with their children, especially very young children.
Toddlers need you to participate in these experiences WITH them.
They're too little to be left alone with art materials.
If you hand your child a box of crayons, then get on the phone or step in the shower
you're asking for a mural (or worse) upon your return!
Here's my reply:
"Yes, of course we all run into the problem of the captain-destructo age of 2+,
that’s how our youngest daughter got her nickname of Mini-Saurus
because she destroyed everything my older daughter was playing with.
I recommend focusing on sensory experiences and playing with materials
rather than trying to actually make anything.
I think a lot of moms are in the same situation as you."
So here's my list for "making art"
and "Craftivities" with toddlers (2-3 years):
with this age (home made is my favorite and non-toxic)
(Please Note: Crayon Rocks ARE a choking hazard
and the company says they are NOT for children under age 3 --
You know your child best, if they still put things in their mouth
please wait another year or two before introducing them to this great product!)
because they'll color with their whole arm
(not technically an art supply but they are a sensory supply)
But, in order for this to work, you have to be willing to deal with some mess,
putting it on the floor on top of a small table cloth makes it easier to clean up when you're done.
At first, your child will need some help learning how to keep most of it in the box
and may need a gentle reminder if they start throwing it everywhere.
Something like, "I see this is too exciting right now,
why don't we put this away (in the garage, in another room out of sight)
and we'll play with it again after nap/lunch/tomorrow when you'll be ready to keep it in the box."
This way, you're not screaming like mommy dearest but you are letting your child know,
gently, that there is a right way to play with the sensory box.
Once they get the hang of it, you will even be able to do things like
fold a load of laundry or start dinner while your child/children play peacefully with the box.
This may be obvious, but only bring out one box at a time
unless you want a giant mess to deal with later.
It can be very meditative scooping and pouring
and calm-inducing if you're working with sand/rice/or oat meal.
Rice (colored or plain)