep '10, 16:53) cat_g
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Asked: 13 Sep '10, 21:06

Seen: 4,525 times

Last updated: 16 Sep '10, 14:25