With all this time at home with our young children, activities can get a bit monotonous, can’t they? We’ve asked our resident Childcare Expert and Registered Childmider Chloe put together a list of arts and craft essentials for under 5’s which hopefully will buy you some time and engage them in some creativity long enough for at least a hot drink!

We’ve picked easily accessible, cheap and re-usable options in the hope you’ll find something that will capture your little one’s interest.

Paint & Paintbrushes

Despite the mess, paint and opportunities to paint objects, paint their hands and create handprints or simply mix colours can capture a child’s interest for a significant period of time! You can add paintbrushes, household objects to create different prints or task them with creating something for a family member – but just be prepared for the clean up afterwards!

Crayons & Chalks

A less messy, but good materials to explore whilst introducing early mark-making skills, crayons and chalks are a great way for children to express themselves. You could even take the chalks outside and do it on a larger scale on the pavement or in your garden, safe in the knowledge that it will easily wash away!

Chunky crayons are great for chubby little hands too and allows them to explore mark-making from an early age.

Stickers (Assorted sizes)

Whether they are character/themed stickers or small coloured dot stickers, these are a great resource for not only occupying young children’s attention, but for working on those fine motor skills too – children will learn just as much from the intricate act of peeling and holding the stickers as they will from sticking them onto surfaces/paper/themselves – an all round winner!

Assorted Paper/Card/Envelopes

Don’t just provide children with bog standard white paper/card to create on; offer a selection of different types/colours/shapes/sizes and so you can talk to them about the base of their art before the activity has already begun! Children may even begin to notice how painting on different materials feels/looks different – painting on silver foil for example is a lovely alternative to using paper!


Like stickers, stamps are a great fine-motor opportunity for children, but in addition are a great way to introduce young children to the concept of writing and sending letters, so next time they make a picture for Granny, why not give them an envelope and a stamp and post their letter for real! Simple, but so effective and so exciting for tiny minds!

Pipe Cleaners

Pipe cleaners are a great resouruce to have in the craft box because they are so durable and easy to manipulate for tiny hands.

Not only can they be bent, twisted, cut, stuck to crafts, but you can also entwine them as well as threading them through a colander to create an additional activity for your little one which will really challenge those fine motor skills as they pull them out of the individual holes!

Cardboard Tubes

Now here’s something we’ve all got plenty of at home! Long ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, keep them all and add them to that craft box, you never know when you might need them!

They can be telescopes, trumpets, printing tools for your painting, painted to make chimneys or tunnels for cars. Or bend and manipulate them to make shape prints for your art activities – the possibilities are endless!

Hopefully you found this blog useful and have some of the above to hand to keeo little hands and minds busy during lockdown, if you create anything using the resources we’ve mentioned above, do share with us as we’d love to see!