Just a quick one, because we’re in the midst of packing for camping (again)… Here are some great toddler/pre-school summer arts & crafts I found poking around online. Linked to instructions when available!

These crafts may take some supervision for the very young. The end result will delight young toddlers, and the activity along the way keeps older toddlers busy! These ideas don’t take a ton of crazy materials. I think the weirdest item you’ll need is plaster of paris for the goo/chalk. Most are made with items many people have around the house. Enjoy!

  1. Let your child decorate their snack bags with pipe cleaners, stickers, and googly eyes! (may require some help).
  2. Create simple finger puppets using old rubber gloves! Waterproof for bath time fun as well!
  3. Teach your child to help wildlife with this easy bird nesting bag craft!
  4. The clean way to make your own playdough or goo! (I love this! HINT: It never has to come out of the bag! Shhhh don’t tell your child until they are MUCH older and you might get another year or two without digging dried chunks out of all your furniture!)
  5. Make your own chunky sidewalk chalk for coloring on sidewalks and driveways.
  6. Make your own non-toxic sidewalk paint! Don’t worry, it’ll wash away with the next rain shower! (Thanks, ThisMamaLoves.com!)
  7. Love this idea for creating a continuous coloring easel using a roll of paper, over the door hooks, and curtain rod/dowel! (I am just getting into coloring with him).
  8. I’m totally making this paper tube rain stick for my son – he loves to make noise, and I think I’d rather hear this than wooden trucks knocking about!
  9. This is so simple, it’s almost ridiculous. Let your baby tear paper (magazines, construction, etc) into strips. I’ve read this is an important pre-scissors skill. And babies love it. If you have an older child, they can make a collage with the torn strips, so this is a good craft for siblings!
  10. Create a decorated vase or pencil holder by having your toddler apply stickers to an empty soda bottle, disposable coffee cup or other container. (Tip: Use those sheets and sheets of mailing labels that come in the mail for sticker practice before using up your “fun” stickers.” Early sticker-artists won’t really care as long as they get to stick, stick, stick!).
  11. I tried this Wonder Kleenex Box craft - granted, I had to assemble it – but I found it to be a great no-sew use for my TONS of scrap fabrics I have and my son loved playing with it too (nice quiet activity for car rides!). I didn’t have an empty tissue box handy, but I have several old wipes cases I was saving! Perfect!
  12. Make temporary bean bags with zip snack bags filled with beans, rice, or unpopped corn kernels. (Be sure you’re using bags with a good seal!). Kids will love to measure in the beans/filler. Or might want to mix them for a fun multi-colored effect!

Need I say – always supervise children when doing crafts. COVER your table/floor appropriately. And be near a sink.

What are some fun and easy arts and crafts activities you’ve done with VERY YOUNG toddlers? (Pre-scissors phase).

Have you checked out the rest of my 101 Toddler Activities?

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  • Caty October 17, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Just made a similar version of the scrap fabric tied together but I cut a slit in the top of a coffee can instead of using a plastic wipe box. Thank you so much for these great ideas!!! I can’t wait for my daughter to wake up from her nap to see if she’s as excited about it as I am ;-)

  • MsAngelStarr September 28, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Hi there! found this on Pinerest and cannot wait to try the diaper wipe/fabric pull idea!! What a great way to re-purpose one of the million tubs I have lying around! Glad I stumbled upon your blog, I’m your newest follower now! Can’t wait to read more!
    Angela @ First Comes Baby…

  • Kim September 23, 2011, 11:05 pm

    That fabric scrap pull using the wipes case is genius! My baby LOVES to pull out wipes and I am always taking them away. Perfect solution!!

  • Crunchy Beach Mama August 5, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Fun ideas!!

  • Belle Windham July 28, 2011, 11:19 am

    Yesterday I did a craft with my 19 month old. I was inspired by this post. We took some empty containers that I use for snacks and I let him put stickers all over them. Now I am going to go over them with tape to make sure the stickers stay put. When they start to look gross, we will take the tape off and do the craft over again. Thanks for all your great posts.

  • T Rex Mom July 27, 2011, 6:23 pm

    The wonder kleenex box was the best idea – I like the way you did it best. I’ll be putting one of those together this week. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Frugal in WV July 27, 2011, 1:41 pm

    I like all the ideas, especially the kleenex box idea for my youngest :) New follower from shespeaks blogger society, have a great day!

  • Dawn Pruitt July 27, 2011, 11:42 am

    Great ideas! Following you from SheSpeaks Blogger Society!
    Check it Out! with Dawn at
    Following on Twitter also!

  • Chelly July 26, 2011, 10:56 am

    We’re going to do the finger puppets and the rain sticks. Possibly the art easel but I’m thinking for sure she would figure it out and pull all of it off! We get a huge roll of packing paper, the brown stuff that you wrap around the package… I tear a big sheet off and tape that to the wall. The newspaper behind it is a good idea.

    A lot of crafts I have found require paper plates so I often pull those out for dd to color/paint/sticker so that we have some predone for a project. She can stay interested in a craft only so long. Basically, she colors it and when she’s taking a nap I finish it!!