One thing I have noticed is that it is hard to find an "Art Essentials List" for under twos...so I thought I would share with you some items that I think are essential to have on hand.
First I would like to start off with sharing my obsession with the idea of "Process Art." Process Art focuses on the PROCESS - the MAKING of the Art - rather than the finished product. Once we begin to introduce art to our 1 year olds, it is really about the exercise of various motor skills and exploration - where they gradually enter this phase where they begin to find an interest in what is appearing on the canvas. It is fascinating to watch this transition as they grow and begin to really explore the paints, textures, colors etc. Its all about the experience and exploration of what you have placed in front of them. Soon they will get to a point where they will ask for paints, markers, chalk and start to make more sense of lines, shapes, tell stories and so much more, the possibilities are truly endless. The key to all of this, is of course, to keep going back to it! Having art materials available for any given moment and as often as possible.
I say all of that, because it is important to understand that when we present certain activities to our children, things never go as YOU see them in your head...they will go as THEY see them. Our job is to present the invitation to explore and to sit back and observe in be in awe of the experience of our children through their eyes.
This is a list of items I have collected over time, from the dollar store, craft store, around the house and materials out of our recycling bin. I have built this stash over time, it is not important to buy all of this at once.
My Top Essentials
- Paints (finger paints, temper paints, acrylic paints, water color)
- Markers (dry erase, sharpie, washable)
- Colored pencils
- Variety of paintbrushes
- Roll of easel paper
- Water color paper
- Construction paper
- Tape (masking, scotch tape, washi tape)
- Glue (glitter, tacky, elmers)
- Pipe Cleaners & Pom Poms
- Popsicle sticks
- Hole puncher
- Bottle caps & tops
- Cardboard (cut up)
- Junkmail (cutup & ripped)
- Used wrapping paper
- Packaging materials
- Wine corks
- Plastic bottles
- Glass jars
From around the house (items you no longer use)
- Aluminum foil
- Paper plates
- Fabric (old clothes with interesting patterns)
- Old bowls/cups
- Mortar & Pestle
This list can go on and on. Once you get started and look around your home, you will start to see things differently and you will be surprised of the ideas you will get for art projects with your tot.