Now, I don’t know about you, but markers and crayons can get pretty boring for me (which is the reason behind art with a twist). Fortunately, my kids seem to enjoy them. One loves actually “drawing” with them while the other is more interested in taking the caps off, but hey, at least they’re both doing the same activity at the same time, right?
So, how can we make using basic supplies, like crayons and markers, a bit more interesting for our little ones (and ourselves)?
- Use whatever kid markers you have (not permanent markers). Let your little one draw/color/scribble. Then, spray it with water. Talk about what happens. Hang it up to dry in the tub or shower or lay it flat somewhere. This is a great opportunity to talk about cause and effect and color blending.
- Wondering what that white crayon is for? Write your child a secret message or draw a secret picture. Then, have your little one watercolor over it to reveal it. The technique above should work as well.
- Take turns giving directions on what to draw. This forces you to be specific with your directions and encourages careful listening. Remember though, that the goal is to have fun, so don’t take it too seriously.
- Tape paper to the sliding glass door or another flat (but easy to wash) surface (or use an easel if you have one). Let your little Picasso draw you a picture. Using a vertical surface is different than using a table, so kids use different muscles.
- Draw/color with your toes/feet. Sit on the floor and give it a try!
- Take the art supplies outside.
- Listen to different types of music and color/draw/scribble “to” the music.
- Color in your little one’s scribbles when they’re done. Get permission first!
- Make cards or pictures for specific people. Putting a purpose behind it can sometimes be all the change you need.
- Coloring books. As your little one gets older, don’t forget about coloring books. But, consider encouraging your little one to color one page at a time instead of scribbling throughout the whole book. This not only saves pages for later, but encourages them to make a decision and stick with it. It also increases the amount of time they focus on one thing (the page they chose instead of the whole coloring book).
When should you start using crayons and markers with your little one?
As soon as they appear to be ready or show an interest. When you’re writing something, is your little one trying to copy you or grab your pen? Can they hold a fork or spoon? When in doubt, give it a try! If your little one isn’t ready, you’ll know. Simply put the supplies away and come back to them in a few weeks and try again.
Why should we color, scribble, or draw with our kids?
As we use our phones more and more, our children see us using pen and paper a lot less. So, we need to make sure they’re exposed to things like crayons and markers because it helps them be creative, express themselves, practice holding a writing tool, which helps them develop the fine motor skills that they’ll need in school. It’s also good for hand-eye coordination.
Looking for more easy activities to do with your little one? Check out the Summer Survival Series!