For toddlers, the process of creating enables them to explore different materials, tools and textures, providing a sensory experience in which they can produce something they are proud of. Whether it’s a handprint painting, a colourful drawing or a tactile collage, letting your little one get creative will not only encourage them to express themselves in different ways but help to exercise their imagination, enabling them to develop a skill that may later become a passion. Guide your child in their artistic exploration by trying some of these creative activities:
Let your toddler bring their visions to life by making their very own cardboard creations! This could be anything from animals to buildings, furniture to shapes. To do this, collect a selection of old cartons, cereal boxes and other bits of cardboard. Then, sit down with your little one and bring their imaginative thoughts to life by helping them draw different things on the cardboard. Once you have created your outlines, cut them out together to form shapes. Finally, lay out a range of materials including crayons, paints, pencils and glitter to let your child decorate their new creations as desired.
Finger painting is the ultimate sensory experience and will provide your toddler with the chance to create colourful handprints, personal pictures and swirling patterns using their very own hands. However, this can be a rather messy activity, so preparation is key, especially if your finger painting session will be held indoors.
Either way, start by covering your kitchen/garden table with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth that can be wiped clean. Then, place an assortment of different coloured paints and a large sheet of white paper out on the table. Finally, dress your child in old clothing to ensure they have full freedom during this activity and don’t have to worry about ruining their clothes. Once you’re fully prepared, let your little one go wild and watch them create some truly unique paintings.
Drawing is a fantastic activity that will enable your toddler to practise their fine motor skills by learning to grasp crayons, pens and pencils. To help your child refine their drawings, start by taping a piece of paper to the table as this will provide them with a stable surface. Then, set them up with a selection of tools they can use to create their pictures; this may include colouring pencils, crayons or felt tip pens. Let your child experiment by drawing different shapes, swirls and patterns on the paper. If you find they’re a little stuck for inspiration, chose some simple objects for them to recreate – you could even ask them to draw you!
While paints and pencils are easily accessible, nature can provide some fantastic materials that your little one can use to create a beautiful collage. To find them, take your toddler on a little walk through the local park or woods and encourage them to look around for some interesting bits they could use to create their collage. This may include feathers, flowers, leaves, twigs and stones. Once you’ve built up a good selection, return home to let your little one start work on their collage.
Toddlers love to play, so why not let them create their very own toys by helping them make some hand puppets? Not only can they enjoy creating their own character but they can also engage in a novel puppet act afterwards! To make these fun creations, your child can use paper bags or socks and a selection of textiles such as buttons, old cloth, pipe cleaners and even googly eyes. Once you’re fully equipped, sit down with your little one and help them bring their puppet by sticking these different materials on to your paper bag or sock. Then, when you are left with the finished product, sit back and watch as your toddler puts on a playful show!
While these are all fantastic activities for parents to do at home, here at St Peter’s, we encourage pupils at our independent day school to release their creativity by engaging in a wide range of explorative activities that enable expression and reflection. Visit our blog to discover moreways to encourage creativity in your child.