Having a toddler present you with their art is an important moment, and it’s equally important how you receive and encourage it. You may feel the temptation to look confused when the page holds nothing more than a scrawl of yellow or a typhoon of every color. “What did you draw a picture of?” is a question you shouldn’t be asking. Artwork and the creativity and self expression that comes with these projects is an integral part of your child’s development, so Lake Forrest Prep, an Orlando private school, explains why and how to encourage it.

Getting the Supplies

To encourage art, you need to make sure you provide the necessary materials and space. You can start out simply with crayons and paper, and later you can build up to paints, glue, scissors, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and more! There are so many ways to make art, just make sure that all the materials your child is using are safe and non-toxic. Also, supervise their art time to make sure the paint is going on the paper and not in their mouths. Finally, make sure they are wearing clothes that can get dirty in a space that can get equally messy.

The Difference Between Arts and Crafts

These terms are often used as synonyms, but they are quite different especially when it comes to your toddler’s development. Art is driven by pure creativity with no instruction, and crafts are determined by a set of instructions. They may use the same materials, but they have different goals. Crafting construction paper circles has a clear goal and one way of accomplishing it. This teaches the skill of cutting with precision, but the child won’t be exercising their creativity. Art gives the child free reign to create whatever they want, however they want.

How to Respond

Lastly, when your child presents their work to you, refrain from criticizing. Instead, you should ask about how the made it, why they choose to use those particular colors and shapes. Get them thinking about how their creation came to be and what it means to them. Also, expose you child to art in museums and open up a discussion of why an artist made the decisions that he or she did

Art is a great way for children to learn how to express themselves in a new way. Art doesn’t need words to tell a story, and this is a great lesson for children to learn. Promote this creativity in your children whenever you can. For more educational advice follow Lake Forrest Prep, an Orlando Private school’s, blog.