4 Easy, Non-toxic Craft Ideas for Father’s Day

June 12, 2023

Father’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re co-parenting with a dad and still not sure how to celebrate (we see you, and we promise you’re not the only hot mess!), you’re in luck. You and your little one can make Dad feel special without even having to pay expedited shipping.

That’s right, nothing says "Happy Father's Day" quite like a homemade gift crafted with love by tiny, not-so-coordinated toddler hands. If you're interested in low-mess Father's Day craft ideas, you’ve come to the right place. We have some adorable inspo for how you and your toddler can make Dad feel extra loved this Father's Day. And, most importantly, they're all non-toxic for a happier, healthier celebration.

Why Non-toxic Crafting Matters

Toddler's hand covered in non-toxic paintToddler's hand covered in non-toxic paint

Toddlers’ bodies are small and still developing. Their respiratory systems and metabolisms aren’t as strong as ours. This makes them especially vulnerable to art supplies with toxic chemicals in them. The little hands, mouth, nose and lungs of your toddler are not equipped to handle such harsh substances. Not to mention the fact that toddlers tend to put, well, everything, in their mouths!

Remember those scary terms like VOCs, phthalates, formaldehyde, and ethyl acetate we typically mention? These same substances can sneak into common art supplies, like markers, paints and glues. Exposure to these compounds can cause difficulties breathing, headaches and upset tummies and can even turn fatal if your toddler ingests them. Using safer, non-toxic art supplies is the best way to ensure your kiddo will stay healthier and have a better experience while crafting.

Non-toxic Art Supplies Are Better for the Earth, too

As your toddler grows, they’re going to bring home a lot of different crafts for you and your family – a LOT. Although you can treasure these crafts for years to come, there may come a time where your craft stash becomes too full. And it doesn’t make you a bad parent if you have to clear out your little one’s crafts to make room for more!

But, this does mean that crafts made with toxic art supplies, like oil-based paints, certain glues and solvent-based markers, can end up in our landfills – leaching toxic chemicals into our environment. This can impact our soil, water, air and entire ecosystems. 

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4 Non-toxic Father's Day Crafts

There are so many safer crafts out there that you and your little one can bond over together. If you need some inspiration, the Lullaby Earth team has some non-toxic craft ideas to help your child make something special for Father’s Day. Oh, and did we mention, these toddler-friendly craft ideas won’t trash your house?

1. Handprint Calendar Craft

This craft is a great gift for parents who use monthly calendars in their houses – it’s both creative and functional! Plus, handprint crafts are a sentimental way to remember just how tiny your little one’s hands used to be as they grow through the years.

What you’ll need: 

  • Non-toxic paints (these are some great choices, or make your own using our next craft idea below!)
  • A calendar print-out, preferably bound
  • Paper plate
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint smock
  • Newspaper (optional table cover)


Begin by placing some of your non-toxic paint onto a paper plate and allow your toddler to cover their hand. After this, simply help your toddler place their tiny hand onto the top of the calendar and voilà! A beautiful handprint from your kiddo. If you’d like, encourage your toddler to paint more of the calendar cover, too. 

2. Non-toxic, Edible Finger Painting

Nothing compares to a classic finger-painted picture from your little one. And, with this project, you won’t have to worry if your toddler ingests some of the paint – all of the materials used to make the paint are non-toxic AND edible! (To avoid upset tummies though, it’s best not to encourage your little one to eat the paint.)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of white flour
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • Non-toxic, food-grade food coloring
  • A piece of cardstock or paper
  • Newspaper (optional table cover)


Slowly stir flour into a large bowl with 2 cups of cold water. After it’s mixed, divide the water and flour combination into as many bowls as you would like colors. Your toddler is now ready to paint with non-toxic, edible finger paints!

3. Leaf Art

Child making art from leavesChild making art from leaves

This is a great craft idea that will not only encourage your toddler to be creative, but it will also promote time spent outside together. For this craft, first go outside and choose 2-3 leaves that your toddler finds interesting. Encourage them to choose leaves that they think Dad would love. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 leaves
  • 2 pieces of cardstock or paper
  • Non-toxic crayons


Have your toddler place their leaves onto one piece of paper. Then, cover the leaves with another piece of paper. Once the leaves are covered, encourage your toddler to color over the pieces of paper to reveal beautiful prints of the leaves they chose.

This craft can be made into a beautiful framed photo or can become a special Father’s Day card for Dad. For creative freedom, let your little one decide which direction they want their craft to go!

4. Up-cycled Tissue Box Planter

What better way to craft than to up-cycle materials you already have at home? This fun, DIY tissue box planter is a great gift for Father’s Day as summer is right around the corner. And, it encourages you and your little one to use your Green Thumb and connect with nature together!

What you’ll need: 

  • Tissue box
  • Rope or string
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Planting soil
  • Plant or flower of your choice


Start by covering your tissue box with a layer of non-toxic glue. We really love this plant-based one! Using your string, begin by gluing down the string either in a circular fashion around the entire tissue box or by creating patterns of your toddler’s choosing. 

Make sure to allow the box to fully dry before planting your flower or botanical of choice. This craft makes a great desk or coffee table piece!

Additional Tips for Crafting With Toddlers

Toddler holding up several paint brushesToddler holding up several paint brushes

Toddlers are naturally curious. Try your best to let your little one choose how to create their craft themselves. This will help build decision-making skills and independence. Of course, toddlers can be spontaneous, so gentle guidance is necessary, too. Here are a few more suggestions to keep your toddler safe and you sane:

  • Give your toddler a healthy snack shortly before craft time
  • Be prepared – pre-cut or pre-portion supplies as much as possible
  • Protect crafting surfaces with newspaper or cloth
  • Turn off the TV or other distractions
  • Avoid art supplies that could pose a choking hazard
  • Cover up your little one’s clothing with a crafting smock or old T-shirt
  • Never leave your little one unattended

Crafting with your little one is an amazing bonding activity that will create memories to last a lifetime. Aside from quality time spent together, crafting is also super beneficial for your toddler’s development. Your little one will practice focus, develop spatial orientation and use their fine motor skills while they’re crafting … even if it doesn’t look like they’re much of a Picasso just yet!

Looking for more non-toxic tips for your family? Check out our Earth Day Guide to Non-toxic Living.