Wednesday, April 29, 2015

my 3 favorite toddler art activities

As I shared a while back, Lucy's little brain is developing and growing so fast and gone are the days where she is dazzled by paint! I used to be able to pull out the paint and she would be endlessly entertained. Now paint is not so dazzling, instead it's just another supply that she is comfortable using. This new stage has challenged me to come up with all kinds creative activities that will keep her challenged, interested and creative. I've found that she is most inspired and engaged when we take time to plan and teach new techniques that appeal to her current interests. While these creative activities are always changing, today I am sharing the top three (right now) that are really getting her excited!

1. PRINTMAKING: So far printmaking continues to be her favorite creative activity, specifically monoprinting with a gelli plate. I introduced gelli printing to Lucy when she was about 1.5 years old and it is still something that is really exciting. Parents of toddlers- go out and get yourselves a gelli plate! Not only is it fun and easy to use for adults but it is a really great supply for kids. The sticky surface makes it easy for little hands to imprint all kinds of textures (leaves, stencils, stamps, flowers, etc). I typically gather anything and everything that has texture and let Lucy go wild printing. Her favorite part of the process, just like mine, is peeling the paper away to see what the print looks like.

2. FIZZING WATERCOLORS: Watercolors continue to be a favorite supply but Lucy loves experimenting with materials. A BIG favorite lately is fizzing watercolors. This process involves mixing watercolor paint with baking soda (I like using using liquid watercolors). 

You use this mixture to paint paper and then add vinegar to the surface of the paint. We use paint brushes to swipe and drop vinegar onto the painted paper- the result is a reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar- the surface begins to bubble and fizz! It is super fun and a really creative way to make some interesting watercolors backgrounds.

For even more DRAMA (and mess) you can pour vinegar into to the cups of paint/baking soda mixture and watch the entire cup erupt with bubbles and fizz- this is a favorite around here!

This process is fun for adults too but keep in mind that you are left with residue from the baking soda on the surface of the paper which makes it challenging to create with. I like to scan these colorful pages and use them in digital projects.

3. HOMEMADE COLORING BOOKS: I am not a big fan of traditional coloring books so we have been making our own custom coloring pages for Lucy since she was around one year. For a while she lost interest in coloring but recently she started up again and now really enjoys using watercolors instead of crayons. Andy and I spend time creating simple line drawings that appeal to her interests or we even let her request the images- the subject matter seems to change by week! We scan the pages and print them out and she spends hours painting these pages.

To read and see more of my time creating with a kid check out the entire series posts HERE

13 comments:

CREATIVE KHADIJA said...

Very nice... she is adorable :)

TwinkleToes2day said...

Excellent ideas!! I have never heard of fizzing watercolours before and wonder if you would be able to make a wee video about it so that I can actually see the process, particularly as there is nothing even on Youtube? My son has ASD and although he does create occasionally I know that something like this would really engage him for more than just a few minutes and he would enjoy the fun surprise of it too.
Lucy is such a sweetie and I love to see her creating and am amazed at how well she holds her tools, whatever they may be.
Have a good day, :o) Mo

Helmi said...

Looks great! Have FUN!

littlekoo said...

Wow, they all look like great fun - can't wait to try them with my kids!

Elisabetta Brustio said...

Frizzing watercolors are a great idea! They are to be tested immediately !!!! Eli

Zoe Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

I would not have thought of printmaking. Will have to try it with my 3 year old. Thanks!

studioGypsy said...

lovelove.. will need to try the fizzy with my kiddos! xoxo

susan w said...

I think these posts may be my favorite of all the wonderful things you do. I just retired from many years of teaching kindergarten, before that pre-school and before that art with all ages. I deeply believe that art making with and by kids is one of the very most important and nourishing activities possible.
I experience her delight vicariously. How fortunate you all are to have each other. Brava!

Jana Johnson said...

I'm an artist and love painting with watercolor---and now I want to try the baking soda / vinegar technique myself!! I've been using Yupo paper lately for fun --- you should try that with Lucy sometime when you're ready for something else new --- it's plastic and the paint doesn't get absorbed into the paper, so it's quite bright and can be completely removed too! I too work with my own homemade gel plate and make monotypes --- still a kid at heart ;). Always fun seeing your ideas!

Jo Murray said...

Lucky Lucy....you are great parents.

Mary W said...

Great ideas and the gelli plate is awesome for my 4 yo granddaughter. I once made a whole set of "coloring book" pages but they had instructions. They were not complete images and had a note saying draw a hat on this head (just top of bald man head showing) or put a flower on top of this stem, or other simple prompts to let imagination take over. It was fun to make and fun for her to use. Your site is wonderful for adults who love art and for kids of those adults! Thanks for all you do.

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