Mom Lessons – Artwork!

Ah, ‘ahtwok’ for the under threes!

I have been writing this series on Mom lessons – activities moms can do with kids at home especially if the kids are stay at home, which hopefully also have an educational component. But nothing confuses me more than artwork. I would have thought that this part would be the easiest. Hand out crayons or finger paints or paper and watch the pint sized magicians at work. Well for me at least it wasnt that easy.

I would hand over the colors and paper, and the 2 year old would get to work. They would usually make a colorful and cute mess, forget about it in about 5 mins, want to move on to a new piece of paper. I tried framing the artwork and giving them places of honor, praising their efforts but it took me a long time to figure out things that really worked for me. Here they are, below. As usual, please add your own as ‘Ahtwok’ ideas.

  • Talk about the art project before you begin. Things like ‘lets make a painting on springtime today’ or ‘lets make a collage of animals’ or so on. Include what you plan to do, discuss with the toddler what tools you would use (they tend to choose all, some if not most times, at least in the begining, so you will have to guide it), possible colors etc
  • Phase and change the project if you want it to last longer. For example, the same piece of art – say a sunny sky – can have use of finger paints, to make the background blue, white and navy or other colors of choice, a sun to cut out from paper or a sun to color separately with brushes or crayons for them to stick and cotton or white paper clouds to glue on. I have seen that using different skills helps keep the attention on the painting for a while.
  • In the begining, help your toddler choose colors. Too many colors to try out in the box or pallete gets overwhelming for most. So you may just want to pick out a few you think will go with the theme – say orange, red, yellow, and a fun color like purple for the sun.
  • In the end, discuss again what you did, the colors chosen, the methods used
  • Clean up together
  • Give the painting a place of honor – this works, and discuss it often
  • I have also found that the themes that work best are ones that have a story to them. Like todays walk in the park or the caterpillar book we read or halloween and so on.

Please send me your ideas or add them here. I will update this post as there is so much we can do with ahtwok!

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  1. Khushi Mommy

    I think we need to mention using an apron 🙂 for both mom and baby

  2. Jane Stevens

    I think this is a good list. I would emphasize collages. They look very nice and the kids love doing it. Cut pictures from magazines on a theme if you like and then let them go with glue. If they are not strong enough to squeeze glue or they squeeze too much, then you can pur some into a little container together and give them q tips to apply

  3. Asha

    I like the ideas. I also think if you are a stay at home mom, there are mommy and me classes that are good.

  4. Dora

    Thanks for your comments. I think aprons are a must too. I like the tips. Asha, can you recommend a good Mommy and me class?

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