Young children express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in a variety of ways. Children are extremely imaginative and express themselves creatively through art, music and movement or dramatic play. Through exploring and creating arts, they develop creativity and self confidence.
At this age, your child is able to tell you how he feels and can express himself through gestures, body language, and tone of voice. His fine motor skills are better. He can use scissors. He is competent in gross motor skills such walking, dancing and balancing.
This is a great time for children to explore their bodies and develop creativity through their vivid and boundless imagination. Your child will love to engage in imaginary play such as pretending to be a fairy, princess or a fireman. Play with your child and organise play dates as he will love interacting with his peers.
He will also enjoy art and craft such as making paper aeroplanes, cutting out various shapes and sizes of paper and pasting them to form a collage. Give him a variety of art and colouring materials to experiment with! From broad paintbrush strokes to soft pastels colours, encourage him to talk about how each colour makes him feel.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Musical storytelling is fun! Children love rhythm and repetition. Select books with accompanying songs such as Pete Seeger's 'Abiyoyo', Simms Taback's 'There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly', or improvise on festive tunes such as 'The 12 Days of Christimas', which you can adapt to local context. Have fun making up songs with your child. This allows him to experiment with words and tunes.
Let your child do things on his own. Your child can now scribble with crayons, use a fork and spoon and handle buttons and zippers. He is capable of feeding himself, dressing and undressing, washing and drying his hands and brushing his own teeth. Allow enough time and opportunities for him to practise doing things on his own. This makes him feel successful and competent.
Listen to different music genres. Expose your child to classical, jazz, folk music, children's songs, songs of diverse cultures and languages. Sing nursery rhymes in your mother tongue to your child to get her acquainted with her second language. As she listens, encourage her to move to the beat and rhythm of the songs. This enhances appreciation for different music genres, promotes auditory awareness and nurtures a love for language learning.
Make your own play dough. You can get recipes online easily and the ingredients are very affordable. Making the dough together not only helps your child learn more about numeracy concepts such as measurement and counting, it also creates encourages a stronger parent-child bonding through sensory play and develops ing his fine motor skills through mixing and kneading. You can use food colouring to make dough of different colours or mix them up to create a rainbow effect.
Go to the art museum! Our local museum has many art programmes and exhibitions. Keep a look out for such events and spend a day basking in art with your child. Providing your child with different positive experiences with the arts broadens her worldview and cultivates an interest in the arts.
Make a puppet. All you need is construction paper, glue or tape, ice cream sticks, colouring materials and a bit of imagination. Make puppets of her favourite cartoon characters, animals, family members and friends. Use these puppets to make up stories together. This adds the element of early literacy to art-making and play.
Trace shapes and patterns! Your child loves tracing along shapes and can copy circles quite competently. Cut the shapes out and paste them to make a pattern or form a picture. You can even string the shapes together to make a decorative item or a hanging mobile.
Make art materials accessible. Place materials such as scissors, glue, colour pencils, markers, crayons and more in a box which your child can easily access. Set aside a space for your child to create and be messy. Cultivate the good habit of having him clean up after creating.
Provide a variety of material. Your child can paint jam jars and use them as tea light holders or build a space ship using carton boxes and cardboard boxes.
Celebrate your child’s art! Exhibit his creations at home and in your office. This will let your child know that you are proud of his accomplishments.
Talk about colours, textures, patterns and techniques. Ask your child to tell you about his work. Talk about the colours, how these colours make him feel, the shapes or patterns used in the picture, or the techniques he used to put them together.
Turn anything into art! You can project your child’s shadow and outline it or do body drawings using mah-jong paper that has been taped together. Tear out pages from an old magazine and cut out different colours and images to form a collage, such as a day at the park or a carnival. All this helps your child exercise creativity and imagination!