Today I’m sharing a fun activity that pairs art, creative play, and fine motor skill practice for your preschooler. We painted cardstock hearts and then practiced lacing with yarn. The kids had a blast and were so proud of their finished hearts. Be sure to check out all the other Creative Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids from my friends in the Kid Blogger Network at the bottom of this post.
Finger painting with toddlers and little kids may sound like a total disaster waiting to happen, but I promise it can be fun and painless. All you need is construction paper and washable paint. For this project, I offered the kids a red, white, and blue palette and asked them to create fireworks. Pearl girl obviously had no idea what I was talking about, but Bear knows what they are and went for it immediately. You can read more about stress free finger painting with toddlers here, and read on to learn how we made this project flow with minimal chaos and only a minor mess. 🙂
This was the Pearl Girl’s first foray in to finger painting, and she did well for about 10 minutes. I feel pretty great about that for a 14 month old. She really liked the feel of the paint on her fingers and patting it down on the paper. I set out four color options on a disposible paper plate. Only put out as much paint as you think they’ll need for one painting at a time. I gave each child a piece of paper and had Bear show PG how to do it. I guided her first few strokes and then she got the hang of it quickly. The Bear will paint happily for about 20 minutes now at age 3.
Let go of any image of Pinterest perfection and let your kids have a blast being creative. We’ve been reading a book about Franklin the Turtle being an artist, so the Bear believes he is one. I think every kid does until someone tells them different. Artistic expression is important for development and doesn’t have to be difficult for parents and caregivers to execute.
Clean up is so easy during the summer. I turn on the hose and let the kids splash the paint away, then turn the hose on our mini picnic table to wash it down. Leave the paintings out to dry and head in for a snack. You can find one of the ways we preserve kid art at no cost here. Happy Independence Day America!
Recently we experimented with making dough from baking soda and corn starch, and ended up with a ton left over after we created hand print ornaments. I thought it would be fun to create a few Easter egg ornaments with the Bear and let him paint them. The boy loves a good project, and every time we get the paint out he gets so excited. This ended up being a really fun craft to do with him and would work for kids ages 2 and up. I’ll share the details of our process along with a few things we learned and would do differently next time.