By Kathryn Trudeau

Art and toddlers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only do toddlers love to create art, but art projects make for super easy gifts from toddlers to siblings or other family members. The best part about helping your toddler make crafts is that you can see the love their pour out into their art when they are making creations for someone else. They may not look perfect, but a gift given (or made) with love is the best present of them all.


Ready to get crafting? Choose one (or more!) of these ideas and get into the spirit of the season!


1. Clothespin Ornaments

These are cute and festive! Help your child make a bunch of these, and you can hand them out to your friends and family.


What you need:

  • Wooden clothespins
  • Felt or small pieces of fabric to make the “skirt”
  • Gold cardstock to make wings
  • Marker to draw the face

What to do:

  1. Have your child draw a face on the round end of the clothespin
  2. Have your child take strips of felt or cloth to make the clothes. You can glue them in the back to hold them in place. (Hot glue works the best.)
  3. Cut out wings and let your child add glitter.
  4. Glue wings on.

2. Felt Ornaments


Felt is one of the best things in the craft store. It’s cheap, it comes in a rainbow of colors (even glitter colors), and it’s very forgiving for toddler crafts.


What you need:

  • Felt
  • Stuffing
  • Fabric glue or hot glue
  • Googly eyes or markers
  • Felt scissors

What to do:

  1. The easy method: Cut out shapes and let your child on gems, google eyes, ribbon etc. Punch a hole and add a ribbon to hang it up.
  2. The harder method: Cut out two identical shapes. A heart or circle is a good choice, but if you’re talented try a reindeer, star, or gingerbread man.
  3. Let your child decorate both sides.
  4. Let the felt dry.
  5. Use the glue (or stitch it up really quickly with a needle and thread) to create a little “pillow”. Stuff the ornament with the stuffing and seal it shut. This creates a 3D, plush look

3. Santa Wall Decor

This craft is both festive and fun. It’ll be messy, no doubt, but with a little preparation, clean up can be easy! Before you start painting, cover the entire working surface with either clear plastic wrap or newspaper. Have paper towels or baby wipes on hand.


What you need:

  • Paper plate
  • Paint: peach, white, red, black
  • Cotton balls
  • Red construction paper

What to do:

  1. Paint the paper plate peach and let it dry
  2. Paint Santa’s eyes
  3. Glue cotton balls on for the beard
  4. Create a hat from red construction paper
  5. Note: If your whole craft needs more stability, use a piece of cardboard to support the back

4. Cookies

Okay so cookies aren’t technically a craft. It’s baking, obviously. But who’s to say that you can’t get creative while baking? Whip up a batch of sugar cookies and icing, and let your child go to town decorating. Who cares if the cookies are heavily sprinkled? Who cares if the snowflake has green icing and the Santa’s beard is pink?


Give your child full decorating creative license, and I guarantee those blue Christmas trees and sprinkled reindeer cookies will melt the heart of whoever receives them!


Tip: Cover the entire top of your table with saran wrap. You’ll thank me when it’s cleanup time!

5. Rock Art

Remember how popular those colored rocks were - those friendship rocks that kids colored and left hidden in playgrounds across America? Well, this craft pays homage to that little rock.


This is what you’ll need:

  • Smooth river rocks
  • Cardboard
  • Cardstock
  • Paint markers or sharpies
  • Crayons

This is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Parents only: To color your rocks, warm the rocks on a baking sheet.
  2. While the rocks are still warm, color the rocks. The crayon will melt right onto the rocks! Help your child do this so he doesn’t accidently touch the hot rock with his finger.
  3. To create your scene, glue cardstock on top of a piece of cardboard.
  4. Arrange your rocks on the cardstock and then use markers to color the scene.
  5. Parents only: Glue the rocks to the scene with a hot glue gun.

6. The Macaroni Frame


Last but not least, the macaroni frame! There’s a reason this is a tried-and-true toddler craft - it’s super easy and oh-so-fun for little ones. But we’ll make this one extra festive.


This is what you’ll need:

  • An inexpensive frame
  • Glue
  • Dry macaroni (or any shape pasta… or a mix!)
  • A picture your toddler created
  • Silver spray paint
  • A small red ribbon

This is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Have your child paint or color a picture
  2. Pour a little glue onto a paper plate
  3. Have your child dip each dry noodle in the glue and then place it on the frame (You may need to help make sure your child has enough glue)
  4. Allow the frame to completely dry - it may take a while!
  5. Parent only: In a well-ventilated area, spray paint the frame silver
  6. Optional: you can add glitter while the paint is still wet
  7. Parent only: Tie a small ribbon with the red bow and hot glue it to the frame
  8. Place the handmade picture in the frame

What about you?


What is your favorite Christmas craft to do with toddlers?

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Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at  www.katietrudeau.com 

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