Children between the ages of 1 and 3 want to be independent. This can be confirmed when they start to do things like feed themselves finger foods, begin to walk and run.
Once a child starts to eat with a spoon and-or fork, they also can hold a crayon and a paint brush. Painting introduces toddlers to texture, colors and fine motor skills.
It also helps them learn about creatively expressing their thoughts. It gives them a chance to put on paper the things they see.
When introducing a child to the idea of painting, there are a few things to remember.
1. Help children develop a habit of holding a brush the correct way (not in a fist). This will make painting much easier for them later.
2. While almost every child has a vivid imagination, most of them still need help choosing an idea for a painting. Offer suggestions like "Let's paint a flower or a sun, a ball or a tree" etc.
3. It might also help to show a child a picture in a book and ask him to describe it.
This is how children start "reading" shapes and colors and very slowly develop an understanding of how they can express their own ideas on paper.
During a recent Early Head Start Family Playgroup, family partner Una Hall offered children in attendance the opportunity to try paining with a brush as one of the activities.
This particular project had children dip the paint into the color of their choosing and then paint their parent's hand. The parent is then placed their hand on paper so that it left an imprint for the child to see.