Sensory Art Project for Toddlers

Through our Kinder Morning program here at Charb Arts Studio, exploring materials is one of our main objectives when working with toddlers. They are very curious and by creating sensory based activities, can allow toddlers to understand a material through the act of touching.

Here is a project that we did with our Toddlers this week:

First, we gave each child a white piece of watercolour paper and allowed them to crumple the paper into a ball, or abstract shape. Some kids really enjoyed this process, and we let them scrunch the paper, then flatten it a few times. Notice the sounds the paper makes, and the feeling of the crunched up paper vs a smooth flat piece of paper. These are all things worth discussing throughout this process. Asking questions can also help the child understand this process. "What does the paper feel like?" "Is the paper rough or smooth?"

Once the children have a paper ball shape that they liked, we gave them water colour paints. Allowing the kids to choose the colours they wanted to paint with. The children had to continuously turn their paper balls and try and get the watercolour paint into the paper crevasses.
Note: The paper balls do not have to be completely covered in paint. The great thing about water colours is that the paint seeps through some of the paper layers. This process can also be prolonged by un-crumpling the paper, then re-crumpling and painting it again and so on.

After the children were done painting for the day, I un-crumpled the paper and laid the paintings flat to dry.

The following week I gave our toddlers chalk pastels and their wrinkled piece of paper back. I allowed them to make marks and explore chalk pastels as a medium. I showed them how to rub the chalk on its side to cover more of the paper. We tried to fill in the white sections of the paper that did not get painted the following week. They also had a paint brush that allowed them to spread the chalk over their paper, using your hands is also an option (although some children do not like getting messy, while others prefer it).

You can choose to leave your paper like this, and do the whole process over and over again. However, we thought it would be fun to add one more element of play.

We gave each child a toy car and allowed them to dip the car in black paint. Then the children rolled their cars over their piece of paper to create various track marks. Creating a very abstract piece of art!



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