Parents are often eager to introduce arts and crafts to their young children, only to feel disappointed that their child won't follow along.
I think this happens because parents remember arts and crafts being so much fun as a child. They're excited to recreate those memories with their own kids.
You just might be remembering your own experience with arts and crafts at a much later age, more like 6+ years old, instead of 2.
Some toddlers have ZERO interest in art, while others may only be interested in the tactile exploration of the materials, like finger painting.
Every child is different but there are a few things to keep in mind that will make the experience morefun, both for you and your toddler:
1. Toddlers are focused on process rather than product.
This is not only true for art, it's likely the case with most toddler activities.
They like washing the windows because of the process, not because they want the house the have clean windows (I wish!).
When you do a craft with a toddler, they likely will not care about creating a finished product, i.e. a card for mom's birthday. That will come later.
Instead toddlers tend to enjoy more open-ended art.
Instead, view it as an opportunity to explore creativity and develop their unique creative expression, rather than the chance to complete a "project".
2. Present opportunities for tactile exploration.
Children learn so much about the world through their hands so opportunities to explore art in this way is important.
Activities like finger painting and play dough are likely to be much more fun for toddlers than drawing or painting with a brush.
That’s not to say that you can’t introduce a paintbrush, but don’t be surprised if your child eventually puts the brush down and paints with their hands.
3. What to do if you if your child is still mouthing things
Art activities can be challenging when your child is still exploring things with their mouth.
If so, they may not be ready yet and the activities can be introduced at a later time. The alternative is to use materials that are safe for exploration with all of the senses, like edible finger paint or play dough.