When you create a separate arts and crafts space for your children, they have a place to go to be messy and to be creative. The ideal arts and crafts space for children would include a flat surface for them to work on that they can either stand or sit next to depending on their needs. The space should be accessible to them so that they can go there on their own at any time. Use an organizational system to stock the area with different kinds of colored paper, crayons, glue, child-friendly scissors, stickers, and non-toxic clay. A collection of buttons, small pieces of fabric, and yarn make great gluing projects. For younger children who may overuse glue, pour a small amount of glue into a small cup-like container and give them a paintbrush or have them use their finger to apply glue. For older children, add markers, paints, glitter, tools for sculpting clay, and objects for them to paint. If some materials require adult supervision, put them into a marked separate container with latches that young children cannot open. Be sure to inspect materials periodically and restock when needed. A child’s creativity can be hampered by markers or paints that have dried up. It can be difficult to think of creative activities for toddlers and preschoolers, so I’ve listed a few here:
1. Shaving Cream Painting
Use shaving cream mixed with food coloring or paint to draw images with your child. The smooth and creamy texture will appeal to your young child. You can make the activity more interactive by guessing what is being drawn or making up a story to go with your drawings.
2. Finger Paint Prints
Put one color of finger paint in a metal tray or cake tin. Make a painting of hand and finger prints. Add a new color and repeat the process. If you are adventurous, you can add some footprints to the painting.
3. Pudding Drawing
Spoon pudding onto a tray and let your child draw images in the tray or on a piece of paper.
Dr. Sharon and the VWS Team