- Make transportation-themed art projects with toddlers.The child with toy machine image by Ella from Fotolia.com
Toddler-age children delight in pushing wheeled toys across the floor as they make vrooming, zooming and screeching noises to add to the excitement of their play. The fascination that toddlers have with vehicles doesn't end with things that move on land. Boats, planes and spaceships cruise through the pages of picture books and television programs aimed at toddlers. Create transportation art with youngsters to satisfy their desire to learn about "things that go."
Tire Track Painting
- Teach toddlers to create designs on paper, using die-cast toy cars as painting tools. Before class, obtain enough die-cast cars for each toddler to have one to paint with. If you choose to have only one or two children paint at a time, you will only need a couple of cars. Purchase the cars new where toys are sold. Don't use thrift store cars for toddler art. Small car parts may come off during the project and pose a choking hazard. Always supervise young children closely when doing art projects using any materials.
Cover the children's clothes with paint smocks or old t-shirts. Place newspaper on your art table and lay a 9 inch by 12 inch piece of white construction paper on the table for each child. Place 1 tablespoon each of red, blue and yellow tempera paint on separate paper plates. Let the children dip the cars, wheels down, into one of the plates of paint. Tell toddlers to "drive" their cars over the surface of their paper. Let the children drive the cars to make tire-track paintings.
- Toddlers get to design a car or truck by gluing precut shapes to a piece of construction paper. Cut circles, rectangles and squares from multicolored construction paper. Cut triangle and oval shapes, too. Vary the sizes of the paper shapes so the children have a variety of shapes, colors and sizes from which to choose. Give each toddler an 18 inch by 20 inch piece of green construction paper and a handful of paper shapes. Show each child different ways to put the shapes together to make a vehicle. Let little ones who show ability to put the shapes together themselves do it independently. Help the toddlers to glue the paper shapes onto the green background with a glue stick.
Don't be concerned with the number of wheels the children want to put on their vehicles -- or even if the shapes resemble a vehicle at all. The beauty of toddler art is in the art's creation and in the child's joy in the completed project, not in its perfection.
Painted Paper Airplane
- Your smallest artists will be amazed when you turn a painting they created into a paper airplane that will really fly across the room. Tell your little artists that they will paint the outside of an airplane. Let toddlers dip cotton swabs into watercolors and swirl the colors onto a piece of regular copy paper. When the paintings are dry, fold them into paper airplanes. The website Paper Airplanes contains directions for folding paper into a simple classic paper airplane.