Creating art is a great activity to tackle with your toddler when you’re looking for something educational, fun, and versatile to fill both of your time with. While you can’t count on children this age to get projects “right,” you can bet they’ll have a blast creating something that’s unique and all their own.
Art not only promotes learning in the form of familiarity and fun with colors and textures, but also encourages experimentation and individuality, which will build Baby’s self confidence. Here are a few fun areas of art you can explore with your toddler when they feel like rolling up their sleeves and creating a masterpiece.
- Seasonal: What’s cuter than Baby’s little fingers and toes? Putting them on paper, of course! Use their tiny handprints to make a spring flower or fall tree, or dip those tootsies in some paint to create a summer starfish or winter “mistletoes.” Baby will love the chance to get messy with some paint on their hands and feet. And when you’re done, you can use the projects for some sweet, homemade decor. Don’t forget to add the date so you can look back and see how much they're grown!
- Outdoor: Feel like you’re spending every single nice day at the park? Try something new and do some outdoor art instead. Sidewalk chalk is always a classic with children – and as Baby grows, you can make it educational by drawing letters or numbers. For a more lasting option, tape down a piece of paper over a textured surface like gravel or the wooden floor of a porch, and let Baby color over it to make a pretty pattern.
- Homemade: Lots of art projects can start by making your own materials with common ingredients found right in your kitchen. Got some baking soda, food coloring, muffin tins? You’re in business! Toddlers will get a kick out of making their own play dough or even watercolors to use for painting, and recipes for play dough, watercolors, and more are easy to find online.
- Tidy: When you think of toddlers and art, cleanliness probably isn’t the first word that springs to mind. Fear not, for there are fun ideas out there that are relatively mess-free. Try coloring books packed with markers that only draw on the designated paper to keep your couch from being marked with unwanted graffiti. Stamps and stickers are another surefire way to keep Baby entertained – especially if you can find some in the shape of their favorite characters. When all else fails, you can always put down a tablecloth to protect the surface they're making their masterpiece on and cross your fingers.
Since toddlers spend so much of their days following directions, creating art can be a wonderful way to break away from structured activities, and to let Baby express themself more freely. If you let them take the lead, you might be surprised to see what treasure they creates. You may not love the mess, but you will look back fondly at the adorable projects with memories of the fun they had making them just for you.