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13 Crafts for Little Artists That Aren’t a Pain to Clean Up

Mess-free arts and crafts for rainy days

Published on: January 10, 2022

Brothers Painting

I think there’s still glitter on my floor. From 5 years ago. Arts and crafts have a way of sticking around, and while I want to encourage creativity in my kids, I hate cleaning up the aftermath.

Yes, we can make them clean up. I know. But seriously? Do they ever really clean it all up? If you’re going to be the one picking up from the latest art-making session, here are 13 crafts that will make your job easier and allow your little artist to be creative.

1. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Combo Scratch Art Set

I love this. Still. And kids are drawn to it. Scratch through the black surface to discover amazing colors. Reveal as much or as little as you want. This favorite comes with 16 boards, two stylus tools and three frames. Kids love the rainbow and metallic backgrounds.

Scratch Art Set

2. Boogie Board Jot Reusable Writing Tablet

A small notebook-sized LCD drawing panel, the Boogie Board Jot is perfect for drawing anywhere, even in the car. No mess and endless possibilities. Kids love the erase button and the ability to start fresh. This is a great for keeping in your purse when you're on the go with the kids.

Boogie Board Jot LCD eWriter

3. Made by Me Build & Paint Your Own Wooden Cars

This one does involve painting, but it’s all pretty self-contained. Spread a piece of newspaper and grab a cup of water. Kids put together small wooden cars and then decorate them using the stickers and paints provided. 

Wooden Cars

4. Fashion Angels Interior Design Sketch Portfolio

Kids design outfits and unique looks on the doll-like outlines provided. This line offers tons of great activity books with stencils for kiddos who love to create fun fashion looks. Makeup, fashion and even home decorating books give kids great ways to draw and imagine as they get older.

Fashion Angels Portfolios

5. Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow

Sometimes the little ones just want to paint. This is a great compromise that just involves water! Watch images and colors appear magically as your little artist swipes a wet brush across a page!

Paint with Water

6. Alex Toys Craft Color a House Children’s Kit

Cardboard box play gets taken to the next level, as kids can easily construct a house and then decorate it with crayons. Toddlers love this activity and it keeps them busy for hours!

Color a House Children's Kit

7. Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Light Brush

Half the fun of this amazing toy is the magic! Kids use a special brush to paint on their paper. It lights up with each color they pick as they create their masterpieces. Plus, it doesn’t leave marks on hands, the table or clothes!

Magic Light Brush

8. WikkiStix Rainbow Pak

These bendy, twisty sticks quickly become a favorite of kids and adults alike. You can link them together and twist them to make imaginative creations — without making a mess to clean up. Another great toy for the traveling creative!

Rainbow Wikki Stix

9. Cra-Z- Art Sidewalk Chalk

Let nature take care of the cleanup! Kids love the ability to leave their mark and draw outdoors. A bucket of sidewalk chalk fits the bill, and all you have to do is wash hands when art time is over!

Sidewalk Chalk

10. Creative Hands Foam Kit Beads 2 Lace

A fun toy that is great for fine motor development, Beads 2 Lace gives kids the chance to string chunky foam beads of different shapes and colors to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. While there are a lot of pieces, this one is easy to clean up. You can even make a game out of tossing the foam pieces back into the bucket when you’re done!

Foam Beads

11. Alex Toys Little Hands Picture Mosaics

Kids place the color-coded stickers provided on the template to create a beautiful picture. These are great for hanging up when they’re complete! This is an artful project that also offers fantastic color- and shape-matching and fine motor development.

Little Hands Mosaics

12. Crayola Model Magic

Softer and airier than the traditional playdough, Model Magic provides a great way to let kids mold and shape with less mess! It also air-dries to solid, giving little artists the chance to create forever masterpieces!

Model Magic

13. Crayola Bathtub Finger Paint and Crayons

When you can’t avoid the mess, at least confine it to the easiest place for cleaning up! Finger paints and crayons specifically designed for the tub give kids the chance to make a beautiful mess. 

Bathtub Finger Paints

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