7 Tips for Doing Art with Toddlers
1. Use a low table, such as a coffee table, for your art. Toddlers work best when they can move and use their whole bodies to make art. A kids easel is great, too.
2. Have a dedicated art outfit, large T-shirt, or smock for your child to wear while making art. (Even “washable” paints don’t always wash out completely.)
3. Follow your toddler’s lead—a few minutes may be more than enough for the day. The point is to have fun!
4. Have a towel and a dishpan full of warm, soapy water on hand to aid in cleaning up.
5. Let your toddler explore! She won’t always use the art materials the way you think they should be used.
6. Rather than saying how “pretty” the painting is, talk with your toddler about the colors he’s used or the lines he’s created. Help him develop a vocabulary with which he can think and talk about art constructively.
7. Date the artwork. Later, you won’t remember.
This is updated and revised from my “Small Hands, Big Art” article in the July/August 2007 issue of Mothering magazine. Photo of Stella painting by Bobbi Holland.