Drawing For 1 Year Old

By Lynn •  Updated: 12/20/23 •  14 min read
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Can’t wait to do arts and crafts with your one-year-old? We get it! Thankfully, drawing for 1 year old is possible and by putting to use a few tips and tricks you can enjoy at least a few minutes of drawing and coloring with your child on a daily basis. Interested in learning more? Let’s dive in!

Can 1 Year Olds Draw?

Drawing For 1 Year Old Kids

One-year-olds cannot draw in the traditional sense, however, they can often draw on paper in the form of scribbles and squiggles. It isn’t until your kiddo is about two-years-old that actual lines and circles may appear on the paper, and even then, it may not be very neat. 

Still, this shouldn’t discourage you from drawing on paper with your one-year-old. In fact, by offering your baby various mediums by which he or she can scribble, you may find that your child grows to love arts and crafts as time goes on. Not to mention, these types of activities are great for developing hand, wrist, and arm strength

Crayons beside child coloring

Can I Give My 1 Year Old Crayons?

Yes, you can, with a few guidelines. 

First and foremost, be sure to give your toddler chunky or jumbo-sized crayons that rest comfortably in their hands. Though this isn’t a requirement, it can help your child get a better grip while he or she is attempting to color for the first time.

Next, you’ll want to be sure that the crayons that you give your child are non-toxic. Because babies this age love to put things in their mouths, it is imperative that the crayons you purchase are safe. You also will want to check that the crayons are washable so that if your baby decides to color on something other than paper when you aren’t looking, you aren’t at a total loss. 

Can a 1 Year Old Color?

You may be surprised to know that one-year-olds can color, just not like the way that older children typically do. 

Your one-year-old is likely going to make scribbles on the paper, and some babies may even start to make attempts at drawing lines and circles with crayons. Either way, your child’s way of coloring will be marked by his or her age and ability, and as such, you shouldn’t expect your one-year-old to color like an older child.

One-year-old children will color outside of the lines and may not understand how to color one specific area. Rather than putting pressure on your child by correcting everything they do, simply allow your baby to explore coloring using chunky crayons, markers, and other artsy mediums as you supervise and guide. 

Whatever you do, just be sure NOT to allow your baby to put craft supplies in their mouths or to mark up anything other than paper. 

Coloring For 1 Year Old

Remember, coloring for a one-year-old can be a lot of fun and can even bolster language and vocabulary development along with other toys for toddlers with speech delays, but it may look different than what you were expecting. Your child may even walk away from the craft activities after a short period of time! This is completely normal. The average attention span of a 1 or 2-year-old child is only 3-6 minutes, so don’t expect your baby to want to color much longer than this. 

Still, by providing ample craft supplies and coloring materials, or by incorporating your child’s daily coloring and drawing routine into your daily circle time for toddlers, you may find that your baby sticks with coloring a little longer than you expect, especially as he or she begins to age. 


Best Arts and Crafts For 1 Year Old

Drawing Toys For 1 Year Old

Drawing Tablet For 1 Year Old

LCD Writing Tablet for Kids: If you are looking for fun and creative ways to get your one-year-old engaged, look no further than a writing tablet. Although your cutie won’t be able to make the fun designs you see in the picture, he or she will likely love scribbling on the tablet and will get even more use out of it as they age.

LCD Writing Tablet, 2 Pack 10 Inch Colorful Doodle Board Drawing Pad for Kids, Erasable Electronic Painting Pads, Learning Educational Toy Gift for Age 3 4 5 6 7 8 Year Old Girls Boys Toddlers
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Drawing Board For 1 Year Old

Tomons Art Easel for Kids: This adjustable easel is perfect for toddlers and older children alike! It ranges in height from 32” to 42” and comes with a magnetic dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other side. It also comes with chalk, markers, and other accessories so you don’t have to feel like you have to purchase everything separately. 

Tomons Art Easel for Kids, Double-Sided Magnetic Dry Erase Board and Chalk Board Adjustable Standing Kids Easel for Toddlers Boys and Girls
Buy on Amazon

Water Drawing Mat For 1 Year Old

Water Doodle Mat for Kids: If you’ve never heard of water mat, you’re in for a real treat. A water mat enables your toddler to paint and draw using only one medium– water! This makes for an awesome mess-free experience that both you and your child can appreciate!

Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle Mat 40 X 32 Inches Extra Large Water Drawing Doodling Mat Coloring Mat Educational Toys Gifts for Kids Toddlers Boys Girls Age 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Year Old
Buy on Amazon

Drawing Mat For 1 Year Old

H2o Doodle Water Doodle Mat: Another water mat? Yes, but this one’s for the road. This mini-sized portable water mat drawing pad is perfect for littles both in the house and while out and about! 

H2o Doodle Water Doodle Mat-Aqua Magic Mat-Doodle Board for Road Trip Activities for Kids-Water Drawing Mat-Aqua Mat for Color Wonder(Bugs Life P)
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Art Supplies For 1 Year Old

Washable Dot Markers for Toddlers with 48 Pages Tearable Activity Book for Toddler Arts: These non-toxic water-based washable dot markers are another great medium to introduce to your one-year-old without fearing too much mess. Of course, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your little one as he or she experiments with these, but be prepared for squeals of joy as they make bright markings on pages with these fun dot markers. 

Toddler Painting Set Featuring Paint Cups and Toddler Paint Brushes: Looking for a way for your toddler to explore the wonderful world of painting but without spills? These enclosed paint cups are color-coded to keep your kiddo from mixing colors while also keeping everything contained in one cup. The bonus is that the canisters also come with their own colored paintbrushes! Score!

Crayola My First Palm Grip Crayons: While buying palm grip crayons aren’t always necessary for littles, the shape of these particular crayons can really help if this is your baby’s first time holding a crayon. Plus, they’re really cool to look at!

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Brush Set: These jumbo paint brushes are another favorite for chubby toddler hands as they are easier to grip and control.

Drawing Materials For 1 Year Old

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons: In addition to the egg-shaped crayons mentioned above, these triangular-shaped crayons can also work great for toddler grip. They come in ten vibrant colors and also come with their own flip-top case. These crayons are also very durable and are more difficult to break which is helpful, especially for babies who love to put things in their mouths! 

Melissa & Doug Drawing Paper Pad: No collection of art supplies is complete without paper, right? Try this 3-pack of durable drawing paper to keep your child stocked with plenty of sheets to keep them busy day-to-day. 

Magnetic Drawing Board For 1 Year Old

BABLOCVID Toddler Magnetic Drawing Board: You may remember the infamous MagnaDoodle from when you were a kid, but did you know that this is also an excellent addition to your baby’s art supplies collection? No mess, no fuss, a magnetic drawing board is perfect for busting boredom without breaking out all of the craft supplies. And these days, there are plenty of options outside of the typical Magna-Doodle available such as this one by BABLOCVID. Functioning as a table, this magnetic drawing board features chubby magnets, a pen, and colored ink making for a fun and engaging experience that kiddos of all ages will love! 

BABLOCVID Toddler Toys,Toys for 1-2 Year Old Girls,Magnetic Drawing Board,Magna Erasable Doodle Board for Kids,Toddler Baby Toys 18 Months to 3 Girls Boys
Buy on Amazon

Montessori Art Supplies 1 Year Old

Bambeani Montessori Sand Tray with Flashcard Holder and Flashcards: Love all things Montessori? So do we. That’s why we are so pleased to present to you this sand tray that functions not only as a beautiful Montessori heirloom toy but also as a very functional and practical way for your child to engage their senses through art. Moreover, this Montessori sand tray doubles as an educational tool that you can use for practicing numbers and letters making this a worthwhile investment.

Bambeani Montessori Sand Tray with Flashcard Holder and Flashcards | Play Sand & Wooden Stylus | Kids Wooden Toys | Montessori Toys | Tactile & Sensory Toys for Alphabet Learning
Buy on Amazon

Paint For 1 Year Old

Veggie Baby Finger Paints for Toddlers: Still worried that all of these fun art supplies are going to end up in your baby’s mouth? We get it. Why not try out this vegan, organic, non–toxic baby-friendly paint that is made from all-natural organic vegetables. Since the paint is edible, you don’t need to worry if a little gets in your baby’s mouth. Moreover, caregivers that have tried it confirm that the colors are vibrant and that the paints far exceed their expectations. A major bonus! 

Veggie Baby Finger Paints for Toddlers, Vegan, Organic Baby Safe Coloring, Play, Colorful Eco Painting (5 Colors)
Buy on Amazon

Drawing Ideas For 1 Year Old

Now that you’ve got the art supplies, let’s get into some drawing ideas for one-year-olds. 

First, it is important to note that one-year-olds aren’t exactly going to be able to “draw” actual objects. 

They can, however, make marks on paper and that should be encouraged. In order to further extend this sort of activity, you may wish to add themed stickers to the paper and have your child “color” the background. 

An example of this might be to add sticker fish to the paper and have your baby color the background blue. Or use farm animal stickers on paper and have your child color –or scribble– in the green grass. 

You may also just let your child be independent and “draw” whatever comes to his or her imagination. Just be sure not to pressure, and certainly not punish, your child while she or he is doing his or her artwork. Remember that your child is quite young and thus should not be expected to color in the lines or to actually draw anything recognizable as these skills come much later on. 

Drawing Lessons For 1 Year Old

Remember that one-year-old toddlers can’t actually draw anything. You can, however, encourage drawing by using the methods mentioned in the section above. Some parents have even seen results with adding stickers to a page and having their child draw a line to match the two stickers. It should be noted though that many babies and toddlers won’t be able to perfectly draw a vertical or horizontal line until the age of two or three. 

Art For One Year Olds

Art for one-year-olds can be tons of fun as long as parents don’t put a lot of undue pressure on the child. It must remain a free and open-ended activity that the child is free to get up from when they’ve had their fill of fun. Knowing this, it may be best to have a few activities planned that don’t require much mess or supplies in the beginning, until your baby gets used to doing arts and crafts with you. Ideas are water paintingmess-free painting bags, magnet drawing boards, and more. 

Drawing For One-Year-Olds Can Be a Ton of Fun!

Drawing for one-year-olds can be a ton of fun, but art activities should be closely monitored at all times. To be safe, consider starting your baby or toddler out with a few mess-free options and then work your way up from there. Once your baby begins to really show interest, you can begin venturing out to the world of real paint, crayons, and other art supplies to keep your baby engaged! 


Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.

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