7 Tips for Doing Art with Toddlers
Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

7 Tips for Doing Art with Toddlers


7 Tips for Doing Art with Toddlers

1. Use a low table, such as a coffee table, for your art. Toddlers work best when they can move and use their whole bodies to make art. A kids easel is great, too.

2. Have a dedicated art outfit, large T-shirt, or smock for your child to wear while making art. (Even “washable” paints don’t always wash out completely.)

3. Follow your toddler’s lead—a few minutes may be more than enough for the day. The point is to have fun!

4. Have a towel and a dishpan full of warm, soapy water on hand to aid in cleaning up.

5. Let your toddler explore! She won’t always use the art materials the way you think they should be used.

6. Rather than saying how “pretty” the painting is, talk with your toddler about the colors he’s used or the lines he’s created. Help him develop a vocabulary with which he can think and talk about art constructively.

7. Date the artwork. Later, you won’t remember.

This is updated and revised from my “Small Hands, Big Art” article in the July/August 2007 issue of Mothering magazine. Photo of Stella painting by Bobbi Holland.

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  • Reply
    February 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Hello, I am enjoying looking at your site today! I am also excited to try your links to find more kid art blogs. My husband and I write a daily blog together and its quite a mix but most things have to do with our 3 young kids. I was an art teacher before the kids so I have some art posts and ideas (we have an art category) if you’re interested in taking a look:

  • Reply
    September 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I just found your blog, I’m loving it and have added it to my blogroll. Thanks for the information — our family hasn’t done a lot of art and crafts yet, and this is an area I’d like to become more familiar with and explore with the kids.

  • Reply
    Butterfly Costume
    July 2, 2010 at 5:34 am

    i like most the 7th tip. It would be amazing for the kids to look back with their previous works and see how much they have improved. thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Diving Into A Toddler Art Group – How I Started My Own Group This Fall
    January 18, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    […] 7 Tips for Doing Art With Toddlers […]

  • Reply
    Paul Trubshaw
    February 11, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Fantastic tips for working with toddlers, I am going to assist at a mum’s and tots group at our church, engaging children with art at an early age and seeing them develop is so rewarding for me and the mum’s alike, who knows I have have encouraged the next Picasso or modern day Constable
    I might even inspire the mum’s to explore and expand their own childhood experiences
    Happy painting all

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 12, 2018 at 4:22 am

      Thanks, Paul! And have fun with the mums and tots!

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