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Fun Toddler Craft Ideas

Getting a toddler to sit still is often a near-impossible feat. They’re constantly exploring the world around them. That’s a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That’s where toddler crafts come in.

Crafting is great for toddlers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop longer attention spans. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Let them explore and create their own versions of projects.

Here are some craft ideas that your toddler can do (with supervision and the encouragement to use his or her imagination ).

Craft Stick and other Puppets

Puppets are fascinating to toddlers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it’s lots of fun. All you really need are some craft or Popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.

Help your toddler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he’s ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom-pom for the nose, and add some google eyes.
Variation: Make puppet figures based on favorite storybook characters.

Variation: Colonial Corn Husk Dolls and Paper Bag People and Animals. Tutorials are available found on this website.

Paint with Pudding

Paint with Pudding








Paint with Pudding

Kids love to finger paint, but it’s so messy. And there’s also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!

You don’t need different flavors to make different colors. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add food coloring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he’s done, he can eat it with no worries.

Kid's T-Shirt Design

Kid’s T-Shirt Design







Design a T-Shirt

If your toddler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!

Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. For a more permanent design, however, you’ll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your toddler.

Kid's place mat project

Kid’s place mat project








Place mats

Making place mats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your toddler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them on a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he’s done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.

Most toddlers will only enough patience to make one place mat at a time. But he or she can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the table. He or she will be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!

Crafting can help your toddler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it’s a rainy day or he’s just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.

The place mat sample in the photograph above was made with remnants of other paper projects.

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The Double-Headed Serpent: Paper Mosaic Design

The Double-Headed Serpent: Paper Mosaic Design
Paper Mosaic Design

Double-Headed Serpent Paper Mosaic Design


White pencil (optional)

Poster board or matt board

Construction or similar paper in four colors




Double stick tape

Glue stick

Utility knife

White paper (optional)

Paper Clips (optional)


  1. Select a design like the double-headed serpent in this project. (Double-headed serpents were popular cultural and religious symbols among the Aztec and Mayan people.)
  2. Draw the object on poster or matt board. Or draw it on a piece of white paper. Turn the paper over and blacken the back of the design with pencil. Turn it over to the front, place it on the matt or poster board and secure the paper on the board with paper clips or tape. Trace.
  3. Design a border around all four sides of the design.
  4. Select three or four colors of the construction or similar paper. Decide where to place the paper mosaic tiles. Measure and cut these paper tiles no smaller than 1/ 4” x 1/ 4.” The smaller the size of the tiles, the longer it will take to complete the project.
  5. Decide the color pattern. Lay down strips of double-stick tape on the area, one strip at a time, and place the paper tiles side by side, forming a mosaic pattern. In the sample, the colors of tile form a random design. Repeat until the area finished. Use a utility knife to shape round corners, etc.
  6. Following step #2, trace the central design on the construction paper and cut and glue this cut-out to the poster or matt board. If you are using the double-headed serpent as the central design, use a white pencil to highlight the eyes and teeth.
  7. Cover the other areas of the design including the border.


Morris, Ting. The Arts and Crafts of the Aztecs and Maya. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2007.

Robinson, Fay. Hispanic-American Crafts Kids Can Do! Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Elementary, 2006.

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How to Make Paper Molas

How to Make Paper Molas



Pencil with eraser

Scissors (embroidery scissors work best for cutting out small pieces of paper)

Three pieces of different colored construction paper, memory album paper or craft foam

Glue stick

White glue


  1. Draw a design on one of the pieces of paper with a pencil. Cut the design out.
  2. Place a second piece of paper under the first. Line up the edges.
  3. Draw smaller design shapes on the second piece of paper.
  4. Pull out the second piece of paper and cut out these smaller shapes.
  5. Place the first piece of paper over the second one and glue them together.
  6. Place these two pieces on top of the third piece of paper and line up the edges.
  7. Glue the third piece into place.
  8. Frame and hang the molas.
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