Most of us have simple art spaces for our kids at home, our 3 year olds happily dabble with paints and can start creating small pieces of art, while also getting messy with the paint, mostly its all safe and children learn a lot through exploring with colour as they work through their art.
On the other hand toddler art is less engaging, we often expect them to paint by themselves and explore, while they do this, a little bit of help and planning can make your toddlers first interaction with art fun and engaging for them. While we started Artventuretales to record our journey to discover art and creativity for the kids, I was always working two stages, one for the then 4 year old and one for my toddler who’d just turned 1.
I soon realized minor tweaks would help sustain my toddler’s interest in working with colour and creating magic as well as keeping it non messy for easy clean ups.
Here are 6 of the most fun, cool and colourful things we’ve done with our toddler to create some fascinating art pieces –
Resist Painting – This is the simplest to prep and a no mess kind of art activity for your toddler. All you need is a white crayon and water colour box with paint brushes. Draw a simple picture, this is key because it would be great if you could draw your child’s favourite scene, like mine loves police cars so we went with a police car resist which he painted quite excitedly while also making all the required sounds at the top of his voice. The most common kind of resist is the one with tape, where we put tape in a shape or word and paint over it, when you remove the tape, Voila you have a beautiful resist print.
Vegetable or stamp printing – All of us have done this at some point in our lives, even if its only with water on our kitchen wall. Some of the best vegetables for stamping are ladies finger (okra, bhindi), potato, and brinjal. Prints create simple but intriguing patterns that offer and element of surprise for toddlers.
Splatter Painting – Splatter painting or print making is one of the most fun toddler activities we’ve discovered with art . Especially on days when you have a hyperactive toddler who is in the mood to throw things around, hand them a wooden ladle pour paints on to a piece of paper and let them have a go just platter the paint around. As they exhaust themselves with all the hitting and splattering the colours will swirl around to give you a colourful abstract piece to put up on your wall.
Action art – We have a lot of action art going on in this house, we do monster truck wheels painting, balloon painting on hard paper, throw painting with sponge, dropper paint tissue art. All these are great for toddlers who love to hit, smash, push and shove items, just channel it right and you will have them creating art as well as calming down in a few moments.
Tissue prints – tissue prints is a simple, fun to do art activity for toddlers. Mine really loved it when the paints / colours started showing up. For this activity you will need a folded tissue, on the under side write, draw shapes, alphabets or numbers, anything you want to introduce to your child with felt tip, cover this with an plain tissue. Now give your child some water and droppers or a plain paint brush. As they brush the tissue with the water, the felt tip colours start to blot on the tissue and comes up on the plain tissue. This is a real cool way to introduce things that you want your child to uncover slowly, one-at-a-time.
Buds painting – Ear buds are a great fine motor tool. Give your toddler some ear buds and their paint box and watch them go at the colours. Dot painting works well for toddlers because it helps them practice finger holding and the prints are small enough for them to keep exploring and trying more ideas. It is also a great way to introduce dot painting techniques to your little one.
Bringing art to your child early on helps them think differently, it offers children the independence to explore texture, style, creativity and medium within the safe area of colours. It also calms hyperactive toddlers especially during tantrums / low periods in the day. Art is a great form of exploration and sensory experience for your toddler and they watching it unfold in front of their eyes.
I do hope these simple activities help you and your child explore art as a sensory medium further. Toddler art is a excellent way to bond with your child within your home as well, all you need are a few simple household items and some paint. So go surprise your toddler and let me know how you and your child like it.