When a toddler puts a marker to paper for the first time he is entranced by cause and effect. Now, when he moves that marker around even more glorious things happen. And you, the parent and caregiver have a ring side seat to your child's first efforts at self-expression through art. You definitely want to do all you can to encourage this wonderful stage of development.
Probably you don't want your toddler to learn about art by drawing on the walls, though. So you sit her in the highchair, tape a piece of paper down to the table and place a handful of markers in front of her.
Excellent start, mama! (Or dada!) But there's one simple change to can make to give your toddler a whole new perspective.
I love letting my kids explore making art all by themselves. My philosophy is the less adult-guidance the better. I don't tell them what to draw, nor do I say, "good job!" However, I noticed that after a while my toddler's interest in putting marker to paper started to lose the thrill of discovery. So I decided to try something new.
I sat him down on a large piece of paper on the floor and gave him an assortment of markers and crayons.
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That's right! All you have to do is sit your toddler on the floor!
This simple change gave him a new perspective on the act of drawing and the freedom to explore art when not confined to a table and a chair. It was fascinating to watch how he changed what he was doing!
I loved when he started drawing circles around himself!
Getting down on the floor and using his whole body meant he was now using gross motor skills and fine motor skills in tandem! That's very important for future writing development! See another one of our favorite gross + fine motor activities here.
Sometimes it doesn't have to be complicated.
- If you are worried about getting marker on the floor, I recommend washable markers.
- Try not to interfere, but supply the necessary supervision.
- A big roll of giant sized paper is a must in our household. We have never been without one!
Want to go beyond scribbling? Here are some books we like with great toddler drawing ideas :