Want to know a sure fire way to build fine motor skills in toddlers?
Break out the art supplies!
That’s right. Toddler art activities are full of fine motor learning. And a great way to have fun and bond with your child!
Long time readers know that we are huge fans of activities that are both easy and awesome. We love simple set ups that lead to lots of playing and learning. All of these toddler art activities pass that test–they are definitely easy and awesome!
We are so excited to partner with Crayola for this sponsored post–and not just because we love their art supplies! We also 100% agree with their belief that toddlers develop in stages not ages and that using the right tool for the right stage makes activities more meaningful and more fun!
Art Supplies for Toddlers
Choosing the correct art tool for your child’s current stage is so important. Being able to use different types of art tools is a process that develops over time and different art supplies work best at each stage. The My First Crayola line of products makes it easy for parents to find the correct art tool for your child’s stage of fine motor development.
Stage 1: Scribble
During this stage of development kids are just starting to make random marks. They grasp art tools with their palms instead of their fingers and enjoy sensory experiences.
Stage 2: Doodle
At this stage toddlers begin to show more control and intention in their mark making. They can repeat different types of lines and are more thoughtful in their drawing. Triangular shaped art tools are beneficial during this stage.
Stage 3: Draw
Get the art gallery ready! At this stage toddlers can draw basic shapes and create (pretty much) recognizable drawings. They can use large versions of art tools and love to talk about what they have drawn. Instead of saying things like, “That is a pretty bird!” ask your toddlers to tell you about their drawings.
Each of the art tools and kits in the My First Crayola line are labeled by stage to help you find the correct supply for each stage of your toddler’s growth.
Fine Motor Building Toddler Art Activities
Draw in a Box
- Washable Palm Grasp Crayons (stage 1)*
- Washable Tripod Grip Markers (stage 2)
- Washable Tripod Grip Crayons (stage 2)
- Washable Tripod Grip Stampers (stage 2)
- Ultra Clean Washable Markers (stage 3)
- Empty cardboard box
Drawing in a box is a perfect activity for toddlers at every stage! Set your art materials inside the box and invite your toddler to get inside. Once inside your child can use the crayons, markers or stampers to create and draw!
The novelty of drawing on something other than paper gets toddlers excited about creating while providing great fine motor practice. Don’t get rid of the box after one drawing session. Save it to pull out another day and let kids add to their creation or use it for pretend play.
*Kids draw and create with whichever drawing tool best fits their current stage and interest level.
Finger and Window Painting
- Washable Fingerpaint Kit (stage 1)
- Art Smock (optional)
- Painter’s or washi tape
- Jumbo Paintbrushes (stage 3)
- Dish soap
- Mirror or window
Finger painting is so much fun for toddlers! It’s also a sensory-rich way to strengthen little fingers and hands. Use painter’s tape or washi tape to tape the coated paper to the table to keep it in place. Then squeeze a little finger paint on the paper and invite kids to create with it. This is a fun one for parents and toddlers to do side by side, especially if your child is hesitant at first.
Extend the activity by letting them paint on a mirror instead of the finger painting paper. Seeing their reflection as they paint makes it extra fun. After kids comfortable with finger paint add dish soap to the paint to create window paint.
In a small dish add 2 parts fingerpaint to 1 part dish soap and mix together. Let kids use the Jumbo Paintbrushes to paint the windows. It’s so exciting for them to see the different textures and colors on the window and painting on a vertical surface is great for fine motor development.
Tie Dye Paintings
- White coffee filters
- Washable Paintbrush pens (stage 2)
- Ultra Clean Washable Markers (stage 3)
- Spray bottle or a rainy day
A spray bottle or rain can turn a toddler’s doodles or drawings into tie dye art! They use the markers or paintbrush pens to draw on the coffee filters. Then take them out in the rain or spray them with water to create a whole new look. The colors start to blend together and create a tie dyed effect.
The beauty of this art activity is that different art tools and different lines and shapes create different effects once the water is added. This encourages kids to experiment with different designs and colors–which builds both fine motor and problem solving skills.
- Small plastic storage box
- Safety Scissors (stage 3)
- Scrap paper, tissue paper, old cards etc
Cutting takes a lot of practice and playing with a cutting bin makes that practice fun. Gather all sorts of fun materials for your toddler to cut. Materials such as old drawings, junk mail, newspaper, used sticker sheets, and tissue paper are all great for cutting practice.
Place the supplies in the bin and encourage your child to use the safety scissors to cut them. This open ended activity takes the frustration out of cutting practice because kids don’t aren’t concerned about doing it correctly. They can even use these scraps to create new collages and artwork.
Travel Art Kit
- Reusable Activity Set (stage 2)
- Color and Shapes Sticker Activities books (stage 2)
- Double Doodle Board (stage 2)
- Mess-Free Touch Lights (stage 2)
- Clip board
- Pencil pouch
- Preschool Readiness Kit (stage 3)(optional based on child’s stage)
- Sturdy tote or container
Take your art supplies on the go! Create a kid friendly art bin that you can take around town with you. A travel art kit is a great way to keep toddlers entertained while you are traveling, waiting for an appointment or at a restaurant, or even to take out at the park.
Before placing the items in the art kit show your toddler how to use each one at the house. Make sure to only include items they can do independently. For example, if they aren’t quite at the stage 3 drawing stage don’t include the Preschool Readiness Kit until they are. Being able to be successful with a toddler art activity is the key to building fine motor skills on the go.
These toddler art activities are a great starting point for building fine motor skills while connecting with your kids. Use them as a blueprint for fostering fine motor development, but let your child’s interest and imagination direct the fun. Giving toddlers the right tool for their stage builds confidence to take risks and experiment.
Have a little one obsessed with the beach? Add sand to the fingerpaints for an extra sensory experience and draw on seashells instead of coffee filters. Following their lead empowers them and makes art more meaningful. After all, it’s the process that helps kids’ grow and develop. The sky is the limit when it comes to kids’ creativity–there’s no wrong way to do toddler art activities!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Crayola through the Mom It Forward Network. All opinions are mine and my family’s alone.