Please join me in welcoming Leah who blogs at Simple Home Blessings. If you haven’t visited her yet, you’ll want to do so as soon as you’ve finished reading this post. Leah is a mom to 2 little ones who blogs about the joys of everyday life. She shares wonderful children’s activities that will inspire you, plus some ideas for home making and saving money. I am happy to have her at Mess For Less today sharing some easy ways you can enjoy art with your young child.
We have noticed our 2-year-old has a kind of artistic bent. She loves (has loved) music from a very early age, is interested in what the instruments do and what sounds they make. She also is very interested in arts and crafts. She loves to color, paint, and otherwise create.
This has become a bit of a challenge for me because I don’t think of myself as artistic. So coming up with ways for her to explore her artistic side without simply coloring has been difficult lately. But I started to explore some very basic art projects and found they were big successes!
She loved creating and seeing something she made and I loved seeing her thrive in the process. So I thought I would put together a list of simple ideas for exploring art with your child (without getting out the crayon bin).
1. Stamping. This was our very earliest venture into art with our little one. We did this when she was 18 months old. I took a simple household sponge and cut a star out of it and used washable paint. We worked for quite some time stamping and getting it just right! We also used cut apples and uncut oranges to explore the possibilities in stamping. This was a great way for her to explore paint for the first time and see the textures created by using items she was familiar with.
2. Stencils. These are so exciting to a young ones eyes. I showed our girl how to do this one time and she went for it with gusto! She was able to successfully make flowers using a stencil. We got a set of stencils at the dollar store; so this was a cheap and easy way for her to create a beautiful picture. (If you look closely in the picture you will notice she is using a basting brush from our kitchen…I told you we weren’t really artists!)
3. Tape Resist. Any size paper can become easy toddler art by laying down some masking tape over it in whatever design you like. We created our first tape resist painting with our girl when she was 18 months. We put down a piece of butcher paper and spelled out her name in tape. Then we handed her a brush (this time we used scrub sponges from the dollar store) and some purple paint and she went to putting paint on the paper. She was so delighted to discover her name when she was done with her painting and we peeled away the tape. You could also do other simple designs with the tape (tulips, a house, etc.)
4. Water paint reflections. I got this idea from watching some children’s programing on TV. This is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of transfer and reflection! We had such a fun time creating half of a butterfly, folding the paper, and then discovering a beautiful butterfly! This was one of the first times we used actual painter’s brushes and she did great with them!
5. Contact paper art – We have done this countless times! I love doing this because we can use almost any materials we have lying around the house. We have used bits of construction paper, tissue paper, and cotton balls to name a few items. I have found the best way to use the contact paper is to create a design on construction paper that has lots of empty space. Then lay the construction paper over the contact paper and let your little one create.
6. Tracing – I discovered this one day during a session of coloring. We often trace hand prints on whatever surface we are using. So after tracing each person in the house’s hands, I picked up a toy and traced it. My little one went wild bringing me different items to trace and loved seeing them “appear” on the paper. After the item was traced, I colored in the traced portion to resemble the item. This creates a kind of still life portrait of items she already knows.
I know these ideas are very basic, but in the eyes of a young one they are quite exciting. Any time our girl gets to paint, she is so happy! After one of our recent art projects, we sat down for a meal and she thanked God for paint when we prayed!
Thank you Leah! We have never tried stencils, now I can’t wait! Here are some of my favorite posts from Simple Home Blessings. Check them out and let me know if you agree.
Pictionary for Toddlers
Toddler Birthday Craft
Colors and Rainbow Review
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