Crafts for Toddlers from 1 to 3 Years Old

Check out these tutorials for crafts for toddlers ages 1 to 3, which are guaranteed to be fun - get the creativity flowing!
Crafts for Toddlers from 1 to 3 Years Old
Samanta Ruiz

Written and verified by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Last update: 23 September, 2022

There’s a wide variety of manual activities that can be planned to stimulate the development of children, depending on their age. Today, we’re going to address the topic of crafts for toddlers from 1 to 3 years old, as this is a stage in which they gradually acquire control over fine motor skills and begin to create with their own hands.

If you want some ideas to entertain your little ones on a rainy day, don’t miss this article!

Why are handicrafts important?

According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics’ Guide for Parents, children acquire the “ability to pincer grasp with their thumb and index finger between 9 and 10 months of age”. But they perfect it closer to one year of life.

Consequently, from that moment on, it’s appropriate to start using handicrafts as an educational resource and to stimulate children’s development. These types of activities are key for children, as through them, they can achieve the following goals:

  • Activate imagination and creativity.
  • Experiment with the senses.
  • Learning to transform materials into objects.
  • Coordinate muscles, eyes, and brain in making precise movements.

Safety in crafts for toddlers from 1 to 3 years old

When you plan a manual activity, whether at home, at daycare, or kindergarten, you must practice certain safety precautions to avoid accidents. For this reason, you should follow the following guidelines:

  • As the adult in charge, you must supervise the children at all times. Even if you take them to a place where there’s a sector to make crafts (party room, museums, cultural centers) pay attention, even if there’s a person in charge of the tasks.
  • Free the space where the little ones are going to work. No food or drinks, only the necessary elements and well in sight.
  • In the case of using glitter or any powdered material, keep in mind that only adults can handle them.
  • Always use safe products of recognized brands.
  • Avoid using small objects, such as buttons, bugs, costume jewelry (pearls, beads, etc.), and cutting tools, such as a box cutter.
  • After using craft materials, wash children’s hands thoroughly.
A father doing crafts with his sons.
Arts and crafts are fun and very stimulating, but they must be supervised and done in the company of an adult. Especially when it comes to young children.

Some ideas for making crafts for toddlers at home

Now that you know the benefits of making crafts and how to work safely, we suggest 3 easy ideas that your little ones will love. Take note!

1. Make a painting with handprints

This craft is one of the simplest there is, which is why it can be done by the youngest members of the household. And by the end, they’ll have a nice painting with their colorful handprints.

Materials

  • 1 sheet of cardboard
  • White sheets of paper
  • Watercolors
  • Paintbrushes

Step by step instructions

  1. Choose a place that can get a little dirty and spread out a large sheet of cardboard on the floor.
  2. Place a white sheet on top of it.
  3. Paint the children’s hands with the watercolors.
  4. Have the little ones press their palms and fingers to leave their handprint on the sheet of paper.
  5. Let dry for at least a couple of hours.

2. A collage with recycled material

This is a very fun job that requires a little more attention, as little ones have the challenge of respecting the lines of a drawing. This is one of the biggest fine motor skills challenges.

Materials

  • Sheets of newspaper, magazines, gift wrap, and colored paper
  • Glue
  • White cardboard

Step by step instructions

  1. Tear the papers into small pieces or medium-sized strips.
  2. Make little balls with the pieces of paper.
  3. Draw on the white cardboard a figure of the children’s choice: A flower, a house, an animal, a tree, a mountain.
  4. Put glue on the drawing and stick the balls of paper to the inside of the outline.
A little girl sitting in front of a table full of craft materials.
Dough or clay are perfect elements to make crafts at home with the little ones. On this opportunity, set up an ice cream parlor and invite all your child’s dolls to taste the delicacies.

3. Strawberry ice cream made of clay

A craft that includes kneading, gluing, and painting to achieve the shape of a refreshing red ice cream.

Materials

  • White cardboard
  • Red clay
  • Plastic arts and crafts scissors
  • A popsicle stick
  • A glue stick
  • Clear varnish

Step by step instructions

  1. Draw two matching popsicle sticks on the construction paper. Cut out the shapes.
  2. Take one of the parts and glue the popsicle stick to the base. Then glue the other popsicle stick to it. This is to make it nice and firm.
  3. Put glue on the cardboard.
  4. Pinch the red plasticine, take small pieces, and knead them into balls.
  5. Paint the palette with glue. Flatten the plasticine tails and glue them to the palette.
  6. Complete the entire surface and then varnish with clear lacquer.

Crafts for toddlers to have fun, create, and learn by playing

Crafting is relaxing and eye-opening for children, allowing them to discover that they’re capable of creating at a very young age. It’s also a type of play, a way to learn sensations, colors, shapes, and a way to develop creativity.

According to Professor, writer, and educator Ken Robinson (1950-2020):

“Creativity is learned just like learning to read.”

Organize the materials to make some of the crafts for 1-3-year-olds that we have shared with you and get your hands dirty with them!

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