It has been wonderful to have a toddler who is starting to problem solve very creatively and talk some more (can you see my happy dance over the Internet?) Here was the conversation between my 2 year old and his Papa last night.
2 Year Old: reach (shows reaching arms)
How excited that he was able creatively problem solve. His Papa did a great job too of letting him! Sometimes it is the act of stepping back and allowing them the opportunity to try!Besides taking a step back and letting them solve their own problems, here are some other ways that you can encourage creativity and problem solving in your home:
Although having a highly active, motivated, strong willed toddler can be a challenge, I find myself enjoying our time together immensely. He keeps me on the tips of my toes (literally!).
Last week, I shared with you the book I have been reading about “The Books of Fingerplays & Action Songs,” compiled by John n. Feierabend.
We are continuing to use the fingerplays and songs this week, but are adding some open-ended art explorations to our week as well. I encourage him to get silly in his actions and we even change the words.
Explore a Variety of Materials:
The book I am using this week is “First Art for Toddlers and Twos: Open-Ended Art Experiences,” a book about open ended art experiences. If you are not able to get your hands on a copy of this book, MaryAnn Kohler, one of the authors of this book, has posted 20 of the home-made paint recipes on her blog. We tried the creamer paint right away. I had to do a double take when it said “cream.” Did it mean half and half? I tried it and it worked well. The paint dried surprisingly smooth and it was a fun texture to paint with. We use a roll of old fax paper to give my tot more room to explore!
We didn’t use all the paint in the morning and just covered the muffin tin with wax paper and put it in the fridge to paint again after nap. A couple of the paints were harder than others, so I just added a touch of water to those ones.
Allow For Open Ended Exploration:
And who can forget to include Mud Paint into their learning week? Well, it sure goes along with what we believe in – the power of play, outdoors, and creativity! Although there are times when I will suggest an activity to do, most often, I allow my toddler to take the lead. He found a bucket of water and stirred in some mud to make paint outside. I thought it was a great idea and brought out a paper bag for him to paint on. As you can tell by the pictures, my tot thinks this is tons of fun! Dirt and water – who could ask for anything better?