Many parents view art activities as mere playtime for toddlers, but the reality is that art and art activities are incredibly beneficial to a toddler’s development. The fact that art is fun helps to engage young children, but most art activities actually serve a far greater purpose than simply occupying a child for a few hours. Unlike almost every other subject that children will go on to learn about in school, art is broad enough to lend itself to fundamental learnings across the whole curriculum. Let’s look at 4 ways in which art activities can benefit your toddler.
Build Fine Motor Skills
Toddlers can only learn fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination through practice. Basic art activities like painting and colouring are fantastic for building these skills. Colouring with a crayon is the first step in being able to hold and write with a pencil. By introducing art activities at a young age, you are providing a platform for your toddler to develop these skills that will help them immeasurably in their educational development.
Toddlers can have a difficult time expressing their feelings. They often lack the vocabulary necessary to express themselves and their emotions. Art gives children a way of doing just that. Taking the example of drawing, this can be not only what they draw, but the colours that they choose and the manner in which they approach the task. Art is a wonderful way of allowing toddlers truly express how they are feeling when they are incapable of otherwise doing so.
Any parent with an energetic young toddler can attest to the fact that it can be difficult to focus a child’s attention for any period of time. Art encourages children to do just that. Tasks like colouring inside the lines, tracing out an outline or cutting out a shape all take focus and concentration. These are calming processes that engage children for periods of time. Even something as simple as waiting for paint to dry is an important lesson for children – it not only teaches, but rewards, patience.
Creating a Bond
Finding the time to really bond with children can be difficult. However, art allows parents to play with their toddlers in a way that fosters and encourages close bonds. Working together towards a common goal is not only fun but rewarding. Rather than simply leaving your child some paper and crayons, try to get involved and colour with them. Your child will learn to cherish the time spend with you.