art experience, collaborative art, inspiration, Parenting, reggio, sensory experience, toddler art

3 Collaborative Art Projects for Toddlers

My daughter (2.y.o) loves creating. I love creating. I’m very much of the philosophy that children need to have access to many different types of art supplies from a young age.

This includes the wonderfully messy items like glue, water color paint, tempera paint, acrylic paint, sharpies, markers, crayons, oil pastels, food coloring, and of course a wide range of materials and textures. Children will get messy, and there is always the possibility to take the project outdoors (for those of us who are a bit scared of the clean-up).

Although much different than being in a classroom, as I’m not always able to be incredibly intentional with the activities and invitations I set up, I do keep a wide range of items that will engage and spark curiosity in my daughter.

Yes, our cupboards are filled to the brim. I collect tree branches on walks, large leaves, bits of basil that fall off the plant outside, lavender, styrofoam trays for mixing paint, and lots and lots of cardboard. A rare but amazing find is magazines. They are quite expensive to buy, but one can fine loads of old magazines at yard sales. You feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. By keeping these materials, I can throw together a collaborative or independent art activity in a flash, and keep my daughter fully immersed in the beautiful process of creating!

Here are 3 ideas for collaborative art projects you can enjoy with your toddler!

Box Collages

You’ll need: small sticks, leaves, rubber bands, a tray to hold paint, tempera or acrylic paint, glue, and a variety of materials such as wrapping paper, magazines, ribbon, gems, stickers, petals, etc.

First, my daughter and I created paint brushes using the small sticks, leaves, and rubber bands. We painted the large box. It was a great experience as painting with this naturally made brush was a much different experience than a plastic brush. The way the brush felt on your hand, the way you had to hold the brush, and the size/shape of the brush strokes.

The next day, we brought our box outside with a variety of materials. My daughter and I spent at least 20 minutes gluing, painting, organizing, and touching the materials. I ended up painting her body with tempera paint, too! My daughter has a touch of SPD (hypersensitive) so the messier the activity the better! 


Colors, Colors, Everywhere!

You’ll need: a long piece of cardboard, tempera or acrylic paints, paint brushes, toys to sort, large sheet (optional) large t-shirt for your toddler to wear (optional)

Super easy and fun. Reuse a long piece of cardboard by creating a color-sort game. We want to increase opportunities for our daughter to imitate/initiate words and sentences during play, and describing toys using colors is a great way to do this.

She’s just starting to enjoy sorting by color. We made this together, and enjoyed mixing the colors as we painted! Definitely prepare to get messy! Keep an old sheet in your kitchen. Place the sheet underneath you as you paint. It doesn’t matter how messy it gets, you can keep reusing once it dries!! 



Add-on Mural 

You’ll need: large piece of cardboard, gemstones, acrylic or tempera paint, container for paints (old beer tops), paper, ribbons, bits of wrapping paper, liquid glue, purple glue stick, dot paints, cut out shapes, foil, different sized paint brushes, and pretty much anything else your heart desires

I love the way this is turning out!! This has turned into an every day art project. My daughter spends 20-30 minutes a day working on this. The top picture shows the first day of painting. We focused on painting with a large brush. The picture on the bottom shows the mural after today’s experience. It’s been so much fun! You’ll see I added some shapes and lines to the left. She’s been experimenting with bits of black paint added to large bursts of color. What a contrast. The possibilities are endless on this one, and I can’t wait to display this somewhere in the house once its finished!


I’d love to hear about the collaborative art projects you’ve done with your toddlers!! Please share in the comments or send me a PM @!

Love always,



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