Simple Arts and Crafts ideas for 1-Year-Olds

For 1-year-olds, the range of activities they can do may seem limited. However, it’s crucial that children build their creativity and motor skills early on. What simple arts and crafts can 1 year old do?

There are plenty of simple arts and crafts ideas for 1-year-olds that you can easily do. By using non-toxic and easy-to-clean art supplies, like stickers and washable paints, you can have arts and craft time with your 1-year-old without a fuss. 

Toddler-friendly art supplies are plentiful and easy to find. Discover arts and crafts activities for 1-year-olds and why creative projects aid their brain development.

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Jumbo Crayons and Leaf Rubbing

While regular-sized crayons may be too difficult to hold for 1-year-olds, jumbo crayons are the perfect size for their tiny hands. These art tools are also a great option for toddlers as their motor skills aren’t fully developed and may make a mess. With crayons, it’s easy to contain any disarray and keep your child clean. 

One craft idea you can do with crayons is leaf rubbing. All you and your toddler need for this project are crayons, leaves, and paper. For leaf rubbing, you’re trying to outline the shape of the leaves. To do so, you’ll first need to head outside and pick some fun-looking leaves. Next, you’ll place a leaf upside down, veins facing upward.

Then, place a thin piece of paper over the leaf and use the side of the jumbo crayon to color over the area of the leaf. After coloring over the entire leaf, you’ll see a distinct outline and you’re done! Your baby will easily be able to grab the crayon and have fun with nature.

When you go outside searching for leaves, this is also a great opportunity for your 1-year-old to engage with nature and let them feel and see the various kinds of leaves around them. Building a connection with nature is just as critical for their creativity as is arts and crafts.

Playdough (non-toxic, edible, and homemade)

While playdough will initially seem like a bad idea, there are safe homemade recipes your baby can enjoy. With this five-minute edible playdough recipe, your 1-year-old can play with playdough without you worrying. The ingredients include:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Food coloring, assorted colors

What you’ll need to do first is combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and cream of tartar) in a bowl. Then, add your choice of oil, water, and around eight drops of food coloring. Be sure to mix the food coloring completely into the rest of the ingredients. After, you’ll need to knead the dough until it reaches the perfect playdough texture.

Now, with this safe-to-consume playdough, you can let your baby can safely play with this dough and even mix the different colored dough together. This activity will surely help them further develop their creativity and motor skills while squishing and mixing colors.

Sticker Books

Sticker books are perfect for parents who are trying to avoid as much chaos as possible. While you may worry that your child will stick a thousand pesky stickers all over the house, there’s no sticky disaster that Goo Gone can’t undo. 

Like all parents, sometimes we just need a moment where our toddlers can be occupied while we take a minute of relaxation. Stickers and sticker books allow 1-year-olds to practice their fine motor skills and learning, while you sit back and breathe in… and out.

While simple stickers can be entertaining for toddlers, informative sticker books can also teach them about different topics like first words or different animals. Trust us when we say that sticker books will definitely become you and your toddler’s new best friend. 

Bathtub Painting

Toddlers love making a mess. So, why not let them? When placing them in the bathtub and allowing them to paint freely, they’re able to hone in their creativity without any restrictions. 

Major tip: Make sure to give your toddler washable paint that’s also non-toxic. Washable water-based paints will ensure that they’ll easily wash off their skin and clothes, including the bathtub.

Not only is this arts and crafts idea guaranteed to make your 1-year-old the happiest camper on planet Earth, but it will also occupy them for the longest amount of time. 

Why 1-Year-Olds Need Arts and Craft

Utilizing different yet simple arts and craft ideas with your 1 year old develop their find and gross motor skills which they’ll need soon once they’re in school. Coloring and playing with dough can help your child gain better hand-eye coordination which is a critical skill. This is needed to properly hold, catch, and throw various objects.

Aside from essential skills like hand-eye coordination or eye tracking, they also explore the world around them by using their imagination and creativity. This imagination and curiosity in your 1-year-old can help them build a lifelong relationship with learning and thinking about the world around them. 


With countless yet simple arts and crafts ideas made for 1 year-olds, your toddler can stay endlessly creative and entertained. The principal rule to follow is that all toys and art supplies are non-toxic and easy to wash off. This goes for washable bathtub pains and homemade playdough. 

Meanwhile, 1-year-olds will also need art supplies that they can easily handle, such as jumbo crayons or stickers. Both craft ideas have infinite art project opportunities, from leaf-rubbing drawings that engage with nature to sticker collages made entirely of animals that they can learn. 

Rather than just handing a 1-year-old a tablet, an arts and crafts activity can ensure that your baby is developing the proper skills they need to boost their brain and prepare them for school. Whether it’s their fine motor skills or imagination, arts and crafts can better equip your child for their education and real-life experiences.

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