Scribbles Masterpiece – Art Activities for 2 Year Olds

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Finger Painting Toddler

Art for toddlers (ages 12-36 months) and young preschoolers is an often misunderstood concept. Can the scribbles that two year old children create really be called art? Absolutely! Allowing a two year old to explore art materials and create something unique is an important part of child development. It is important to plan some age appropriate art activities for 2 year olds into the daily schedule. At around age 2, your child is beginning to gain greater muscle control so fine motor skills are more targeted. Also, eye-hand coordination is improving which helps the child to be more focused on the art project. Attention span is also improving.

So, although the child’s art looks like scribbles and splatters – much more paint or crayon is making it to the paper rather than on the child and table. The child is able to make some repetitive shapes like circles or ovals or a series of lines – still not very discernable but a definite improvement over last year’s skills (even just last season’s skills!) They will begin to show greater control over the markers, crayons or paint brushes which will reflect in the finished art work. Scribbling can be hard work too – strengthening the muscles in the hand as the child holds tightly while scribbling.

From birth to age three, a child’s physical control over the body improves greatly month by month. Each small skill and effort at coordination becomes more refined and fine tuned. And so will the results of his art activities. Between the age of two and three the child will begin to make the connection that pictures represent something that is in real life – this is called ‘representational thinking’. They may begin to name the shapes in the drawings. At this age, art activities for 2 year olds are all about exploring and manipulating the medium whether it is paints, pudding or peanut butter!

Sensory perception is the way toddlers and preschoolers learn about their world. It is through sight, sound, hearing and especially taste and touch that they can internalize and eventually understand what the world is made of. Adult supervision must be keen because this age group still experiments by touching, smelling and tasting objects so if the play-doh smells like cherries you can bet they may try to taste and eat it! Incorporating art activities for 2 year olds into your daily preschool curriculum will enhance their development and provide rich learning experiences.

Celebrate their success with praise, stickers and a special place to hang their masterpiece for all to see.

From Rainy Day PreK !


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