art play

Mayhem and Messy Play #10: Kids Scribble Messy Play

Have there been any scribble messy play art attacks on the walls, floors, or furniture at your house? Scribble messy play took to the stage here recently. Lots of kids got up close and personal with scribbles, as well as some adults, at the annual Children’s Book Fest hosted in the city.scribble book ruth ohi

Many of us have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to early scribbles. Children’s author, Ruth Ohi, has just written and published a book called Scribble. In the story, the regular shapes of Circle, Triangle, and Square meet scribble. At first, they are not sure what to make of Scribble, but together they create waves on the water, a string to hold tight to a balloon, and more.


At the event, children were able to see and hear authors in small sessions. Ruth Ohi invited kids to come up to her giant easel and scribble. She talked to them and helped them feel comfortable in front of the group, called out Go, mimed scribbling herself with great animation and excitement, and then Stop. She added to the scribbles and it became a unicorn dragon. She passed out papers and crayons to all of the kids and encouraged them to scribble.  (in the photo above, we made the scribble lines darker in order to see them)scribble play ruth ohi

Seeing all the kids scribbling away reminded me of a blog post on the site Messy Monkeys, “learning to ‘dot dot dot’ and ‘scribble scribble scribble’ gives your child a head start in the muscle development required for when they (sob…) head off to school.” Just like children babble and coo when they are first learning to speak, they make random marks and scribble when they are first learning to write.

holiday art fun
photo courtesy of MFair

Scribbling can happen with crayons, pencils, chalk, paint, a stick, and more. As for options to paper—and the walls—they can scribble on sidewalks, driveways (watch for cars) and old sheets hung on a fence. Scribbles do not have to ‘be’ something. They might very well just be scribbles. As children scribble, they are not only learning about writing, they are experiencing the joy of creating and of expressing themselves in a form other than words. Could messy scribble play be part of your child’s day?


How to Steal a March #14: Play with Learning Tools = Advantage

Play with learning tools can give kids a huge advantage in confidence. Using a play-on-words for the month, it helps them “steal a march.” Here are some ideas ideas for fun and play with learning tools from an earlier post:

Letting your child play and experiment with these tools is not just fun, it’s also helpful before starting kindergarten or preschool. Being familiar with them increases a child comfort and confidence and fine motor skills.

To minimize the chance of walls or carpets being given a new color, it’s a good idea to crayon or glue proof an area. Big markers, crayons, and paint brushes are easier to hold than thinner ones. Paint dabbers are super handy as the color comes premixed with the sponge attached, but anything from q-tips to branches can be used. There are hundreds of recipes for homemade paint that vary from food colors diluted with water to instant pudding. (The pudding option is great for encouraging kids who are not particularly interested in drawing.)

learning tools for kidsGlue ranges from ordinary to sparkles to glow-in-the-dark. Paper can be recycled from cereal boxes, newsprint, and wrapping paper. Besides chalk boards, driveways, sidewalks and patios expand the space to giant-size. Scissors are the most challenging tool to use.

Playdough is easy to cut, doesn’t have any lines to follow, and can be cut over and over. As hands roll, pat, squish, and smoosh, they get lots of exercise.

The small muscles in the hand and wrist are still developing at this age. Strength and coordination will depend a great deal on how much kids have been able to play with learning tools and other toys, as well as their own unique strengths and challenges. Some kids are eager to use them and others are hesitant or not interested. Learning tools also give children a chance to be creative. Besides the physical opportunities, kids also practice problem-solving, planning, making choices, using language and other skills.

Children’s success in school depends on how they feel about interacting with materials and other people, both kids and adults. When kids are confident with the “tools of the trade” they have one less thing to be anxious about. If they have used learning tools before, they can go beyond the figuring-out stage to creating and collaborating. Introducing scissors, glue, and other items to kids thru play means they are comfortable with them. How can your child play with learning tools today?


How to Steal a March #7: Art Play Boosts Brain Power

We often don’t think of it as serious or important as academics, but art play boosts brain power. Art play helps develop the important skills of visualization and creativity.pre-printing activities for young children

Brains think in words, but we also think in images. When we hear the words in a story, we create the images in our mind. When we describe an event to someone else, we use words to help them picture what happened too. Reading books and telling stories is word play; art activities are image and sensory play.

painting for kids

Usually, when we think of art activities for kids we think of drawing. Art tools for drawing aren’t limited to crayons. They can include chalk, paint, sticks, rocks, buttons, and recycled and nature items of many kinds. Besides paper, kids can create on sidewalks, driveways, dirt, decks, cardboard boxes and sometimes, walls. That’s not such a great choice, however. Kids can make pictures with a stick in the dirt, or rocks on a beach. The recycling basket often has treasures for art with school tools

When it comes to painting, food colors, fruits and vegetables, and even clear water are more choices. Brushes can range from fingers to old toothbrushes to marbles rolling around on a tray.
In addition to drawing, hands love to play with play dough. Whether you make your own at home or purchase it at a store, kids of various ages can play with it over and over. There are ­countless variations of play dough with different textures to appeal to the sense of touch. Another part of it’s appeal is that kids can create whatever they want. The possibilities are unlimited.

art play with rocks

We might think of creativity as a talent we are born with. It is also a skill that we can help kids develop by letting them explore and create. Businesses are finding the value of creativity as they look for innovative ideas and solutions. Have you heard the saying to “steal a march” on someone? This refers to having an advantage over somebody. Art play boosts brain power and can do just that–give kids an advantage. What kind of art play might happen today for your child?

February Friendship #6: Kids Can Be Friends with Art Tools, Toys, and Other Materials

Not all children enjoy art activities, but kids can be friends with art tools and toys, things like crayons, chalk, play dough, paper, scissors, glue and even chocolate pudding. That’s not an art tool, you say? Certainly it isn’t usually, but every now and then, it can be. Not all kids like drawing with crayons … Continue reading February Friendship #6: Kids Can Be Friends with Art Tools, Toys, and Other Materials

Christmas Art Patterns and Art Play Time for Kids

While art play time doesn’t necessarily mean doing a craft or project, the kids made some candy canes using Christmas art patterns, paper and paint dabbers. These were fun and simple to make. Patterns, that is a repetitive sequence like red-green/red-green is something I’ve included in blogs almost every month. Little Sister has made patterns … Continue reading Christmas Art Patterns and Art Play Time for Kids