Toddler art

 - by Sarah Lipoff

displaying your child's artwork

My tot is totally into getting creative. Along with making lots of art, she has begun to master the concept of putting her art tools away and how to display her own artwork. I’ve also encouraged this through a few simple things, like giving her a dedicated drawer in the kitchen to keep her crayons and such and leaving out the tape for her to use. Displaying your child’s artwork shows you are proud of her creativity, which encourages her to strive to create more. For toddlers, creativity is more about the process than the end result, meaning most artworks won’t be representational in any way – just a bunch of big scribbles.

Nurturing self-esteem is one way to foster successful, healthy, and happy kids (and adults). For toddlers, art is one of the main means of self-expression, so when your child sees her art displayed within the home, she truly feels special. We adults can focus on:

– The child’s ideas (and not our own) during creative times. Hey, if your toddler wants to scribble her way through a drawing of a dinosaur cooking dinner, so be it.

– Providing accessible art materials available for when your child wants to create. This is a challenge because no one wants crayon-coated walls. Start with leaving out paper and stickers and eventually moving to mark making implements as the child develops. I cleared out a drawer in the kitchen and my tot has proudly organized her art materials. Here’s her craft drawer compared to mine….

craft drawer

– Creating a comfortable creative space. No matter if it’s a spot at the kitchen table or a dedicated art table, if your child has a go-to scribble spot, she’ll feel good about getting arty when she feels the creative juices flowing.

– Allowing your child to display her finished artworks! Sure, if you have a few favorites along the way, pop them in an old frame or hang from a clothesline in your home. Leaving out a few strips of tape for your child to use to hang her own creations is a wonderful way for her to be in charge of where she wants her art to be seen. I tear off a few strips and leave them on the edge of the kitchen counter for her to pull off and then stick onto her paper – and then wherever she wants that art to go (which is usually the fridge).

I love finding the tot totally engrossed in getting creative without any prompting. Sometimes it involves mess, but, hey, that’s what sponges are for, right?

making art

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