Toddlerhood is a stage of children’s life when they get an opportunity to learn and build skills they need for succeeding in life. Early literacy not just revolves around developing an ability to read and count, but also learn arts and crafts, which have a major effect on their growth and literacy.
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Introduction of arts and crafts for toddlers is usually undervalued. However, appreciating young children for their art and craft encourages self expression, exploration, self-esteem, imagination, logical thinking and creativity. Learning art at an early age also teaches children to think more openly, take risks, create new meanings and be more tolerant.
Here are tips for you about how to inculcate art appreciation in youngster and take full advantage of the crucial learning period.
1. Give Creative Materials
Toddlers flourish when they get an opportunity to experiment, create and invent things they enjoy. Therefore providing them access to open-ended art and craft materials is essential. There should be diverse and abundant art materials in your home to provide to your baby. These include:
- Washable paints
- Modeling clay
- Construction paper
- Coloured tissue paper
- Scrap paper
- Shoe boxes
- Collage materials
- Paper plates
- Paper towel tubes
After every art project, encourage your baby to think about her creation in depth by asking questions like “Tell me about this”. Keep in mind that it’s the process of creation of art from which children learn and not the end product. So, no matter how you are tempted, never judge or criticise your child’s artwork.
2. Make Cleaning Easy
Youngster art creations are messy. Make cleaning easy by putting his work area in a particular place like dining room or a non-carpeted corner of the playroom. You can cover the space with a vinyl tablecloth or newspaper. And dress your baby in old clothes so you don’t mind if he messes up.
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3. Safety is Priority
As toddlers tend to put everything in mouth, remember to sit with your baby during his art hours and supervise him closely. Also remember to use non-toxic materials.
4. Take Him to Art Museums
Art museums are great not only for helping children appreciate visual arts, but also for helping them build verbal, emotional and social skills. When you take your toddler to art museums, he improves in understanding of dimensions, shapes and textures.
Choose either traditional museums or ones that cater specially to kids. Boost critical thinking in your junior by asking her what she observes. Discuss with her how the artist has painted certain scenes, colours and shapes.
5. Provide Wordless Picture Books
A picture speaks more than a thousand words. They can interpret stories, express meanings, convey ideas and communicate emotions without having to use words. You should use this ability of pictures in the form of wordless picture books.
Allow your toddler to watch the pictures carefully and draw his own conclusion about the story told by them.
6. More Activities to Encourage Early Art in Children
Wordless Drawing Books: Let your toddler draw pictures with which he can make up stories.
Feet Painting: Take some washable paint in a shallow pan. Spread paper on the floor. Let your child put his feet in the paint and create a painting on the paper with the feet.
Non-traditional Painting: Encourage your child to use non-traditional items like toothbrush, spray bottle, flyswatter etc to paint pictures.
Toddler Mural: Children are very much interested in drawing and painting on walls. Let your toddler enjoy his hobby to his heart’s content by lining an entire wall with paper and letting him draw and paint the paper. Secure the paper to the wall with tape.
7. Provide Comfortable Seating
You can provide comfortable seating for your toddler while he creates his great masterpieces, with toddler table and chairs. Though he will enjoy doing it in any position, sitting comfortably will make him focus more on the work and he can do it more efficiently.