Saturday, October 29, 2011

Art with Toddlers

Art with toddlers can be quite challenging.  I have looked for different ways to incorporate open-ended art into our daily routine, but find it to be very hard.  I need to give the children that sensory exploration, in a space that is made for mess.  The key though is to be able to control it when the little ones are around.  Dumping, tasting, and investigating is how little ones learn, so that means paint in the hair, belly button, floor, etc... as well as the water from the water table, sand from the sand box, glue from the glue bottle... ok, I think you get the picture :)   Anyone who knows me, knows I don't mind mess.  I don't mind cleaning up a mess... but with 3 little ones, it happens that while I am cleaning one up, the other 2 are creating messes I wouldn't have dreamed about.  While I am cleaning up that mess... 2 more messes pop up on the other side of the room.  I'm not talking paint only, it could be anything.  I am making the effort to make messy fun available everyday, but it doesn't always happen.

I took out the easel this week.  We painted great big pumpkins.  It was a great experience for the little ones. Using the paintbrush, figuring out how to get it in the little opening on the paint pot, and then moving it on the whole sheet of paper (which didn't really happen without a lot of examples).  But, they had a great time.  Of course it was on their hands, on my floor, at the corners of their mouths from when I turned my back for a mila-second, and a little bit on the paper.  

I also let the kids put sticker spiders onto their little marble painting webs.  The little ones loved the stickiness of the stickers!!  Another sensory experience they love.  

I am going to try and get this art thing under control and make a messy area in the playroom.  I think its time.

1 comment:

  1. Oops! You asked me about this and I never did get that post written...sorry!! The trick for me has been to create a messy area, but one that is in a corner and blocked off somewhat from the rest of the room. Then limiting the time that those littles can actually be in the area. What I mean by that is that they are only allowed in that area when someone is able to be right there to be able to supervise. You don't have to allow them full acess, but just some access to the materials. The older kids, that understand using the materials and how to clean up the area before moving on, are able to have full access. There is a big difference between allowing a mess and out-of-control chaos. By controlling the environment, you are still providing for the needs, but in a way that also teaches responsibility. Have them right there cleaning up their mess with you, rather than off making a new mess. My motto has always been that if you are old enough to make the mess you are old enough to clean it up. It will take a few days, but they generally pick up on the new routine quite quickly. Another trick during the early days is to limit what you have available, and as all the kids adjust, then you can provide more. That may mean just having a table with paper and crayons, and the easel right next to it, so you can monitor both. Then maybe when that's going well, add in the water table. Just examples. It's always best to start out slowly. Good luck.

    Bev @