Your toddler may not be ready for the advanced art projects that elementary school children can complete, but you can still provide her with easy craft projects to promote and encourage creativity. Crafts projects for your three-year-old aren't too involved or complex, and you can use objects and materials found around the house to make the crafts more affordable.
Cut and Paste
Create a collage using colorful or interesting paper and toddler-safe scissors. Place a variety of colorful papers and scissors on the table within reach of your three-year-old. You can arrange the paper in a rainbow display, or simply scatter the paper randomly. Allow your three-year-old to cut out shapes from the paper however she prefers. Cut out defined shapes while she cuts, such as circles, squares or triangles, so that she will observe how you do it. Show her how to paste the shapes onto a blank piece of paper using a glue stick to make a collage or to create a picture, like a tree or an animal.
Teach toddlers how to combine primary colors to create new colors. Place a yellow, blue and red ball of play dough on a table top within reach of your toddler. Show your toddler how she can mix together blue and yellow to make green, red and yellow to make orange, and red and blue to make purple. Allow your toddler to play with the colored play dough to construct objects found in the real world, such as shapes, people, animals or flowers.
Fun with Paint
Provide your three-year-old with an easy to accomplish painting craft. Lay out a large sheet of white craft paper flat on the table. Pour colorful child-safe paint into a few different plastic trays or plastic plates, then show your toddler how to dip her flattened hand into the paint. Press her hand onto the paper to create a hand print. After your child washes off the paint from her hands, allow her to accent the hand print with more paint to turn it into a flower, butterfly or tree.
Toddlers can make many different crafts using just their thumbprints and different craft supplies. Help your three-year-old press his thumb into washable ink, then stamp his thumb onto paper or across a blank paper box or picture frame. After you help him wash his hands, show him how to accent the thumbprints to turn them into caterpillars, people, cars or trains by drawing on legs, arms, windows and wheels.