Can you draw a straight line? Most adults don’t consider themselves artistic. Parents do, however, worry about their toddler’s art abilities. According to a 10-year experienced child care provider, she’s had many discussions with parents about ‘how their toddler is doing’ as far as getting ready for preschool or kindergarten. They worry a lot about the final product of their toddler’s art projects.
Though, art is not just knowing how to draw a flower or a puppy, or whether or not little Jason colors in the lines. Little kids need to experience self-expression and the ‘doing of art’ more than having a page from a coloring book to hang on the refrigerator.
Express by Themselves
When a two-year old puts his chubby little hand in a tub of finger paint and happily smears all of the colors together on the paper or when he makes yet another ‘snowman’ out of play-doh, he’s creating. Granted, he will certainly tell you that his painting is his dad’s truck even though you ‘just can’t see it.’
The important thing to remember is that by allowing our little kids to experience art in their own way, we let them show us how they see the world around them, how they feel and think.
Both Parents and Kids Enjoy
Many parents always enjoy art time with their toddlers and preschoolers. Yeah, they can make a mess, but they just wiggle with excitement when I take out the ‘arts & crafts’ tub of supplies!
No matter you live in a few different places, even there’s not always a lot of room, but art can take place just about anywhere. You should easily find that art activity is most effective when it’s pre-planned and when you’ve set goals for the activity.
Art is important for toddlers because of the way it makes little kids feel special and good about themselves. When your toddler finishes a magazine cut-out collage and holds up his masterpiece to you with that beaming smile doesn’t that make you feel good about both of you?
Through creating simple art projects, that same toddler is not only learning to take pride in his accomplishments, but also to think and refine his hand-eye coordination and physical skills. Through art, children learn to identify colors, cause-and-effect, shapes, problem solving, sharing and cooperation among many other skills.
Ask Questions to Your Child
Parents must remember to ask toddlers or preschoolers questions about their projects that will make them think about what they’ve made rather than ask them ‘What is that?’ For example, ‘C.J., tell Mommy about your painting.’ C.J will start to talk about his work or anything else he feels important at the time! This also shows your child that you are interested in what he thinks and aren’t’ just confused about what you see! Make sure to hang the art work up in a prominent place in your home so the entire family can enjoy it.
Ideas in Organizing Child Artworks
In school, kids are encouraged to create, draw, color, paint and build. These activities can certainly stimulate children, and help them grow.
Very often, these masterpieces that your children create are brought home and proudly displayed. But what do you do when all of the artwork begins to take over your home? Here are 7 great ideas:
1. FIND THE DIAMONDS.
Rather than keeping every single piece of artwork your child creates, sit down with your child on a regular basis and ask him to choose the one or two he likes best. By the end of the year, you should have no more than 5 pieces of artwork that your child believes to be his "best" pieces. This will help keep the artwork under control, and will still give you an opportunity to save his creations for future memories.
2. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.
Take photos of the artwork that your child creates and keep these photos in a scrapbook. This way, even if the artwork is discarded for space purposes, you'll still have the memory!
3. KIDS FILE STORAGE BOX.
Office supply stores carry portable file boxes that hold hanging file folders. These generally have a cover and a handle for easy portability. Help your child create her very own filing system. Perhaps one file folder for 2nd grade artwork, one for 3rd grade artwork, and so on. Now, all the drawings, and any type of artwork that lays flat, will be kept safe and organized. You'll even be teaching your child filing skills! It's never too early!
4. KEEP IT CONTAINED.
For other artwork that does not lay flat, the perfect container may be a large, plastic container with a lid. Your child will have a space for shadowboxes, and other artwork that won't fit into a file folder. Again, be choosy. If you keep every single piece of artwork your child brings home for the next 15 years, your house is going to be overflowing with it.
5. HANG IT.
Get your child his very own artwork bulletin board so he can display his favorite artwork in his bedroom. When organized on a nice cork board, this really adds a nice touch to a child's room. Plus, your child can very easily switch one piece of art, with another.
6. SUPPLY MANIA.
If your child produces a lot of artwork at home, she probably has tons of crayons, markers and other art supplies. Keep it all in a portable box, light enough for your child to be able to transport it from one room into the next. In addition, separate and organize the supplies into separate Zip-lock baggies before putting them in the box. This will keep everything organized and easily accessible.
7. THE PERFECT GIFT.
Kids artwork makes the perfect gift for grandma, grandpa, sister Jane, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim, and so on. Rather than buying gifts for your child to give to family members, encourage them to give their creations away as special gifts to special people.
Art experiences are a major part of a toddler’s daily activities. They have grown enough to grasp objects and tear paper and hold crayons and brushes. Naturally they are thrilled with the anticipation of a new art project, and most importantly, with the quality time spent with the important adults in his/her life.
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