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Toddler Talk: Art Prints

Now I know that art is art, and self-expression cannot and should not be limited or manipulated. But having had my fill of crayon-scribble drawings and finger-paint paintings, I was on the hunt for an art project for Ramona, my two-year-old, that would produce something, well, a little more substantial.

What I came up with (and, admittedly, was inspired by mothers and other bloggers all over) was making art prints. It allows her to see something she has worked on transform into something else—what looked like a blob of paint she just smeared around turned into a large heart. I facilitated the start of the process by creating a shape with the masking tape, but then let little Ramona take over the rest. If you’ve had enough of their abstract squiggles, your involvement in this fun project allows finger paints to turn into something a little more figurative and representative. Furthermore, you can be involved as little or as much as you want!

What you need:

Heavy weight paper, cardstock, or canvas (you could also try white fabric)

Masking or painter tape

Paints or markers (finger or acrylic or water color or whatever you have on hand!)

Paintbrushes (optional, but not a bad idea as it’s a good way to teach some coordination!)

Drop cloth (or a space outside that is ok with getting painted on)

What you do:

  1. Use the tape to create a figure/drawing/expression of your choosing on the paper. Basic ideas would be a star or a heart or letters but feel free to explore with geometric or random shapes.

  2. Set out the paint and the brushes and demonstrate to your little one how to spread the paint around. They can have lots of fun choosing what colors to pick OR you can simply put different colors out around the canvas and let them smear them! I put my colors on a paper plate for easy disposal after the activity.

  3. Paint! Ramona loved using the paintbrushes but did need a little bit of help coordinating her movements. When she had enough, I went over some of the tape to make sure the figure would be complete.

  4. Before it is dry, peel the tape away and set aside to dry.

  5. Enjoy your beautiful masterpiece!

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