I shared a few of our art projects from fall and winter on my Instagram account, and I got several questions! Many of you wondered how I incorporate art for my little ones throughout the day. We do some sort of craft or drawing (at the very least) daily, so I thought I’d share how to incorporate art for young kids and how we do it within our schedule!
How to Incorporate Art For Young Kids
The key to having art part of your young children’s lives is to have the materials readily available. I wrote all about the art cart we keep in our kitchen in this post here.
After you’ve read through that, you can check out how I schedule art within out day! I do want to preface this by saying I don’t make my girls sit down and do art. It’s only if they’re in the mood. Sometimes they want to play independently or go outside, so we do that. I follow their lead. However, I’ve learned that some children naturally love sitting and creating (whether it’s painting, sculpting, drawing, etc.) Art can be unconventional! Remember that it’s not just pen to paper.
A Note About Process Art
Process art is truly about the process of creating something over the finished product when creating art. (hink the opposite of a perfect Pinteresty product. It’s important that when your kids do art that you let them engage with the process rather than expecting them to do anything or make something specific. This means handing them supplies, or leaving them out, and letting them do what they will with them! I talk more about this when I explain what an “invitation” is, so look out for that!
Mornings can be busy. Before we went screen-free, I would turn on Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger in the mornings, just to keep my young toddler busy. Especially when I had a newborn! However, I’ve found that G (4.5) has naturally started to grab her special pens and paper when we come down in the mornings. While I make breakfast, she will draw in her journal, or make her own pictures. Same for my 19 month old. She will grab her crayons and a piece of white paper all on her own, and draw next to me on the floor or in her high chair while I make my coffee and our breakfast!
Here are some other ideas I have for incorporating art into your mornings.
You can do art in the morning by:
-Have your kids draw while you make breakfast.
-Draw or do an art project together after breakfast.
-Have your kids journal each morning while you get ready for work.
-The night before, leave an “invitation” out for your kids to wake up to and find naturally/at their own pace.
(An invitation is essentially a project, but without a finished project in mind. For example, I would leave out construction paper, a paper plate, markers, washi tape, beads, pipe cleaners, and scissors. This allows my child to construct something from her own mind, creatively. Besides, if your children see art supplies sitting on a table, untouched, chances are they’ll want to make something with it, naturally!)
A good invitation for a smaller kiddo, like my N who is 19 months, would be a Melissa & Doug Water Wow pad at her high chair spot for her to wake up to. Let her find it naturally!
The afternoons can be rough for us. It’s that weird time between naps and dinner that if you don’t spend outside, you end up sitting around in limbo waiting for the evening routine to start. I use this time to create WITH my kids. So usually in the morning, my girls make their art independently, but we typically do a project in the afternoons. I have a book with some ideas that I reference, but sometimes it morphs into it’s own project! These do not have to be extravagant. I’ve added a list of some ideas below.
You can do art in the afternoon by:
-Reading a story, and doing art in response to the story. (Example: Make a nest out of modeling clay after reading “Where is my Mother?”)
-Water color painting.
-Bean or pasta art (use card stock or paper plates for this!).
-Self portraits (these are adorable when kids make them).
-Playing with play-doh and tools.
-Glitter & white glue pictures.
-Make tissue paper mosaics.
Ahhh, the evenings. I love evenings. But sometimes the mad rush to get dinner going before baths and bedtime can be stressful. I used to put on a show during this time, but not since going screen-free (I’m sensing a need to write a post about how we went screen-free…) Anyway, art has saved us. My girls will, again, naturally pick up their crayons or markers and some paper and start coloring/drawing. I have them conditioned to do this by having their supplies readily available.
You can do art in the evening by:
-Leaving certain art supplies out while you cook dinner.
-Keeping a special “dinner-time” coloring book away until the evening.
-Creating an evening invitation for your kids at the kitchen table.
I hope this post about how to incorporate art for young kids was helpful to you!
Check out my favorite non-toxic art supplies for kids here.
Thank you so much for reading!