Arts and Crafts Ideas for 2-Year-Olds

    by Julie Richards

    About the Author

    Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.


    Crafts are the perfect way to allow a child explore and learn about the world around them. From different textures to a variety of colors, arts and crafts ideas for 2-year-olds can spark young imaginations. A simple pile of play dough or a glob of finger paint will keep a child busy for hours. The results can be framed or put up as a keepsake for years to come.

    Craft Center

    Create an area that is designated as the craft center. This teaches the child that certain items must be used only in that area. Messes can be contained so crayons or paint do not show up as expressive artistry on the walls. The craft center may only be a special tablecloth and a big box of everything that comes out during certain times. The box of everything is designed to add organization and fun to the craft table. The box, or bag, contains standard art supplies like finger paints, glue, crayons and blunt scissors. The box also contains things like glitter, colored paper, scraps of cloth and anything else that may be used for arts and crafts. The idea is to have an ample supply of materials which can be used to create any number of projects.

    Pudding Paint and Gelatin Stamps

    Pudding and flavored gelatin are two foods which can be used for quick craft play. Make the pudding as directed on the box and allow the child to finger paint on waxed paper. Dip rubber stamps, or a cut potato, into powdered gelatin and press on paper to make pretty designs. The food items will be sticky, but there are no toxins to worry about if the child does a taste test.

    Simple Play Dough Projects

    Homemade play dough is a versatile first-time craft idea for 2-year-olds. It is edible, but not tasty, so there is no danger of the child eating something they shouldn't. The dough allows the child to explore with her fingers. Colors can be added but are not necessary. One recipe is: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup water 2 tsp. cream of tartar 1 tsp. vegetable oil 1/4 cup iodized salt Food coloring (optional) Combine all ingredients except the food coloring in a pan and cook over a medium heat until they form a pastelike consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add food coloring, if desired. Keep in air-tight containers or storage bags in the refrigerator.

    Sticker Fun

    A good craft idea for a 2-year-old involves stickers. Cut simple shapes of squares, circles and triangles out of colored contact paper. Let the child stick the pieces to poster board in any design he desires. This project can be used to teach shapes and colors if different colors of contact paper are used. The parent can show how to create a simple house or other object using the stickers, so the child can understand how shapes form the environment around him.

    Noodle Necklaces

    A piece of yarn with taped ends can be strung through pasta noodles to make necklaces or bracelets. These same noodle garlands can be painted and glued around cardboard cylinders to make pencil holders for the parent's desk. Apply tempera paint to add color. This craft helps develop fine motor skills.