By Cheryl Ichikawa
In the toddler class at the Play House West we do many different gross and fine motor projects, which helps us prepare for future activities like reading and writing, building and creating, and more organized play and sports. Art is a wonderful way to practice different gross and fine motor skills and movements like holding a paint brush, swatting a canvas with a paint covered fly swatter, working with watercolors, squeezing colored glue onto a canvas, or one of our favorites, dot painting.
Art is also a wonderful way of incorporating a variety of different skills into one activity (cognitive, sensory, social, emotional, etc.) It allows children to focus on an open-ended task that is determined by them. They have the freedom to choose what, where, when, how and why. In the process they have created some beautiful artwork which we have displayed in our classroom.
Gross Motor Artwork
Getting messy is what toddlers do best. At Play House West, we try to do it in style and with a purpose. Here, our toddlers are using their senses, keen eye and swatting abilities to create some beautiful artwork which will be creatively displayed in our outdoor patio area.
Painting is not only fun, but a way for children to express themselves, work independently or together, and learn about cause and effect (observing what happens when paint is swatted… the way the paint “splats” when it is swatted, the pattern that is created by the fly swatter and how colors change when they are mixed together.
Here is some of the artwork we created, artfully displayed in the toddler patio.
Fine Motor Artwork
Painting with watercolors is a wonderful way for toddlers to practice using their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. While some toddlers are very carefree with their brushstrokes, others are more deliberate.
Dot painting is another activity that our toddlers enjoy. This child takes special care and concentration in dot placement and technique. Along with talking about the different colors and shapes of the dots, we also incorporate math into the activity by counting how many many red dots, blue dots, etc., there are.
Art provides the children a sense of freedom. And in the process, they are learning so many new things!
Various members of the Children Today staff contribute to these blog posts.