Thursday, December 5, 2013

Creating Art with Toddlers

I thought I'd talk a little bit more about making art with children, only this time focusing on the wee ones. I doubt there is anything more creative and energetic as a toddler! Their little minds are full of wonder and the excitement of discovering this wide world for the first time. My children are past this stage now, but I remember getting surprising questions like "Do fish have tongues?" And you know, I had to look that one up! ha! :)

Painting or drawing with a tot is a great way to help them learn colors and work on fine motor skills. But most importantly, the time spent having fun together is priceless. A good smock and some good supplies are all that's needed. Cheap supplies typically don't work well and end up in frustration for everyone. 

Encourage them to explore, if that means making different types of marks (loops, dashes, dots, squiggles) or creating fantasy animals (giraffes with wings!). They learn best from example, so try it yourself! Experiment with different methods of making a textured background - stamping is great for this and easy for little people to do. Bubble wrap is fun to stamp with, or roll a yarn-wrapped pencil through paint then across the page. When you're finished, save those painted papers!! They make great backgrounds for future drawings, or use them to cut up for crafts, cards, and more!

Recently while camping, I had my sketchbook and paints out, which drew the attention of two curious little boys, ages 4 and 2. I wasn't quite ready to let them play with my brushes and paints, but I could tell they wanted to be part of what I was doing. They told me what colors to use and pointed to where I should put them on the page. I made random shaped blobs. After a bit I switched to my trusty Sharpie and started doodling over their shapes. When they realized I was drawing flowers instead of trucks, they lost interest and moved on to other play. But that was fine - we had played with the paints for about 30 min, which is pretty long for a little tyke's attention span!

Here's the result of our work. I call it "Gabe's Garden." 

No comments: