9 Eco-Friendly Art Activities for Toddlers

Art activities for toddlers
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Wokandapix

Conventional crafts often entail plenty of waste and potentially toxic ingredients. Check out some of these more environmentally friendly art activities for toddlers.

Arts and crafts can be far from eco-conscious. Toddlers are constantly growing and changing, and their attention span doesn’t often last long enough to enjoy the end result of the crafts. Still, things like glitter, toxic glue, and plastic materials are not necessary to engaging in a creative experience with your little ones. Have fun making something together, and teach them a bit about sustainability while you’re at it with these eco-friendly art activities for toddlers.

1. Rock Pets

Painting rocks is the ideal art activity for toddlers as it allows them to express their creativity.
Painting rocks is the ideal art activity for toddlers as it allows them to express their creativity. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / allenbeilschmidtsr)

Rock pets can be surprisingly fun! Just collect some rocks outside and use whatever craft materials you have around the house to decorate them. Felt is a great option for making mini outfits for the rock pets. You can also draw on them, add some yarn, or even super glue dried beans for eyes.

2. Finger Painting

Finger paint a family portrait of all your hands.
Finger paint a family portrait of all your hands. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / PublicDomainPictures)

Finger painting is a great activity for the little ones. There’s no need to use tools or worry about painting within the lines. Your kids can get creative mixing colors and doodling whatever they want. We recommend using homemade nontoxic finger paint so you don’t need to worry about your little one sticking their hands in their mouth.

3. Flower Pressing

Press some roses with your toddler.
Press some roses with your toddler. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Ri_Ya)

Take your toddler on a little adventure outside to pick their favorite flowers. When you get home, press the flowers onto a fresh piece of paper to make an imprint. Put the flowers aside between some newspaper, underneath some heavy books, so you can come back to them later. Take the imprinted paper and have fun decorating it. This is a great way to get your child excited about nature. You can make this more of a project by making homemade watercolor paint with natural ingredients, and using that to paint over and around the flower imprints.

4. Chalk

Get your creative juices flowing and draw outside with the kids.
Get your creative juices flowing and draw outside with the kids. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Grab some chalk and get outside! Chalk is a great art activity for toddlers because there are no rules, and so much you can do with it. Sketch out a pathway for the kids to use in relay racing, or draw a little hop scotch area in the front yard. If you live in an apartment or don’t have much yard space, head to a nearby park and have fun decorating. You can even make your own homemade sidewalk chalk.

5. Egg Dying

You can die eggs year-round.
You can die eggs year-round. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ulleo)

Egg dying is a super fun art activity for toddlers, and it doesn’t have to be Easter to do this together. Boil some eggs and die them using natural easter egg dye. You can have fun creating different color combinations with your children, and then enjoy your colorful boiled eggs over the next week. Pop them into your child’s lunch for a fun surprise.

6. Egg Carton Crafts

Make crafts out of egg cartons.
Make crafts out of egg cartons. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / fotoblend)

Use the remaining empty egg carton for more fun crafts! There’s so much you can do using their unique shape, including making caterpillars, make-shift binoculars, and more! Check out these five egg carton crafts next time you’re about to toss your carton in the recycling.

7. Boat Crafts

Collect your corks to use for art projects.
Collect your corks to use for art projects. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / evondue)

Teach your kids about density and buoyancy by making toy boats together. Look around the house for materials that might work well like cardboard, take-out containers and milk jugs. Corks work perfectly if you glue or tie them together. Once you have your materials, work together with the kids to help them decorate their boats. They can draw on them, attach a little cloth sail, and even add any figurines they have to be the captain. This is a fun way to get the little ones excited for bath time!

8. Puppets

Use popsicle sticks to make little puppets.
Use popsicle sticks to make little puppets. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ponce_photography)

Buy some wooden popsicle sticks, or use your remaining sticks after enjoying a few ice cream bars. Then find things around the house that can be used to make little puppets. Colorful paper, leftover newspaper, magazine cuttings, felt, yarn, and markers are all great tools. This is a great way to let your kids express themselves both in making the puppets, and through all the shows they’ll put on using them when they’re done.

9. Pasta Jewelry

Penne pasta poses less of a choking hazard for little ones.
Penne pasta poses less of a choking hazard for little ones. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Engin_Akyurt)

Let your toddlers make homemade necklaces, bracelets and anklets from hard pasta. Macaroni is a classic,  though it’s best to stick with larger noodles like penne when making pasta jewelry with toddlers. The kids can string pasta along some colorful yarn, add some beads in between, and have fun adding color near the end.

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