Little Picassos

Top 10 Speedy Art Activities for Restless Toddlers


Here is my Top 10 List of Speedy Art Activities that will entertain your restless toddler in a pinch! These activities are designed to bring calm to your storm, without a lot of prep!

1. Play Doh
Sure this seems like a no-brainer, but grab a rolling pin and some cookie cutters and you have yourself a 10-20 minute break!

2. Pasta Necklaces
Grab a piece of yarn (or pipe cleaner) and a bowl of dry pasta ( preferably Penne or Paccheri — anything with a hole) and let your Little Picasso go to town!

3. Painted Pasta Necklaces
Extend your pasta necklaces and let your Little Picasso paint them with liquid tempera paint.

4. Mess Free Painting
You can read the full instructions here, or buy yourself a Buddha board!

5. Cheerio Circle
Draw an outline of a circle on a piece of paper. Cover it with a light layer of white glue and have your little one stick cheerios all around.

6. Ice Painting
This one takes a bit of prep, but if you can save it for a rainy day. All you need is an ice cube tray and food colouring (can be natural, like beets, and turmeric). Fill the ice cube trays with water, add a couple drops of food colouring and then add a Popsicle stick. Put it in the freezer. Once frozen, your Little Picasso can paint with the ice!

7. Felt Board
Grab one large piece of green or black felt, hot glue it to a piece of foam board. Cut out shapes using other colours of felt. Have your Little Picasso use those shapes to create a picture over and over again. This is also great for learning shapes!

8. Sticker Sorting
Grab four pieces of bristol board or construction paper – green, red, yellow, blue. Grab those coloured circle stickers too (the ones people use for yard sales, also green, red, yellow and blue). Have your Little Picasso sort those stickers. Talk about busy work!

9. Secret Messages
Using a white crayon, draw a simple picture or pattern on a white piece of paper. Give your Little Picasso a watercolour tray (dollar store) and a paint brush. Have them decode the message!

10. Obstacle Drawing
This might be for a slightly older Little Picasso (2.5-3). On a piece of white paper, create an obstacle course of plain stickers. Have your Little Picasso draw a path around the obstacles with crayons.

Happy Creating!

Looking for more? Check out last week’s post here!


I’m Char, Mike’s wife and Ben’s mama. We live in the east end and love long walks on the beach with our spunky wiener dog Sammie. My weeks often straddle a fine line as a stay-at-home mama, while hustling as an arts educator and freelance content writer/ illustrator. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be under the pile of laundry with my toddler, prepping materials for my next art workshop.

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