40 fun activities for two-year-olds (and parents who are rubbish at arts and crafts)

Once I was finally able to ditch art as a subject at school I thought my days of drawing laughable trees, wonky flowers and strange stick men were behind me.

But the big problem for people who are rubbish at arts and crafts is when we come to have kids, we quickly realise we’re back at school all over again.

Worse still, it’s not just one hour a few times a week any more. It’s every single day, for hours a day.

My toddler loves crafts, painting and drawing, whereas I would be quite happy if I never saw anything by Crayola ever again.

But when you don’t want your child in front of the TV all day and you can’t face the “I’m booooored” complaint for the 50th time, I’m afraid you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up.

More than this though, unleashing their creative side is good for them. And it’s great for bonding. Sometimes it’s quite funny.

So I’ve been working on arts and crafts activities that even I can manage. I’ve put a few baking recipes in here too which are really simple but great fun to do with small kids.

For all of these ideas I’ve used washable paint specifically targeted at toddlers. Do pick your paint wisely if you don’t want lots of ruined clothes.

Many of these ideas are pretty cheap to do and some can be done with stuff you may already have lying around the house. Enjoy!

1. Giant self-portrait

Draw around your toddler on a large piece of paper. Then let them colour themselves in.

2. Paper plate faces

Get plain white paper plates. Draw the features on and then let your toddler colour them in with pens or paint. If you’re feeling really creative you can stick some strips of paper on top for hair.

3. Making coasters

These kits from Baker Ross are so easy for you as everything comes in the kit and they’re nowhere near as messy as painting or colouring. Your child doesn’t have to follow the pattern exactly, mine made a rather odd zebra but her lion came out brilliantly.

We want to try this kit next: Ladybird Coaster Kits for Children to Make and Decorate (Pack of 6)

4. Make binoculars

Get two toilet rolls and glue or tape them together. Next get a piece of string and tie each end around each loo roll to make a loop. Now go out into the garden and spot some birds.

5. Bubble wrap print

Don’t ditch the bubble wrap that came with your latest Amazon order. Cut out squares of it and your toddler can use it for print painting. Simply put some paint in flat paint trays or a plate, then encourage them to put the wrap in the paint before pressing it to a piece of paper.

6. Chocolate cornflake cakes

This is such a simple recipe but kids love getting involved with making it.

The big bonus here is you get something delicious to eat at the end of it all. Plus you will get five minutes of peace and quiet while your kids are eating their cakes! Win-win.

Find the recipe here.

7. Rolled golf ball paint

Roll a golf ball in paint in a bowl. Use the golf ball to create cool lines and shapes on a piece of paper. Your hands will get messy but your toddler will love this.

8. Bubble painting

I remember doing this at school, it’s the one craft activity I was vaguely good at.

Mix your paint with water and a squirt of washing-up liquid. Stir it up and then blow into it with a straw to create bubbles. Help your toddler to gently place the paper over the bubbles to take a print from them. Repeat with different colours to make a pretty picture.

9. Egg carton flowers

Save a few egg cartons and then use scissors to remove the box lid. Then cut the egg holes into groups of four.

Use the holes as petals and encourage your toddler to create pretty designs.

Once the paint is dry, use sellotape or glue to add a stick to the back of your petals so it resembles a flower.

10. Homemade play dough

Cutting shapes from our own batch of homemade play dough

This was pretty ambitious for me. I can cook, but this kind of thing is really daunting to me! Yes, you can buy it in the shops, but making it yourself adds to the excitement for your toddler. Also the ingredients are really cheap.

Find out how I got on and get the recipe here.

11. Finger paint butterflies

Draw the butterfly’s body in the middle of a piece of paper (it basically just needs to be an oval with some antenna on top). Then encourage your toddler to create the wings using their hand print or with their fingers. You can draw an outline of the wings to help your toddler.

12. Leaf painting

Gather some leaves from outside. Encourage your toddler to paint them different colours and then press them to a piece of paper to create a pretty autumnal collage.

13. Sponge painting

Get a cheap bath or cleaning sponge and cut it into squares. Alternatively you can buy a pack of paintbrushes from Hobbycraft that include these brushes with sponges instead of bristles.

Let your child smear, print and brush on a piece of paper with lots of different colours of paint.

14. Toilet roll multi-pen

Get a used toilet roll or kitchen roll. Gather five or six different coloured pens. Stick them all around the outside of the roll with sellotape.

Now your toddler can create cool multi-coloured patterns.

15. Marble painting

Get a tin foil tray, find a piece of paper or trim one down to fit inside the tray. Pick a couple of colours and dollop them at different spots all over the paper.

Put the marble in the tray and then help your toddler tilt the tray all around so that the marble trails through the paint and creates cool lines and random patterns across the paper.

16. Blow painting

Use a foil tray or do this one outside. Put a piece of paper in the tray. Put a dollop of paint on the paper and then give your toddler a straw. They can blow through it, aiming at the paint. To make it splatter across the paper. Remember to tell your toddler not to suck on the straw, they don’t want a mouthful of paint!

17. Cup painting

Cup painting - 40 activities for two-year-olds

Cup painting

Get plastic or paper cups. Any size will do. Put paint into flat-bottomed bowls or on plates. Press the cup upside down into the paint, then press onto paper.

Encourage your toddler to make flowers or pretty patterns with the circles.

18. Duplo painting

Similar to cup painting above, but use Lego blocks instead. You can chuck them in the dishwashers afterwards or put them into hot, soapy water.

19. Stickers

People might call this a cheat’s craft. I don’t care. My toddler loves stickers. You can get so many different ones now that they never get boring. You could encourage your toddler to decorate a toy box with stickers or they could put some stickers on a plastic cup which they could then use as a pen holder.

20. Egg carton caterpillars

Save some empty egg cartons. Cut them up so all of the egg holes are separated.

Punch holes in the sides of the egg holes. Thread a piece of string, or a pipe cleaner through the holes of each egg hole and tie a knot at either side. You could also draw a face at the head end of the caterpillar.

21. Cardboard box drawing

Got a large cardboard box from the last time you moved house? Stick your toddler inside it with pens and let her go crazy colouring all sides of the inside of the box.

An easy and limited clean-up activity. Plus the box should still be ok to use again afterwards.

22. Leaf and petal collage

Take your toddler for a walk to gather leaves and flowers.

Pick the petals from the flowers and then encourage your toddler to create a nature collage by sticking them down on a piece of paper or thin card.

23. Cupcakes

These cupcakes were delicious while they lasted

My mum’s cupcake recipe is simple to follow and reliable. The cakes are always delicious. My toddler likes to help stir the mixture and watch me measuring out the ingredients.

She can also help to put the mixture into the cake wraps and loves decorating them once they’re cooled.

Get the cupcake recipe here.

24. Icing and decorating biscuits

If you don’t have time or don’t fancy the effort of baking, this is a brilliant option. Simply buy a packet of biscuits, mix up some icing (or buy some readymade in a can) and let your toddler decorate them.

25. Painting on texture

Gather old bits of cardboard, including thick and thin pieces, and paper. Cut them into smaller pieces and stick them to a piece of A3 card.

Give your toddler a paintbrush and let them decorate the picture. The different textures will inspire their painting.

26. Wool stamps

Get some string or wool, or garden twine. Wrap it around a Duplo block or similar shaped solid block. Tie a knot to keep it tight.

Encourage your toddler to dip this into paint and then make stamps on a piece of paper. It creates a really interesting pattern.

27. Tree Finger painting

My tree isn’t brilliant but she has fun dabbing leaves on to it

Draw the trunk and branches of a tree with a brown pen. Then get some green and yellow paints in bowls. Encourage your toddler to use their finger to dip into the paint, then splodge some leaves on the branches.

28. Potato stamps

You can make elaborate shapes with this or keep it simple.

Get a potato (the variety really doesn’t matter) and cut it in half. If you want to make a specific shape, draw it on the flat side of the potato and then cut out with a sharp knife. Alternatively just use the potato half as it is.

All your child needs to do is paint the flat side and press it to the paper they’re painting on.

29. Comb rainbows

This makes some really cool patterns. You can buy cheap combs from the supermarket or pound shop.

Dollop all the colours of the rainbow onto a tray or large plate. Make them close to each other and roughly the length of the comb you’re going to use.

Get your toddler to dip the teeth of the comb into the paint. They can then brush the rainbow colours into a piece of paper with the comb.

30. Printables

There are loads of free printables for children’s colouring activities on the Internet. Do a search for your child’s favourite theme – unicorns, cars, whatever they like. There’s something for everyone!

31. Scratch art

Baker Ross do some amazing scratch art shapes. You can get animals and all kinds of other shapes. All they need to do is scratch away the black coating to reveal the colours underneath.

Try these ones: Kids Craft Scratch Art Heart Magnets to Design with Love for Valentines or Mothers Day (Pack of 10)

32. Sand painting

Get some play sand (the stuff you use to fill sandpits). Mix together with paint. Make as much as you think you need using the ratio of one measure of sand to 0.5 of the paint.

Give your toddler a paint brush and watch them enjoy their extra special paint.

33. Card-making

Got a special occasion coming up?

Get your toddler to make a card using the craft, colour or design of their choice. Your relative will love the personal touch.

34. Sun catcher kit from Baker Ross

Sun catcher by Baker Ross

My daughter and her sun catcher

There are so many amazing craft ideas at Baker Ross and it’s all such good value. The sun catcher kit is really easy. With this value pack you get a few pens for the decorating.

The glass sun catchers are ready to decorate, simply encourage your toddler to colour the different shapes and spaces. You can then add a piece of string and hang it in their window.

Visit Baker Ross.
I like this kit too: Butterfly Mini Suncatchers Glass Effect Acrylic Decorations 7cm with Ribbons Children’s Painting Craft (Pack of 12)

35. Brilliant brownies

Triple chocolate brownies recipe

Licking the spoon is absolutely required

I’ve yet to come across a better brownie recipe. I am a total chocoholic and this recipe satisfies my cravings and then some. They are totally amazing because they have chocolate chips in, giving a different texture as well as the gooey cake.

My toddler loves helping to drop the chocolate chunks into the mixture.

Triple chocolate brownies

Brownie heaven

Find the brownie recipe here.

36. Decorate something for the Christmas tree

Hobbycraft do Christmas tree decorations in loads of shapes and sizes. There’s a brilliant selection. I bought a little star for my daughter to paint.

Alternatively, you can visit a ceramic painting centre which usually have Christmas themed pottery to paint at this time of year. If you get a bauble or similar that’s big enough you can capture your child’s handprints, which makes a beautiful keepsake to get out every year.

37. Paper plate picture

Let their imagination take over

Use a plain white paper plate to create a pretty scene. You could encourage your toddler to paint it blue, then get cotton wool and stick it on to create a blue sky with clouds. You could also stick pipe cleaners in wavy lines to symbolise the sea.

38. Foot painting

Do this one outside and use a very large piece of paper. Get a tray and pour some paint into it. Remove your toddler’s shoes and socks. Encourage them to stand in the tray and then walk across the paper.

39. Lollystick wand

Get some cardboard and cut out several star shapes. Encourage your toddler to paint these and some lolly sticks.

Once the paint is dry, stick two stars to the top of one lolly stick (one on each side of the stick).

40. Tissue paper sticking

Grab some tissue paper or wrapping paper, cut it into squares and then let your toddler stick it to a piece of paper however she wants.

40 easy activities for toddlers


40 fun activities for two-year-olds #parenting #toddler

Burnished Chaos
Me, Being Mummy
40 easy activities for toddlers

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  1. October 30, 2017 / 6:58 am

    There are some great ideas here – my 2-year-old loves crafty things but I’m crap at them! I’ve bookmarked this page so I can go back to it for ideas. #familyfunlinky

    • themummybubbleblog
      October 30, 2017 / 8:48 am

      Fab, hope you enjoy! I am appalling at most crafts, can just about bake, but can’t draw to save my life xx

  2. October 30, 2017 / 8:26 am

    So many great ideas!!! You’ve got rainy days covered for the whole of winter!! Thankyou for sharing 🙂 #FamilyFun

    • themummybubbleblog
      October 30, 2017 / 8:46 am

      Thanks lovely x

  3. October 30, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    WOW- that is a whopping list! Loads to inspire me there- thank you. #familyfunlinky

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Hope it’s useful xx

  4. October 30, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    This is a brilliant list, going to bookmark for when I need it at a later date. Thank you for sharing X #honeybeelinky

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you xx

  5. October 30, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    Some fab ideas here. I especially love the giant self portrait idea – perfect for when my ragamuffin is at home with daddy for an extra coupleof days over half term. Will be bookmarking this for future reference #HoneybeeLinky

    • themummybubbleblog
      October 30, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you lovely, the giant self portrait is great fun! X

  6. November 1, 2017 / 8:35 am

    I love the bubble wrap print idea! #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. November 1, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Thanks for sharing – these are wonderful ideas. Even better when you host a party and looking for activities to do with kids. At my daughters party last year we did Christmas tree decoration by using popsicle sticks that they painted and decorated with sequence, glitter and other craft materials. Lovely ideas.#fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      That’s such a great idea, I’m going to try that one! X

  8. November 1, 2017 / 9:11 am

    My little one was 2 a few ago, but the “parents who are rubbish at arts and crafts” bit caught my eye… because well, that’s me.
    Also, you have a very chocolate looking chocolate brownie recipe here! YUM! #FamilyFun

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Brilliant, hope it’s useful xx

  9. November 1, 2017 / 10:32 am

    These are fab, we do quite a lot of them here! #FortheLoveofBlog

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks lovely x

  10. November 1, 2017 / 10:41 am

    This is wonderful! So much work put into this post x am pinning it for future reference #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      That’s great to hear, thank you xx

  11. November 1, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Im gonna bookmark this as there is a lot of activities i can do with Ben here! we did baking at the weekend for the first time and when I say we, I mean, I did it.. he stirred the spoon a bit and then stole it and toddled off eating the mix left on the spoon hahaha! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Brilliant, hope it’s useful. Yeah mine just wants to lick the bowl too xx

  12. November 1, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    Bookmarking!! There’s stuff here to do with older kids too – I hate crafting but could give some of these a go, I think!! #fortheloveofblog

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      You definitely can, I hate crafting too but I can manage these ones, just! X

  13. November 1, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Lovely! We painted boxes in the back yard and then built ‘lifesize’ castles or Thomas the Tank Engines….then repainted for a new creation.#ForhteloveofBLOG

  14. November 1, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    This is great, thank you! I am rubbish at crafts so this will be a lifesaver. Jacob is 15 months (nearly) and I keep thinking he’s too young for stuff, but I probably could do a lot of these with him now. Inspiration for my Fridays off. #fortheloveofblog

  15. 100adventureswithj
    November 1, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Some great ideas here! I am impressed that your 2 year old enjoys all these. My son who is 3 in December enjoys crafts but has a very short time span for it and only enjoys the simpler activities (painting on paper, playdough, sticking and cutting). Every time I try a slightly more adventurous craft he seems bored by it (or that it is too complicated for him to bother!) He does LOVE stickers though!! I love the idea of stickering an item that he can then use… He also loves baking so we do quite a bit of that (although my cakes don’t look as neat as yours!) I am going to bookmark this though as I am hoping that next year he will be more interested. Now all he wants to do is move… 24/7! Have you got a Scrapstore near you? #fortheloveofBLOG

  16. November 1, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    Wow, that is a huge list of fun activities. I love how you compiled them all together. I’m not very crafty, but it looks like these are fun crafts that I could do. Thanks for sharing your list of ideas all in one post!

  17. aliduke79hotmailcom
    November 2, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I hate doing crafts, but my daughter loves them. I tend to get the stuff out and watch her do it lol, but she is 12 and can do this stuff on her own now.

  18. November 2, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    You say your rubbish but some of these ideas are pure genius!! I love arts and crafts but that also means I struggle to do them with my son as he’s very fluid with his interpretation of our activities!! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Ah thanks so much lovely xxx

  19. November 2, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Hi, thanks for sharing these great ideas. My top ones would have to be chocolate brownies and a giant self portrait #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      The brownies are amazing x

  20. November 2, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Soooo many good ideas here!! I’m off arts and crafts for a little while after a Halloween mishap which ended up in BLACK paint all over our carpet 🙁 #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 2, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      Oh nooo, that’s not great! Hope it comes out xx

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 4, 2017 / 8:08 am

      That’s great to hear, thank you x

  21. November 3, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    oh so many great ideas, will have to save this for later. I used to be really arty but I just don’t have the patience with my toddler unfortunately lol I used to love photography and collage, he’s only just turned 2 and the getting messy with paints is become something he enjoys lately but gets bored quick. some great ideas here. #fortheloveofblog

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 4, 2017 / 8:09 am

      Thank you lovely, mine gets bored quickly as well! X

  22. November 3, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    Loads of great stuff here. I’m terrible at crafts. I’m ok with the baking stuff but anything that involves paint, or glitter and I go into panic mode . I’ll have to try out a few of these.
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 4, 2017 / 8:10 am

      Same, I don’t like the mess! I try to paint proof everything in the vicinity before the painting starts xx

  23. November 3, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    Some great ideas here. I’m terrible at arts and crafts! We’ve definitely done lots of cupcakes and baking in general, and instead of paper plate faces, Toby is always using paper plates to design steering wheels … #fortheloveofBLOG

    • themummybubbleblog
      November 4, 2017 / 8:11 am

      Ah thanks so much Tim. That’s a great idea on the paper plates, we will have to try that one! X

  24. November 4, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Gosh there really are a lot of different activities for little ones. #FamilyFunLinky

  25. mebeingmummy
    November 6, 2017 / 12:04 am

    Wow! You have been so busy! Am so impressed because I literally go blank in the head when it comes to entertaining Teddy at home sometimes. This list has given me some real inspiration for the next time a rainy day happens, thank you lovely. #HoneybeeLinky xxx

  26. November 6, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Ah Vicky I LOVE these ideas! I’m rubbish at crafts but definitely feel these are doable! Love the multi pen toilet roll idea, going to try that later! Such a refreshing read from the usual Pinterest craft activities that need you to have a degree in Fine Art xx #fortheloveofBlog

  27. November 7, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    This is actually the best post ever! I really needed to read this as I was in serious need of some inspiration for new things to do with Amelie. THANK YOU! #fortheloveofblog

  28. November 7, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Fab ideas!!! Small girl at now 9 still loves crafting and I think I can definitely adapt some of these ideas for us!! #fortheloveofBLOG

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