Toddler art is more about the process of creating, than the final product. Planning simple projects with minimal material will allow the child to explore without frustration. Containing the art materials can be done by placing toddler's papers inside a baking sheet before painting, gluing or drawing. Tracing, printing and cutting with scissors are all new to young toddlers, so encourage their efforts.
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Trace Feet and Hands
Trace a toddler's foot on a piece of drawing paper with a crayon. Have them stand while tracing for the best results. Let the child fill in the shape with crayons. Paint nail polish on the toes, add toe rings or design a pair of shoes. Trace your own feet and work alongside the toddler. Compare sizes. Cut them out and display as if they are walking up the wall.
Make foot prints by painting the bottom of the toddler's feet with acrylic paint and then pressing them on a piece of card stock. Consider unrolling a long piece of paper for the toddler to walk on with their painted feet.
Cut the feet shapes out of card stock. Once decorated, use a hole punch to make a hole at the heel. Blow a balloon up. Attach two feet by overlapping the heels so that the holes line up and pull the balloon tie through. Tape to secure. Add a face to the balloon by taping eyes, nose and mouth shapes cut from construction paper, or gathered from a magazine.
Use a sheet of drawing paper, paint and a washable black marker to create bug drawings. Pour a small amount of paint on a plate. Mix in a drop of dish soap to make the clean up quicker. Show the child how to dip their finger into the paint and then press on the paper. Let them make several impressions. Let the paint dry as you wash their hands. Draw legs, eyes and antennae to complete their bug painting.
Cut out a jar shape from card stock. Let the toddler press thumbprints inside the jar. These prints can be turned into fireflies with a dot of yellow paint or glow-in-the-dark paint.
Cut circles from brown construction paper. Toddlers can press their fingerprints on the circles to make chocolate chips. Use to practice counting by saying, "one chocolate chip, two chocolate chip," and so on.
Paper, scissors and glue are all you will need to make a triangle collage with toddlers. Show them how to cut the corner off a piece of coloured paper using safety scissors. Continue turning the page to find all the corners. Use 3 different colours of construction paper for more variety. Gather the triangles and let the toddler glue them on another sheet of paper.
Add circles, squares and rectangles to their collection of triangles. Show them how to put the shapes together to make objects, such as houses, cars and robots. Create a design with your own shapes and challenge the toddler to copy the pattern. Let them challenge you.
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