I love to craft and complete DIY projects. I was super pumped to share my love of “making stuff” with the Trikester, but until recently, he just wasn’t developmentally ready. Now that he’s a little more capable, I’ve started scouring Pinterest for toddler craft ideas. In pinning project after project, I realized that I needed to buy art supplies specifically for the Trikester. After looking at a ton of activities, I’ve come up with a list of 22 things that will you’ll need to do the majority of toddler DIY craft projects you’ll find on Pinterest. You might have to supplement an activity with one or two specialty things, but this basic kit should include most of what’s required for lots of DIY fun. When the urge to craft hits, your toddler will be good to go!
1) Storage bin – When I started crafting with the Trikester, I didn’t have anywhere to store our supplies, so it ended up spread out all over the house, stuffed in cabinets and closets — it took me 15 minutes to just find all the stuff we needed for a project. Now, with one super large storage bin, it’s easy to get what we need and keep everything organized. When you’re choosing one, make sure it fits a magazine file (see item 2) standing upright.
2) Magazine file – A magazine file is essential to organize construction paper. It’s just the right size, and keeps the paper standing upright, so you don’t have to dig to the bottom of your bin.
3) Plastic take out containers – My toddler destroys cardboard boxes. We use take out containers to store markers, crayons, glue sticks, etc. It allows him to sort through things without making a huge mess, and helps speed-up clean-up when we can just throw them in a tub, rather than organize everything into the original box.
4) Washable paint – I’d skip finger paint and just go with washable paint. Even though it’s thinner, it still works just fine. As a friend pointed out, thinner paint means it’s harder to get a throw-able handful.
5) Washable markers – These markers, as promised, wash off furniture and walls pretty easily. They tend to stain his hands a little bit, but it usually comes off by the end of the day. My only complaint is that the marker tops are hard for him to take off and put back on independently.
6) Crayons – Luckily, crayons are cheap, as my toddler likes to bite the tips off. Plan on replacing a box every few months if you use them frequently.
7) Pipe cleaners – Tons of Pinterest crafts and activities require pipe cleaners.
8) Clothespins – Another frequent Pinterest supply, especially for learning activities.
9) Pom poms – These are used for everything from painting to decorating on many different toddler activities.
10) Tissue paper – Tissue paper is another common craft supplies – it’s cheap, and easy to apply with a glue stick.
11) Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are often used for learning activities, making masks, building things, etc.
12) Safety scissors – So I bought the Trikester toddler scissors thinking he’d be ready for them, but at almost 2.5 years old, he’s not there yet. These are a really quality pair, so I’ve been using them for cutting projects until he can handle it independently.
13) Cupcake liners – Cupcake liners are on lots of Pinterest craft project supplies lists. Pick a pack with a variety of colors.
14) Construction paper – I’d say at least half the toddler crafts on Pinterest require construction paper. This is a nice big pack that should last you a while.
15) Glue sticks – Glue sticks are the easiest way for toddlers to attach things. Once we got over trying to apply the glue stick to our lips like Chapstick, he quickly got the hang of it. Buy them in bulk, as you go through them quickly.
16) Yarn – Lots of projects require yarn, and it’s also great for hanging completed works of art.
17) Foam brushes – At two years old, it’s easiest for the Trikester to manage a foam brush. It’s a little stiffer than traditional paint brushes, so for now, this is our go to. Its handle is also great for making dots with paint.
18) Paper plates – We use paper plates for paint palettes, but there are tons and tons of toddler Pinterest projects that use paper plates, too. If you can find sturdy ones without a design on the front, get those, as designs usually show through washable paint when you’re using them for a craft project.
19) Wipes – Clean-up’s a drag. When we’re crafting I keep wipes nearby for emergency clean-ups mid-project, which helps my sanity a little.
20) Ziploc bags – Toddler science projects on Pinterest often involve mixing stuff in plastic bags. They’re also great for helping organize the smaller supplies like pompoms, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners.
21) Smock – For some reason, we always craft in the morning, typically in our pajamas, so even though I don’t really care about a few paint splatters, it just makes cleanup easier if he’s dressed in a smock.
22) Plastic tablecloth – With a plastic tablecloth, I can just wipe it off and fold it up, and it’s always ready to go when we want to make something – easier than digging newspapers out of the recycling bin.
And that’s it! If you gather up these 22 things, you’ll be well on your way to mastering a majority of the toddler crafts on Pinterest!