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Creative Expressions

It might be your garden. It could be that you quilt. Perhaps you like to remodel your home. Most of us enjoy expressing our creativity. We do it in lots of different ways throughout our life. Young children also get the same joy from activities that let them create new things. Enjoy watching your child try some of these activities. They won't cost much money, but they make a mess. Remember, creativity is often messy but a lot of fun!

  • Don't tell your child what to make.
  • Provide lots of interesting materials.
  • Let your child do the whole project himself.
  • Allow your child to take as much time as he wants, short or long.
Markers on paper towels
Let children make marks on paper towels with water based markers. The lines will widen and blur. Makes great streaks of color fast!

Use fat crayons and big paper. Paper grocery bags flattened out work great. Two or more children can scribble on the same paper. Don't use coloring books, just let the children create. Offer different kinds of pencils, pens, chalk and markers.

Shaving cream art
Allow children to fingerpaint with shaving cream directly on a table or in the bathtub. You can give them a paper cup and show them how to push it along the table. The foam will pile up and make trails. Clean up is easy!

Paint the house
On a hot day, let your toddler paint the porch, the sidewalk, the steps with a bucket of water and a big paint brush.

Paint the comics
Let your child paint the Sunday comics with water. The colors will blur and run.

Paste and glue
Young children love to make things stick. Collect an assortment of items for your child to paste or glue such as tissue paper, wrapping paper, small scraps of fabric, old greeting cards, pine needles, leaves, pasta, cereal, rice, yarn or dried beans. Glue to things like oatmeal boxes, paper plates, paper towels, egg cartons, shoe boxes or grocery bags.

These ideas came from More Things to do with Toddlers and Twos by Karen Miller, Tellshare Publishing , Inc., Chlesea, Mass.1990.

Prepared by Rebecca Douglas, Extension Educator, Family Life.