When toddlers want to do things like the big kids, but lack the skills, we sometimes need to take a step back to find activities that are equal in value, but fit their skill level. If you are not willing to let your toddler try painting because of the mess, here’s a great activity to try instead.
You will need:
- A clean paint brush
- Construction paper in a dark color (blue, red or green)
- Small cup
Tape the paper to the table to prevent slipping. Put water in the cup. (We suggest about 2 ounces because, for many toddlers, the last step of this project will be dumping the water!) Let your toddler “paint” using the water and brush. The water will make the paper turn a darker color, giving the impression of painting. Since toddlers usually care more about the “doing” than about what they end up with, you may be able to let the paper dry and reuse it. Your toddler will probably use his or her whole arm to paint, so the bigger the paper, the better.
What will your child learn?
Muscles will develop as your toddler first uses the whole arm and then progresses to use the wrist, hand and fingers to move the brush. Your toddler will also develop eye-hand coordination as he or she experiments with movement of the brush over the paper. The science concept of wet and dry will also be experienced.
Not many safety concerns here, but have a towel ready for those toddlers who will explore this activity with gusto!