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

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