Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Little Hands, Big Art: Introduction to Art

I actively started providing Riley with art activities when she was around 13 months old. (We joined our first toddler art group when she was 14 months old.) Riley sits in her high chair during these art activities. Here are some of the activities I started her off with:


Pudding


Mix up a batch of instant pudding and let your kids have fun painting with pudding. I simply put a spoonful of pudding on Riley's high chair tray and let her rub it around. Yogurt or applesauce also works well!

Finger Paint

Rather than buying expensive finger paint, I used store bought liquid tempera paint. Tempura paint is washable (and non-toxic), but I mixed in a little dish soap. I find the dish soap helps take the paint off Riley's hands and leaves no paint stains. The first time Riley used finger paint, I simply dropped it directly on her high chair tray and let her smear it around. The dish soap allowed for easy clean-up. Eventually, I let her paint on paper. I suggest you start with only one color, preferably yellow, red, or blue. As they get older let them mix these three colors.

As your children get used to finger paint, let them explore texture. Provide your child with forks, cotton swabs, old toothbrush, small cars, etc. Use things you find around your house. I suggest you introduce only one item per art session.

Flour Art

I mixed a small about of water into a 1/2 c flour. I poured the mixture onto her high chair tray then added a few drops of food coloring. Riley swirled the mixture around with a cotton swab or fork.

Markers/ Crayons

Riley enjoyed using washable markers. I gave her one color at a time. She colored on white computer paper while sitting in her high chair. If the marker got on the high chair tray, I just used a damp paper towel to wipe up the mess. The colors show up more noticeably than crayons. As far as crayons, Riley started off with the Crayola Triangular crayons and the Crayola Washable Crayons. She tried the Crayola TaDoodles crayons but didn't like these as much.


Remember: All activities are either edible or non-toxic. All art activities require constant parental supervision! I highly suggest you do these activities while your child is sitting in a high chair.

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