Look Closely, There’s an Artist Inside Your Child
An activity that is truly artistic and genuinely creative requires little adult assistance. As long as adults provide the freedom and the proper materials, children can create art on their own. This means that the children decide upon the idea and then find ways to create their idea using available materials. Can you imagine how exciting this process is for a young child? And imagine how fun this process is to watch!
Providing some simple and inspiring materials will encourage your child to turn off the TV and turn on her/his creativity. Here are some examples:
- Sticky dots: children use them for collages, to connect them, or draw around them.
- Tissue paper: using diluted glue, children can make a beautiful collage by overlapping colors or a three-dimensional picture by twisting or wadding the paper.
- Natural materials: children will love using twigs, leaves, acorns, dried flowers, etc., for artwork.
- Popsicle sticks: it is amazing what children can create from this simple material.
Children are, of course, very familiar with crayons. However, crayons of different sizes or shapes are very intriguing to a young child. By using some of the old crayons you have around the house, you can create a variation on the simple and versatile crayon.
Try this Crayon Recipe:
- Place peeled crayons (at least 6 or 7 in each tin, in a variety of colors) in nonstick muffin tins.
- Place the muffin pan in a 250-degree oven until the crayons have melted.
- Do not move the muffin tins! Once the crayons have melted, only remove the pan when the oven is completely cold.
- Push on the bottom and the cookie crayons should pop right out!
Modeling dough is one of the most versatile materials for young children. It provides a means of creative expression, a deep sensory experience, as well as an opportunity for development of hand muscles.
To make modeling dough at home, try this simple recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon food coloring
- 2 cups water
Mix ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until dough leaves sides of pan. Remove and knead for a few minutes.