Creativity : Introducing Drawing and Painting to your Toddler!
Toddlers? Oh Yes! toddlers develop special interest for pens, pencils and colours if given an opportunity at the young age of around 1.6years. That’s the age when they start to scribble on the paper or sheet given to them and feel happy about it. Gradually between 2-2.5years, he will easily hold various colours, brushes with his thumb and finger and give you a chance to “objectify” his drawing:)
Creativity and art go hand in hand. It has been rightly said by Sir Ken Robinson “ Creativity is as important as literacy”. Creativity is actually contagious, let you toddler catch it.
What Art is?
“What should I ask my baby to draw? I myself have a poor drawing. I really cannot assist my baby doing it. Once he grows up to 5-6years, I’ll better put him into some classes to learn the art”. And for a kid of less than 3 year old, drawing means nothing, its just wasting colours.” It was a conversation I heard on the other side of the phone being narrated by my friend, to which I strongly defied.
ART is not something that needs to be memorized and acted upon. It cannot be forced and taught. Art is something which comes naturally and from within. It actually has no age, then why to limit a 2 or 2.5year old baby? Try giving your baby crayons and water colours along with a sheet and look at the imagination worked upon. Some lines, some circles, some unknown figures – You’ll be amazed to see that your baby signifies the object he has drawn. Forget perfection, look at the imagination! Look at the way it is developing his skills!
Frankly speaking, this is what has to be encouraged and motivated. Let the mess be created, let your child dirty his hands. This is what he has to learn, to clean the mess once he has done with it! Isn’t it necessary to own responsibility?
A) Art and Development?
Being Creative, letting toddlers do their own art, drawing, colouring, cutting shapes of paper, pasting helps immensely in their development, be it Cognitive, Motor or Emotional Development.
“My 2.5year baby loves his colors and scissor so much that he’ll pull them out from any hideout I try;). The best part I love is, I get to see his imagination and active experimentation. A day he tried making flower and in innocence told me that Mom, we should not pluck flowers. I was amazed and so happy. My baby got that emotional connect with the nature and beauty. There are so many instances to quote with, creativity really helps baby nurture and outgrow easily. Try and experience yourself!”
Let’s get to the roots how these small things enhance their development :
Cognitive Development :
As toddlers draw, paint, they become more aware of the surroundings they are in. It becomes so easy to make them aware of the colours and various objects. Mixing colours to make new shades get them to understand the “cause and effect”. Identifying what they drew, helps them in problem solving skills. They get to understand the texture, shapes and use of various materials used in the art and painting.
Emotional Workout :
Yes, engaging child in art does help them attain a better EQ. It gives them the platform to carve their thoughts out. You cannot expect a 2year old kid to express what he is thinking of in his mind. But try giving him a sheet and colour and see he will be able to let you know his mind! If they draw extra long hands emerging out from face, let them do. If they put 3 googly eyes on the caterpillar, let them do so. That’s their imagination. Don’t bind them into “Correctness now”. Its the time for them to “Explore” their innate thoughts. Let them feel valued, let them get the feeling of self – respect.
Social Development :
Appreciate their Art! By this way, you’ll see that they will also start appreciating others art. You’ll see them saying “Wow mom, you made it beautiful, you deserve a praise”. That’s what happens with me;). This means your baby is learning skills of motivation and is gaining confidence in his work. Children sit together while doing their drawings or during art time and that’s when they get socially engaged. They interact, learn to share. They get more responsible, when in the end they clean up the mess and keep things at the right place. That’s a small Social learning for them.
B) You need not be an amazing painter to engage your baby!
Why do you feel that you cannot engage your baby since you are not good at it? Is your 2year old baby aware of the richness of art or painting? Can he differentiate between which art is great and which not? Try never to pose so in front of your kid that “I don’t know how to draw or paint”. By this way you will rope a negative seed in your child’s mind.
You need not draw a perfect Giraffe for your baby to replicate. It’s a form to engage. For them drawing a man out of Triangle is fun! They’ll love Santa caps, basic flowers, trees. They’ll love to draw their friends portrait in the most “imperfect manner”. For them imagination, carving, brightness of colours, cutting of paper to get shapes (whatever they might be), dipping and mixing colors is a real fun. They are not there to judge you, believe me.
C) Say “No” to those fancy colouring books!
Try not to get a colouring book and give him to colour that always. Sometimes in a quarter is perfect. But don’t make it a habit to just colour in the colour books. Painting is all about “Imagination” and “Thoughts”. By handing over colour books, you’ll bind his budding thoughts and cut the strings of imagination.
Say “No” to “Just Copy” what you have drawn. Also try that you baby is not always replicating what you have drawn. Let him carve out his feelings and thoughts on the plain sheet and colour them up the manner he wants. “Last day, my kid painted mountains as Green. When I asked him the reason, he said, I saw many green trees on the mountain. He was correct, very much. While I never thought of drawing mountains other than brown, he did that!” That was his imagination.
D) Try out finger /Thumb/ Hand painting :
Apart from the normal coloured drawings, try out hand painting. “This republic day, me and my child tried making out Indian Flag with hand painting. It was so much fun! From that day, he started spreading colour brush on his own on his fingers and try making “Some Objects” out of it. It was great for me to enter those lanes of childhood”, shared my bestie.
Get creative : Colour up a spinach leave, yellow/green/red and let him know how to use such small daily things to create an art. Use these small tactics to help create more of magical world for him.
I’ve heard some people saying, water colours to 2/2.5year baby? It is the age of crayons! But, I say, why restrict them? Who says they can’t handle brush? Who says they can’t dip and spread the color? Try giving them once, children love water colors. They will instantly get to hold the brush and attain perfection gradually. They’ll love the flow of it. They’ll love experimenting with mixing the colors.
E) Engage in a discussion as in
- Baba, what have you drawn this? Let him respond what he think he has made and add something more to it.
- Help your baby observe small things in his drawing he would have missed. While he drew flower in a random fashion, he made a straight line and some circles. Make him aware of those.
- Ask him why did he chose any specific colour to the drawing?
- If you’re making paper cut out and pasting the glue, let him do that and ask him the process of doing it. “I had a very funny instance one day, when I was doing the same with my baby. He just told, Momma you don’t know how to do it. I’ll teach you. He took the cut paper, spread the glue, pasted on the sheet, banged it, coloured it finally and said, Mum, now you got it how to do. It was such a greats sense of achievement for him I could feel. I clapped and couldn’t stop praising his efforts to teach me.;)”.
They are colouring their life’s bright! Talk to them of Art! Praise them of their Creativity! Let them own their responsibility! Bet on, you’ll generate much smarter being.
Stop dreaming, start Practising moms and dads!
Enter into the creative world!