Simple things like baking muffins and bread, visiting with friends, going to play groups, and just being at home were all missed so much. It feels good to be slowing down and to just do what makes us happy.
Lately I've been on a bit of mission to find things that I can do with Noah that will keep him engaged and entertained for short periods of time. I like that with every developmental stage, new activities can be added to our list of things that we can do together. More recently, I've been finding that Noah's attention can last longer on activities that he used to just not "get" and it's actually becoming fun to do new things with him (not just frustrating).
This past week I decided to pull out Noah's paints and let him do some simple painting. It was so cute to see how excited he got when I told him we were going to paint. I decided to give him yellow and red (fall colours) and let him have a go at it. It was so much fun to watch him paint.
I then decided to cut up an apple (it was on its way to the compost bin) and let him do some stamping with it. I showed him a few times how to do it (hand over hand) and then let him try it on his own. He really seemed to enjoy the process of painting and stamping. He spent a good 15 minutes painting and stamping and by the end of it, he was ready to clean up.
We let the paintings dry over night and then the next day I decided to bring the dry paintings back out again and that we would add to them by doing some collage on top of the paintings.
I had some tissue paper cut and scrunched up into little pieces and I showed Noah how to use the glue stick and then press the tissue paper onto the surface of the paper. Again, I really think he liked this task and it was fun to watch him explore the textures and process of this part of the project.
I remember an ECE art university instructor telling us once that children should be encouraged to come back to their art work and to further the process by doing more to their work. This teaches them that there are more possibilities within one thing and helps them with problem solving concepts. I've always liked that idea and have always tried to think of ways that an art project with a child can be further expanded.
Another important lesson I learned from that same instructor was that when children are this young and are making art, the only purpose of the art project should be about the experience and process. It should never be about the final result. Has your 2 year old ever come home from daycare or a play group with a perfectly made and recognizable turkey for Thanksgiving? I can guarantee you that if that turkey looks perfect, not only did they probably have a lot of adult help, but also, it probably wasn't a very age appropriate activity for them in the first place. I try to remember when making art with Noah, that art making at this age is all about messes and the tactile experience...a final piece is not that important.
And so here are a few photos of Noah enjoying his apple prints and collage making. It went so well that next time I think we are going to stamp with found materials around the house ( toilet paper rolls, strings, cookie cutters ect).
I thought I'd include a few of my favourite kids crafty blogs and pins to share with you. I hope you find them useful. I know I have!
:: The Imagination Tree (full of great ideas for preschool play and art)
:: Pink and Green Mama (an old favourite of mine! Tons of art education ideas as well as some great party planning ideas. Lots of sensory box ideas too!)
:: a fun fall/Thanksgiving idea. Pumpkin Pie Playdoh.
:: activity bags are my new obsession. Make up ziplock bags that have a simple activity for you to do with your toddler. Stringing pasta onto yarn, felt boards, sorting into cups, and more!