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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Toddler Art Activity: Materials Play Roundup

It feels good to be back at The Carle! I've been scarce for a while because a very young person has come to live with my family and I took some time off to get to know her. In the past two months I've learned that life as a working mom of 2 kids under 2 years old is super busy but full of learning. I'm grateful that I get to spend time at home and time at The Carle learning about how toddlers explore materials and use them to make discoveries about the world... While I've been out for most of our last Friday morning Materials Play for Toddlers series in the Studio, I wanted to share some pictures that were captured in a few of the sessions.

Pictured above: marbles, tempera paint, liquid watercolor paint, & black construction paper placed in the bottom of a plastic paper tray. Below, paper circles, cookie tins,  tempera and liquid water color paint. Shake rattle and roll! ***Safety Note: if marbles are a choking hazard in your setting try golf balls or ping pong balls.***


Below: plexi mirrors, washable markers, water-soluble oil pastels, wide cups of water and brushes.


Truck Printing! Tempera squeezed into trays, toy cars and rolling stampers, black paper taped to the floor in the shape of a road. Secondary colors (violet, green and orange) chosen so that the mixture of the 3 would resemble mud.)


A buffet of beautiful ingredients: (colorful paper dot confetti, raffia snipped to smithereens, reflective plastic Easter grass, plastic newspaper bag shreds, white feathers, yarn scraps, clementines box mesh, (in other words, all the bits we had laying around) . . .


. . . pressed and sprinkled onto contact paper (paper frame attached first). This is my own sun catcher experiment. My guest's compositions were less ordered, more spontaneous.

The Eric Carle Museum

I hope this inspired some experimentation and creative fun with your toddlers! Happy mess-making!



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



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