We love exposing our son to the arts and ways for him to use his imagination. Arts is an area of focus that seems to be underestimated in the value it brings to toddlers and young children in general. It encourages self-esteem, imagination, creativity, logical thinking and self-expression. Art can be a way of expanding literacy and comprehension and improve overall development and ways of children to use in expressing themselves.
In addition to scheduling time for our son to have arts and crafts activities at home we intentionally seek out opportunities to him to be exposed to art in other environments. There are lots of events in our area that are free, some that have minimal costs and some that may have membership fee requirements. We cover all the choices for him to be engaged in those activities and the one that has been most beneficial is the membership we have with the museum. The main benefit we love with the membership is that he can visit the museum 2-3 times a week and he can’t get enough because there are always new exhibits monthly.
He is able to use his imagination in and engage in some of the following creative ways: Ride a subway, design toys, animals or structures out of recycled materials, visit a cave and discover a dig in ArtScapes. Problem solving in water flow at the water table, play drums in kaleidoscope designed room that spins around, STOMP to the rhythm, build sand sculptures and recycled puppets in GreenScapes. Learn about faraway customs in CultureScapes. Explore the world of Alice in WonderScapes. He is able to create a masterpiece in every gallery.
We encourage our toddler to be interactive when we visit museums, art displays or read books that are from far off places and tells stories that they would not encounter in his environment. We are patient with him and allow him to make up his own stories based on what he interprets the visual means to him. Thought it is very hard, we don’t critique his artwork and say they are wrong in what he is making. We expect it to be messy and plan on everything getting covered with whatever he is using. Whoever at Crayola came up with washable paints and other washable coloring tools deserve my gratitude and a raise.
All the best until next time.