Painting with Toddler

Painting, one activity that I and Baby Al enjoy together. We have been doing it for a while. We would sit down together, mixing colors together and we paint together. Sometimes, Baby Al would just paint with his fingers, but when he is in the mood, he would paint with brush.
I think most parents know how art activity is great for their babies and toddlers growth and development. It is a media for them to foster their creativity and express themselves. It supports them to develop mentally, socially and emotionally.

Painting also great for their fine motor skill, I mean look how they manipulating the brush, moving their little fingers, making long and curvy lines. Painting is a great way to teach about cause and effect (how certain strokes create certain pattern), science (what a better way to learn color, mixing and composition), math (counting pieces and shapes), and of course language skill (I can listening to him "explain" his painting all afternoon).

If you are interested, here is some tips that parent and kids can use to enjoy this activity together:
  1. Preparation. A good set of non toxic and great quality paint will be a great investment. I highly suggest washable non toxic one, it is easier to clean. Currently we are using this washable paint set from Happlee. It has 10 different colors of paint packed in cute containers. The set has all the basic colors I need. The colors are vibrant and bright, it is easy to mix and pretty easy to clean. This set can also be use on different materials, from canvas to clay. Other materials such as water, canvas or thick paper, paint brush set (or clean fingers) and little palette. The only downside is that there is not much paint in each container, however, if diluted with water, it will last longer.

  2. Be ready for a mess. It is great if you have a special corner for kids to paint. I don't have it, so I would make a space for him by laying a plastic cover on the floor. That way it would not stain our carpet.Oh also, I have an old big size T-shirt for him to wear while painting, that way, the paint will not stain his clothes.
  3. Don't be bossy. Toddler loves to try new things, encourage them to explore the color and shape than tell them what to paint and draw. Encouragement is the best thing for them, it builds their confidence, now everything seems to be abstract, but worries not, it will turns into something recognizable very soon.
  4. Communicate. While painting, me and Baby Al love to talk, I would ask him what he is painting, "are you making "o", and he would answer " no, mom. It's snake". This is a great exercise to explore  
  5. Get involved. Baby Al's art teacher encourage parents to get involve. This is a good way to show them how fun it is to paint and mix color.Especially when you have a reluctant kid, when they watch you doing it, it might invite them to do the same.  I would sit next to him, grab my own paper and drawing and  painting alongside him. Baby Al  loves it when we do it together. Sometimes he would comment on my work, or give some suggestions.
  6. Let it be. Art is about expression. The works is their work. Please refrain from the attempt to suggest change or additions, because we need to appreciate their work and their work is enough,even if it looks like a big mess or tiny dot. 



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