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Jul 9, 2014

Tips For Toddler Art Activities

Tips For Toddler Art Activities
Guest Post By Evie Moses, Owner PlayAway

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How do I do art at home with my toddler? This is a question I often get from our parents at PlayAway. Parents feel they are not creative enough to come up with art activities at home, and that is just not true. Armed with a little know how, you too can create art at home with your toddler.

First you need to remember your toddler does not have complete control of their body movements. The art will be messy, and not even look like what you expect it to, which is exactly how it should go. Ms. Regina, one of PlayAway’s early childhood teachers, reminds parents that when doing art with toddlers the emphasis is on process, not the final product.

Second, the art will be messy. Did I mention that already? Yes, because odds are the paint will be on the table, the chair, or even you. They may put it in their mouths.  They key is to use washable, non-toxic paints. You can make your own (the Internet is a beautiful thing) or purchase paint at your local arts/crafts store.

Third, set up your art activity area in a room you don’t mind getting a little messy.  I always do mine in my kitchen since it has hardwood floors and a sink handy. I save newspapers and put it under the project we were working on. You can also use paper grocery bags that you cut open or a tablecloth.
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You are ready to begin. I like to set up an “invitation to create”.  I set out paper, markers, paint, or even stamps; as well as construction paper. Simply invite your child to the table and let them explore. There is no wrong or right when it comes to art and toddlers. Encourage them and talk to them about their project. Sit down and create side by side with your child, often it is the break you need in your busy day.

Here are a few tips:
  • Invite your toddler to create by setting out paper, markers, paint, and stamps on the table. You can even use an easel because toddlers like to move, a lot. But you already know that.
  • Don't stress the end result or you will be let down. It is more about exploring with the materials your child is using.
  • Make sure it is safe enough for them to eat, as they will put it in their mouth at one point. Paint or play dough needs to be non-toxic.
  • Try using large pieces of paper and bigger paintbrushes as they are developing their fine motor skills.
  • Every day objects to use: cars/trucks, dinosaurs, toy animals, wood blocks, and even large puzzle pieces (if they have handles).
  • SUPERVISE - always supervise your toddler when doing art because they will put objects in their mouths.
  • Don’t focus on crafts yet as they don’t get crafty yet. That will come later.
Most importantly have fun. The project may last 2 minutes or 10. I have found you can leave it out and they will come back to it later that day. Something that was a miss one day will be a hit another. Don’t stress about it. I often have children that start a class that will not do art at all. By the end of the session at PlayAway they are painting, even if it is only for a minute.
If you just can’t handle the mess, you can always come visit us at PlayAway. We offer parent-child classes for children ages 1-3 years of age, and also offer special summer time classes for ages 2-6 years of age. We are located in the Hunter Community Center in Clawson, a little town with a big heart. We love to get messy and offer classes that feature story time, art projects, sensory play, and of course free play. Parents, Grandparents, and Nannies work side by side with the child. For more information and our class schedule please visitwww.playawayonline.com. Mention this article and get 10% off a summer class. Sibling classes are already discounted and are not eligible for the 10% off.
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PlayAway
Hunter Community Center, Clawson
www.playawayonline.com or 248-790-6547

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