Many parents avoid doing messy projects with their toddlers because of the fact that they think they are too young and it is usually a mess to clean up.  Working on art projects with your kids is a great idea no matter what age as it helps to boost their imagination and creativity.  There are several arts and crafts you can do with your toddler.

Paint: Yes, painting is a messy project, but it is so fun!  Whether it is finger painting or giving them a paint brush they are bound to have a blast.  Be sure to undress them and put them in an old shirt.  It is almost guaranteed that they will get paint on areas that you don’t want them to.  There are many cute hand and footprint projects you can do with your toddler as well and give them as gifts.  Handprint turkeys for thanksgiving, handprint hearts for Valentine’s day, handprint bunny ears for Easter, etc.  The possibilities of projects you can create with paint are limitless.

Color: Coloring is one of the easiest projects for your toddler to do.  I would recommend using crayons because markers can get pretty messy.  For the most part, your toddler doesn’t need much guidance when it comes to coloring.  Just make sure you watch them in case you still have toddlers who like to put things in their mouths.  Simply giving them a blank piece of paper or printing sheets out of a coloring book are both good ways to give your toddler the opportunity to color.

Play dough and Clay: Play dough, clay and anything they can squeeze in their hand is great for art and playing with.  It helps build their sensory as they can squish these in their hands make shapes with them.  You can make edible play dough if you have one who likes to put things in their mouth.  This way you won’t ever have to worry about what goes into their mouths.

Sand in a Bag: Toddlers love the feel of squishing things into their hands.  A good thing to make is sand in a bag project where you fill a bag with sand and give it to your toddler.  It is a good idea to double or even triple bag the bag so the sand doesn’t leak all over your floor.  This should keep your toddler busy for quite a long time.  If you are up to allowing them a sand table, this can be fun too.  Just keep in mind you will probably be vacuuming and still finding sand in your house for a long time.  If it is nice outside, a sand table may be good to use outside.

Shaving Cream: Be warned that this is a very messy project, but it is a fun one.  Spray some shaving cream onto your counter or table and allow your toddler to use their fingers to write in the shaving cream.  This is also a great idea for bath time as your toddler will not want to get out of the tub.  For those older toddlers who are learning how to write their name, it can be very fun writing their name by engraving it in the shaving cream.

Stickers: Kids love stickers.  Buy a big pack of stickers and give them to your toddler as well as a piece of paper.  Watch them as they try to take the stickers off of the sticker page and get them onto the piece of paper.  This is an arts and crafts project that will keep them busy for a while.

String Necklace: This is another arts and crafts project for those with older toddlers.  It is also a great way to help them learn how to count.  Give them a piece of string and tie a knot at the end of it.  Mix some Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks and Cheerios into a bowl and have your toddler put them on the string.  Count with your toddler as they attempt to put each piece of cereal on the necklace.

Outdoor Collage: This is a two step process that will surely get your little ones tired out.  The first thing you want to do is go outside and collect samples of things that are outside.  Small pebbles, a little bit of sand, a pinecone, an acorn, some blades of grass, a flower, a leaf, are all things that you can find outside.  Next you will need some glue and a piece of paper.  Glue the outside items you found to your piece of paper.  This is a great way to remember all of the things that you can find outside.

Making Crayons: Of course this arts and crafts project requires adult help, you can make your own new crayons using broken pieces of crayons.  The first thing you need to do is find all of your pieces of broken crayon and peel the paper off of them.  Put some wax paper at the bottom of some muffin and cupcake tins and place the pieces of crayons in the cupcake pan.  Put them in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes.  The crayons will melt and after you take them out of the oven and let them cool you will be left with big chunks of crayons for your toddler to color with.

Glue: Scissors and glue together are not a good match, but giving them pre ripped pieces of colored construction paper along with some glue and a big piece of paper to put them on may be a great art project for them.  A glue stick might be easier for them as they can rub their glue stick on their piece of paper and glue the pieces to the paper.

While working with glue and scissors isn’t such a good idea at this young of an age, they can really get a lot of out the other arts and crafts that they are able to do.  Working with your child when it comes to arts and crafts is an awesome idea.