I LOVE open-ended art projects for my toddler and preschooler. Sure, I love watching my kids paint pictures I draw, or color in their coloring books, or make things out of pipe cleaners and googly eyes, but there’s something so wonderful about watching them create when there is no expectation of some pre-determined outcome. Not only do they get the chance to work on some important skills while creating art, but they are given the opportunity to be truly creative.
Sometimes I just cover the table with white easel paper, leave out some art supplies and wait to see what happens. Today’s art project was just a bit more structured, and yet the set-up was just as simple. I gave them:
1) a stack of construction paper- a perfect way to use all those scraps of construction paper, too!
2) a large sheet of white drawing paper
3) glue sticks and
4) scissors (for my four year old)
The goal: to completely cover the white drawing paper with scraps of torn and cut paper. My oldest wasn’t too interested at first, until I mentioned that the paper was sad because it didn’t have any color. This must have done the trick because he got right down to business cutting and gluing after hearing about the sad paper. My two year old asks me daily to rip up construction paper. Bless her little heart. Needless to say, it didn’t take much to get her to the table. She had a lovely time ripping up the construction paper and gluing the little pieces to the white paper.
This project was perfect for both my toddler and my preschooler to work on together. My kids almost always play nicely together, but it’s not often they can collaborate on an art project. Because they each had their own developmentally appropriate task (ripping paper for my two year old and cutting paper for my four year old), it is a perfect “work together” activity. And collaborate, they did. I love the end result- it looks great hanging on their art display wall!