Discover art activities for kids that help develop cognitive, physical, social, and language skills that are easy, safe, and fun for everyone!

Did you know that introducing art activities for kids at an early age can help them grow physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and linguistically? Engaging in a variety of arts and craft projects with your toddlers and preschoolers is a powerful way to spark imagination, creativity and foster your child’s development.

Your little one will gain so much more than you might think by experimenting with art activities, and it can be a wonderful opportunity to laugh, bond, and spend time with your growing and developing child. From boosting self-esteem to practicing motor skills, practicing communication to learning how to focus on repetitive tasks, art activities for kids are beneficial for the whole family.

Not sure where to begin or what activities are right for your child? Read on to discover some of the best art activities for toddlers and art activities for preschoolers that are sure to be a big hit with your child.

For even more arts and craft fun and exploration, be sure to download the Kinedu App to get access to live and on-demand play sessions over 1,800 activities created by experts in early childhood development.

Art Activities For Toddlers

According to the CDC, toddlerhood begins when your child has celebrated their first birthday and continues to the age of 3 when they will graduate to the preschooler stage.

Sometime between 12 and 15 months, your baby will master the milestone of the pincer grasp and will be ready to start playing with the arts! These activities do not have to be elaborate or time-consuming in order for your child to benefit from the fun!

Here are some of the best art activities for toddlers 17-36 months old:

Move to the Rhythm of the Music

  • Recommended Age: 17 months and up
  • Development: Cognitive
  • Goal: To stimulate your child’s corporal expression
  • Skills Practiced: Imitating
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Handkerchief, Scarf, or Brightly Colored Fabric
    • Music

How To:

Begin this fun and easy art activity for toddlers by giving your child a handkerchief and playing music of different rhythms. Explain that when the music sounds, the goal is to move their handkerchief up and down and from left to right, but when the music stops, they must “freeze” and remain frozen until the music begins again. Throughout this activity, your child will be working on their gross motor skills and their artistic expression. Be sure to grab your own handkerchief and enjoy watching your child imitate, learn, and play along with you!

We Learn by Singing and Dancing

  • Recommended Age: 17 months and up
  • Development: Cognitive
  • Goal: To stimulate creativity through music
  • Skills Practiced: Fostering musical skills
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Musical Instruments (Tip: Get creative and use household items that make sounds and music)

How To:

Begin this art activity for kids by introducing your child to a new children’s song and singing it a few times, so they start to learn it. Give them a musical instrument to follow the rhythm of the music with and show them some moves related to the song. Your child will soon begin to associate words with movements and will be able to learn the song faster. During this activity, you will be stimulating your child’s brain’s right hemisphere, which is responsible for developing creativity and imagination.

Magic Drawings

  • Recommended Age: 25 months and up
  • Development: Physical
  • Goal: To strengthen your child’s fine motor skills and stimulate their creativity
  • Skills Practiced: Scribbling
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Plastic Plate
    • Paintbrushes
    • Paper
    • Washable Paint
    • Water
    • White Crayon

How To:

Begin this activity by creating a drawing with your child on a white sheet of paper using the white crayon or wax of a white candle. Let them grasp the crayon and scribble away! Next, water down the washable paint and ask your toddler to take the paintbrush and paint over the paper to discover the hidden picture. Encourage them to make horizontal strokes when they paint. Ask them questions like “What do you see?”. You will be surprised! This activity encourages your toddler to exercise their fine motor skills and creativity.

Be sure to have fun with your child and continue to encourage their participation and excitement in their newfound skills and abilities!

And if you are looking for even more art activities for toddlers, be sure to download the Kinedu App to discover more than 1,800 expert-approved and developed activities for your little one!

Art Activities For Preschoolers

Before you know it, your child has celebrated their third birthday! In what feels like a blink of an eye, you have entered into the preschool years! Now, more than ever, it is important to continue exposing your child to art activities for kids that will help them develop the skills necessary for this monumental chapter in their development.

Here are some fun and engaging art activities for preschoolers:

My Treasure Box

  • Recommended Age: 38 months and up
  • Development: Cognitive
  • Goal: To stimulate your child’s memory and work on their fine motor skills.
  • Skills Practiced: Memory and Attention
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Kid-friendly Magazines
    • Paintbrushes
    • Shoe Box
    • Kid-friendly Scissors
    • Non-Toxic Glue
    • Washable Paint

How To:

For this activity, find a space to play with your child. Show them the materials and say, “You’ll be making a treasure box!”. Ask your little one to paint the box, show them how to use the brush if necessary. Practice circular, horizontal and vertical strokes when painting. Show your child how to draw a circle and see if they can copy it.

While the paint dries, take out the magazines. Ask your child about a story you read recently. Test their memory when trying to remember parts and elements of the story. Search for them in the magazines—for example, the sun, a boy, a girl, flowers.

Keep stimulating their memory and conversation skills and talk about what happened during the day or what you did yesterday. Cut out the images and help them paste them onto the box. You can also use spare materials like stickers or buttons to decorate the box and make it even more special!

Now your child can use it to keep drawings or treasures safe! This activity helps to stimulate their memory, hand coordination, and finger dexterity.

Playdough Bakery

  • Recommended Age: 40 months and up
  • Development: Physical
  • Goal: To enhance your child’s hand coordination by having fun with playdough
  • Skills Practiced: Finger dexterity
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Chef’s Hat or Apron (Optional)
    • Playdough of Different Colors
    • Rolling Pin (Optional)

How To:

Find a space to play with your child and tell them that today, you’re opening a bakery! Ask them to assign roles to each of you, they can be the chef, and you can be the customer. What does your bakery make? What are you going to order?

For example, try “baking” a pie! Start by making your pie’s crust. Roll the playdough with a pin or against the table. What do you want on your pie? Let’s start by making dough strips to cover the pie! Ask your child to roll the playdough between their fingers, making short and long strips. Keep making different figures to simulate what you like on your pie.

When you are done, play make-believe and make it more fun by wearing a chef’s hat or an apron! Give your toddler a challenge and ask them to introduce themselves by saying their first and last name. The important part of this activity is to keep strengthening your child’s hand muscles when playing with the playdough and improving their hand coordination. This fun art activity for preschoolers also helps them develop critical language and social skills.

Color Collage

  • Recommended Age: 51 Months and up
  • Development: Social-Emotional
  • Goal: Help your little one decide for themselves what materials they want to use, and how they want to organize them, and establishing their own goals.
  • Skills Practiced: Self-awareness and Self-efficacy
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Paper Squares of Different Colors
    • White Cardstock Paper
    • Decorating Material
    • Non-Toxic Glue

How To:

Begin this art activity for kids by preparing a couple of sheets of blank paper, several pieces of colored paper, stickers, and glue. Sit down with your little one and explain that you’ll be making a collage, and mention that they make whatever shape or image they like. If your little one has never made a collage, explain what it is and show them an example.

If your child has trouble taking the pieces of paper and pasting them on the blank page, you can help by taking their hands and guiding them through the process until they can do it alone. Suggest materials and ideas if you see your little one is getting stuck in the process. Help out and celebrate your child’s effort, always following their individual pace and interest.

When your child is done, ask questions about the colors they chose and the shapes they made, and congratulate them for their creativity. The purpose of this art activity for preschoolers is to motivate your little one to use their creativity and make independent choices.

Have Fun Experimenting and Planning Art Activities For Your Kids

Art activities for kids are a fun way for your child to learn and grow through play! You’ll watch in amazement as your little one builds confidence, speech, creativity, and motor skills through a variety of engaging and creative activities.

At Kinedu, we are always here to support you and your child with live and on-demand play sessions and more than 1,800 activities created by experts in early childhood development. Download the app today for more activity ideas and expert advice.