Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Good Old Fashioned Art

Since we had a three day weekend, I did not bother to make any new special activity for Ayden. As I discussed in my post on manipulatives, it is not necessary to make a child fancy or theme related activities. They love them when you do but will never miss them if you don't. Making fun, educational activities is my thing since that is what I did for a profession before becoming a stay at home mom. It does not have to be every mother's "thing."  I love to share ideas with those who may enjoy making activities for their kiddos but if you are a working mom, aren't very crafty or just don't have any spare time it is okay!  The purpose of these posts are to put ideas out there, never to make fellow mommies feel like they aren't doing enough, especially since we are all already probably doing too much.

This brings me to today's exciting activity, plain old washable markers and paper.

Ayden is really getting into drawing lately. We use sidewalk chalk when we play outside, he likes to scribble in my notebooks with my pens when I am making lists (which I do a lot), he likes to use colored pencils, crayons, water colors, paint... You name the art supply and he really loves it. From my experience as a teacher, most kids do! 

I, personally, do not have a problem with coloring books. I know some people feel like they keep a child from using his/her imagination. That may be true but I remember LOVING coloring books as a kid and I feel like I still ended up to be a pretty creative individual. That being said, I do not think they are as appropriate for toddlers. I don't think it would hurt  anything but since they'll just scribble everywhere they might be a waste of money at this stage. We got Ayden a Crayola pad of drawing paper for his birthday and that is what he uses most. He's also drawn on construction paper and the back of any scrap paper we may have around. He doesn't really seem to have any preference so we just give him what is closest. 

When we first introduce a new art activity, we stay with him the whole time he is doing it. We take the time to teach him rules like, "only on the paper" and "put the lid back on."  Art is an excellent time to talk about colors, textures and to add some adjectives to their vocabulary. It gives them a chance to use their imaginations and to create something from nothing that they can watch you proudly display on the refrigerator or a special clip in their playroom. When we do art together, I try not to talk too much unless he is wanting me to comment so that his mind is free to create whatever the markers, paint or pencils inspire him to make. 

Ayden has even recently started to tell me what he is "drawing." Here is a picture of his plane:

Along with today's work of art, a horse:

He also seems to like drawing "fish" though from my perspective, nothing he is drawing is recognizable at this point in time. 

There you have it, some good old fashioned fun. Don't forget that sometimes less is more when it comes to toddler learning. I knew a teacher once who said she never spent more time making an activity than it took for her students to complete it. I always found myself getting carried away and making it cute, neat and detailed but that is because it was an outlet for my own creativity. If you are one of those people who does not get personal fulfillment out of making crafty activities for your little one, or would sacrifice something important to find time to do so, just remember that kids can learn the same skills and have just as much fun with something you throw together on a whim from real life things you already have around the house. What really counts is that you sit down and do it with them!  When they look back years from now, that is what they'll remember. 

What is your child's favorite "old fashioned" art?


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Happy Labor Day!"

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1 comment:

  1. "The purpose of these posts are to put ideas out there, never to make fellow mommies feel like they aren't doing enough, especially since we are all already probably doing too much."

    Thank you! I know it would never be your intention to make a mother feel bad, and most other "crafty, Pinterest-y" moms either, but it is nice to hear that for, I'll say most of us moms who don't make sensory boxes and all that, we're doing fine! Our children will be just as perfect although they could've been having fun coloring, my son is having fun pulling all the toys out of the toy box ☺ it's just extra special when I create an activity for him ;)