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Exploring Art with Toddlers and Two's

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Sonja Cole

on 28 September 2016

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Transcript of Exploring Art with Toddlers and Two's

Toddler Art Experiences
All art experiences as stated before should encourage process over product.
The following are examples of such activities.

Exploring Art with Toddlers and Two's
Process over Product
Before beginning to explore art with young children it is important to understand key points of toddler development.
Understanding Toddlers and Two's
During the toddler years the child's individual temperament and developing individualism play a large role in learning.
Children exhibit individual temperaments such as flexible, fearful or feisty.
A child's temperament affects how the child interprets and makes sense of life experiences.
Temperament and development must be taken into account when planning and preparing art experiences.
A toddler or two-year-old may resist an activity one day, and then welcome the same activity the next day.
When beginning to experience art with toddler a teacher must be flexible, supportive, and nurturing.
Remember if it doesn't work today, try again tomorrow!
Safety Practices for Art with Young Children
Never leave a toddler or two-year-old unattended
All art experiences require supervision- one on one supervision is preferred.
Toddlers and Two's still explore using their mouth- be aware of choking hazards.
Test all small items with a choke tube. (in the absence of a store bought choke tube, a cardboard toilet paper role can be used). If the item will pass through the tube with out being compressed it should not be used.
Use only items that are labeled "non-toxic".
If a child has flexible temperament they have a positive mood, adapt to new experiences, have a low intensity and sensitivity.
If a child has a fearful temperament they will need more time and attention to warm up to a new situation or new people.
Feisty children tend to live with zest and let everyone know when they are pleased or displeased.
They are active, intense, distracted, sensitive, and moody. Caregivers need to be flexible and preparing the child for new experiences.
During the toddler years "me do it", "by myself", and "no, no, no" are common phrases.
Caregivers need to be patient, nurturing and flexible. When offering new experiences, as children learn to use their independence.
For toddlers the process of doing art is more important than the product created.
As adults, we view art as a creation or a production a specific item.
So when adults plan art for children, we tend to plan for the creation of a product.
While these projects are cute, and loved by parents and teachers, they do not provide toddlers the ability to explore, discover, and experiment with the materials.
Creating a product to copy limits the process of art and hinders creativity.
Toddlers who are trying to be independent, will push back at the limits required by the reproduction of a pre-set art project.
The process of using art materials allows toddlers to discover their own independence, as well as the mystery of making combinations, the joy of exploration , the delight of creating, and the frustrations of challenges- all of which are important pieces in the puzzle of learning. (First Art, M.Kohl)
For toddlers art can be a way to "get the wiggles out", explore in a sensory way, release anger in a positive way, or just have fun.
The adult's role in the toddler's art process is simply to allow it to happen!
Provide interesting materials, and then watch closely. Allow the child to create whatever they want, without adult assistance.
The toddler may create a blob of paint so think it will never dry, or color a hole in their paper- to us it may look like a mess but to them it is a learning experience.
Extend their learning- talk with them about their art. By showing an interest in their work, teachers convey that the process is important and that interest encourages them to explore.
Asking open ended questions is one way to extend learning.
What are you making?
Tell me about your ... (play-doh, painting, drawing)
How did you make it?
How does that feel? (paint/glue on fingers)
Working With Scribbles
The activities listed in this section involve working with writing and coloring utensils.

These are only a few ideas, any scribbling will increase brain activity and is vital for fine motor development and pre-writing skills.

Include the materials for scribbling into your daily routines! Mix and match materials, tools, and areas for toddles to work in.
Brightest Chalk Art:
Art for toddlers is all about exploring new materials – discovering how they feel, how they can be used and how different materials react with each other.

Black paper
Colored chalk (large thick sidewalk chalk is great for little hands)
Jar of water and a paintbrush or sponge

Let’s Paint!

Use the paintbrush or sponge to spread water all over the black paper.

This simple step is lots of fun, especially for toddlers. Even before the chalk hits the paper, kids will enjoy exploring the wet paper, the way it looks and feels, and the way it sticks to itself and the table.

Once the page is wet, it’s time to start coloring. The chalk colors become so much brighter and intense on the wet paper.

The chalk glides across the wet page and leaves a lovely thick paste which is great for finger painting. The bright colors are so appealing to toddlers and they may even try dipping the chalk directly into the water to see what happens. It’s all about exploration and discovery.

More Paint with Chalk Ideas

To extend the activity, why not try painting over the chalk marks with more painted water.

Alternatively, try doing this activity in reverse – draw with chalk on dry paper first, then paint over it with the water. What happens to the chalk? Does it disappear or turn brighter?

Scribble Box
Sticky Stuff
Large Paper Drawing
Give toddlers a large area to explore on.
Place out a large box and marker, chalk, or crayons, and let the toddler decorate! This activity could stay out for several days. Toddler like repetition and will loving being able to come back and continue working on their project.

Working With Paint
Toddlers enjoy working with paint more than creating a finished product. Allowing them to layer paint, mix colors and discovering how painting tools work.
The following activities all involve exploration with paint and paint tools.

Sensory Freebies
• Allow your toddler to explore whatever it is that you give them.
• Don’t do an activity with an intentional plan; it never works out with this age range.
• Expect a toddler to be interested, leave it out for them to come back to later, or even the next day.
• Plan for them to put it in their mouth if you have a mouther.

Painting With Wheels

This experience is easy to do and loved by toddlers! Simply supply art paper (the larger the paper the better) and paint.
Allow children to pick paint colors and place paint on the paper. Let children roll cars, trucks, and other wheeled toys through the pain to make tracks.
Clean up is easy, just wash the wheeled toys!
Squish and Mix
Freezer Bag Painting
Place paint colors in freezer bags, tape the top of the bag shut.
Tape the bags to the table.
Allow toddlers to squish, move, and mix the paint within the bag.
When finished, hang the bags in windows as sun catchers.
Cookie Cutter Painting
Place cookie cutters and trays of paint, with large construction paper out for exploration.
Allow toddlers to dip cookie cutters into the paint and make impressions on their paper.
Edible Finger Paint
Mix pudding or baby food with food coloring and you have edible finger paint!
Worried about infants or toddlers eating paint?
Block Stamps
Use wooden or foam unit blocks as shape stamps.
Place paint in a tray, allow toddlers to dip their blocks into the paint and stamp it on the paper.
Place construction paper, and paint, along with a wooden or plastic roller into a zip lock bag.
Allow toddlers to roll, scrunch, and press the paint into the paper.
Clean up is a snap! Just remove the paper to dry, toss the bag, and wash the roller!
Water Painting
This is a great outdoor activity
(although with patience it can be done indoors)
Simply give toddler access to water and paint brushes, the water will make wet marks for temporary art!
Allowing the toddler needed practice with using art utensils, and fine motor skills.
"the action of sticking things to other things is the most valuable part of a child's exploration of pasting, tearing, and assembling. It is not the finished product itself that will delight toddlers and twos; it is the process of exploration, experimenting and discovering exactly what "sticking" means in all its wonderful forms.... they will explore using tape, paste, and glue... they will often just feel the the paste, glue or tape with their fingers... later they will cover paper scraps with other items, heaping and layering using a ton of glue or tape" First Art MaryAnn Kohl
Using Glue
Using glue is an important part of experimenting with sticking. A fear for many teachers is "if they use too much it will not dry" at this age as we are working on the process of art rather than the product of art; it is okay, for too much glue to be used. It is a part of the process.
While squeezing glue from the bottle is great for fine motor work, it can be frustrating for young children. Here are some alternate ways to experiment with using glue.
Glue in a cup with a Q-Tip as an applicator
Glue in a cup with a paint brush as an applicator
Glue in a cup with a sponge as an applicator
Making Collages
This is a way to use up all of those odds and ends in the art cabinet. Place a tray of bits of cotton balls, feathers, googly eyes, tissue paper, felt, foam or any other items you have on hand into a collage tray.
Allow toddlers to create till their heart is content!
Contact Paper Sun Catcher
Cut sections of contact paper and lay flat sticky side up on the table.
Allow toddlers to stick items such as streamers, tissue paper, and glitter to the contact paper.
When the toddler is done sticking items, cover the sticky side of the contact paper with a new piece of contact paper sealing the art within them. Trim the edges and hang on the window as a sun catcher.
Sensory play can be fun and artistic as well. The following are some inexpensive, toddler friendly experiences.
Sensory Bags
These can be filled with many different items to feel and squish. Just fill the bag and glue or tape the top closed.
These jars are made from recycled peanut butter containers. Fill the bottle with soap, water, food-coloring, and glitter if you wish. Glue the lid down and shake away. These also work well in the block area as a stacking toy.
Do some with oil instead of soap and check out the difference.
Foam Sticking Blocks
Cut shapes from sheets of craft foam. Wet with water and watch them stick to each other, the window or a white board, creating endless play opportunities.
Cut lengths of ribbon and use a recycled bottle for an easy fill and dump activity.
Tips and Summary
Art with Toddlers
Sonja Cole
Early Childhood
Level 4 Credentialed Trainer
Children with this temperament are typically calm, and easygoing.
Children with this type of temperament tend to be more cautious and adapt slowly. Caregivers will need to draw the child in slowly, and remain available to assist the child when needed.
Process Over Product
Expanding the Experience
This simple chalk and water activity will keep kids entertained as the discover how the water and chalk react together.

It is very simple to put together and provides lots of opportunities for fine motor practice, sensory play and creativity.

Older kids will enjoy this activity just as much as toddlers so it’s a great one to try if you need something suitable for a mix of ages.
Large sheets of paper and crayons is a great way to allow the toddler the ability to color on their own, the larger the paper the easier it will be for the toddler to explore using the crayons.
Tape the paper to the table or wall to keep it from moving as the toddler makes their scribbles.

DIY Play Dough
1 cup water

1 cup flour

1/2cup salt

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tbs cooking oil

Mix it all together. Put it in the microwave for 40 secs. Knead it again with your hands. You’ll find it’s still sticky. Put in the microwave for 10-15 secs. Knead it until it becomes pliable. You may have to microwave for another 10-15 secs. Depending on how sticky the dough is. But once you’re kneading it and it all becomes more playdough-y.. it’s done. Add food coloring or cool aid for sent and color!

Moon Sand
Just mix 8 cups flour to 1 cup of baby oil. Add food coloring if desired.
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