Jul 11, 2018
In our last post, we offered some ideas on toddler friendly Montessori activities that you can create from materials you may have around the house. We wanted to focus today’s post on art lessons. Here are 5 art activities that you can offer at home that young children truly enjoy.
Toddlers love art! They love to work with paint, glue and clay. Here are some tips and suggestions to encourage artistic expression while also protecting floors and other household surfaces:
- Offer an apron: Look for a waterproof apron that has an elastic neckband and Velcro closure that little hands can easily put on and take off independently
- Include an ‘art mat’: Look for vinyl placemats or thin flexible plastic cutting boards that the child can place on the table before choosing their art activity. Any paper used with their work can go on top of the art mat.
- Less is more: When a child is first learning to use different artistic mediums, start small. Instead of a whole paint palette, offer one cake of paint to work with. In place of a set of stamps with a variety of ink pads, put out 1 stamp with 1 ink pad. Put away the glue bottle and put a small amount of glue in a small 1 ounce (28 grams) container with a small brush.
- Keep clean up tools close: A hand held dustpan and broom, an old cloth and a damp sponge can be kept nearby when the child is finished with their work and ready to put the activity away. They can be shown how to clean the art mat with the sponge and dried with the towel or cloth. The dustpan and broom can be used to sweep up any bits of clay or bits of cut paper that may have fallen on the floor.
- Bigger paper, smaller brush: When putting together an art activity that includes a brush – think about how much product the brush can hold. Compare that to the size of paper you are offering to the child. Consider offering a smaller brush or increase the size of the paper so the child can have full range of motion when painting.
- Child sized furniture: A child sized table and chair that allows a child’s feet to securely touch the ground helps them to have better control of their upper body. Toddler hands are still developing, so a stable work area gives the child a better sense of control rather than sitting or kneeling on adult size chairs.
- Snipping Paper: Materials needed: Small tray with handles, a pair of child safe scissors, small strip of paper (avoid thick cardstock) and a small bowl to hold cut paper pieces.
- Stamping: Materials needed: Small tray with handles, small container to hold a stamp, nontoxic ink pad, paper.
- Glue: Materials needed: Small tray with handles, 1 (one) ounce container filled an 1/8 of the way with nontoxic washable glue, small brush (a cosmetic eye shadow brush works great), a dish for the brush to rest (a chopstick rest is good too), small bowl with 3 to 4 shapes to glue, paper.
- Clay: Materials needed: Small tray or basket, child friendly airtight container with a small ball of nontoxic clay, small rolling pin, 1 (one) cookie cutter.
- Watercolor painting: Materials needed: Small tray with handles, container with one small cake of nontoxic washable paint, small jar or pitcher for water*, paintbrush, watercolor paper. *In this activity once your child takes the work to the table, they can use the jar or pitcher to fill with water. Encourage the child to fill the jar no more than halfway with water.
In a Montessori classroom, once the child is finished working with art materials, they are shown where to store art that needs to dry and how to clean the activity so it can be ready to be used again. You can do this at home too! Show your child where to place their finished artwork and how to clean up any spilled paint or glue. Keep extra snipping or painting papers available so your child can repeat the activity independently.
Let the creativity flow!
What art does your child love to create? Share in the comments section below! If you haven’t already, subscribe today and don’t miss out on any future Bellas Casa newsletters.