Aside from drawing and coloring, hand-painting can be a joyful experience for a toddler, allowing them to have more space for creativity and thereby paving their way to create unique works of art specific to their imagination.
Hand-painting is a rewarding experience, since it builds color and shape recognition skills, allowing your child to explore their sense of touch and feel with different textured materials. It is also great for fine-tuning their motor skills.
Hand-painting allows your child to explore all the different senses… touch, smell, feel, sight. A child’s hand painting will always be unique to them because they explore their own individuality to create a unique result.
With a little imagination and exploring a range of different methods, you can create amazing artworks with your child. And the great thing about hand and finger paintings is, in being unique, they’ll feature your child’s individual fingerprints!
What you need…
A quiet place to paint
Suitable paints that are safe to use and will wash off easily
A cover-all plastic raincoat or apron to protect the child’s clothing
Clean-up cloth and bucket with water for wiping up
Little chickens have long been a favourite decoration during Easter. Here is a lovely little Easter project you could do with your child.
This was a fun activity that I enjoyed doing with my three-year-old grandson prior to Easter this year.
He helped me to cut out the yellow rectangles for the chicken pattern and the beak. He also helped me to stick on the eyes, wings and feet and we had a ball!
We created the face of the chicken, placing a small blob of glue for the goggle eyes that he placed very carefully on top of the glue. Then we also glued the beak, only sticking on half of the folded cut out paper beak. His tiny fingers were able to stick these carefully. He is a child who pays attention to detail but not all children can do this so carefully.
What you will need…
plastic to cover your table
yellow paper and orange paper
pink and black markers (textas)
yellow and orange pipe cleaners
quick drying clear craft glue
To make the beak, cut out a rectangle (3cm x 1cm) and fold it in half across the long side.
Then cut it to form a diamond shape.
Fold the diamond shape in half to form the beak, making the beak 1.5cm long.
Stick only the bottom half onto the body of the chicken.
Lay out the yellow body shape (18cm x 7cm).
Add the pink cheeks and black eyebrows, using pink texta and thin black marker.
Turn the body over and carefully punch two holes 4cm from each end of the body shape, half way down, just big enough for the pipe cleaner to pass through. (Refer to the photograph).
Take one yellow pipe cleaner, 30cm long.
Cut off 8cm, cut it in half to form the two top feathers, each 4cm long.
Run the pipe cleaner into one hole from front to back and then back through the other hole to the front
Then fold each end back on itself and push the ends into the holes to create the chicken’s little wings.
From the orange pipe cleaner, cut six 4cm pieces
Turn the flat body over and glue the pipe cleaner pieces on a slight angle to create the feet, each foot having 3 toes.
Allow the glue to dry.
When finished and the glue is completely dry, turn the chicken over. Bend it into a circle and tape the back with sticky tape.
If dry, bend the toes forward and splay slightly to form three toes on each foot.
When all is finished and dry, a small Easter egg can be placed in the top, to complete the decoration.
When children are creating with art, they are developing the right side of the brain. This is important for developing their self-expression and thought patterns. It is exciting to watch a child when they pick up a paint brush and freely paint using many different colours to express themselves and to see the delight on their face at the end result. They develop new communication skills. This newfound ability can open up to a child a wonderful avenue of self-expression through art.
Children develop through art activities
When a child explores through doing art and craft activities they are learning and trying different things. When a child is freely exploring art through the many different mediums and activities on their own, their uninhibited self-expression allows them to experiment and discover new possibilities.
When children are using different art media, they are developing their problem-solving skills. When they mix different colours together, they find that new colours emerge. When cutting several pieces of wool or string, they realise they can be completely different sizes, hard or soft and when these pieces are glued to card they can create various patterns or shapes. Children are problem solving as they learn new creative skills.
Children learn quickly that when trying these new found skills they can freely express their thoughts and ideas as well, when talking about their creative art piece. Many physiologists use the creative arts to help children express their thoughts, feeling and emotions and work through them using different art media.
Creative self-expression is a wonderful way to express freely these thoughts and feelings.
The origins of the Easter bunny are somewhat of a mystery. One thought is that they stem from an old pagan tradition celebrating the goddess of fertility. The name of the Germanic fertility goddess was Ēostre. The sacred animal was the hare. Hares were profuse breeders; hence they became a symbol of fertility. Over time the hare was replaced by a rabbit that became known as the Easter Bunny who hid colored eggs at Easter.
Why Easter eggs?
Pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre’s honour, but this tradition was replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is a religious holiday and the Easter eggs are a representation of Jesus’ emergence from the tomb to his resurrection. Eggs were and still are representative of new life and the decorating of eggs for Easter dates back many hundreds of years to the 13th century. Churches encouraged their followers to abstain from eating eggs and to paint and decorate them instead, during the time of Lent… then allowing them to eat them once again on Easter.
Easter is a very important time on the religious calendar and is celebrated widely around the world, having grown out of the ancient symbol of fertility and new life. The egg is associated with spring and “fertility”, “rebirth” and “the beginning”. With a rise in Christianity across Western Europe, many pagan customs and beliefs were adopted into Christian tradition. The egg was a symbol of new life represented by the Resurrection.
Easter Traditions across the Atlantic
Immigrants brought their traditions with them when they decided to migrate to new lands. New continents were being discovered and new traditions were developing. The earliest Easter Eggs were painted with different vegetable dyes and were duck or hen eggs. Flowers and baskets were a later addition. These varying customs eventually spread, along with the fabled Easter Rabbit. These customs developed into the famous morning Easter hunt for multicoloured Easter Eggs, along with other candy ones. Decorated Easter baskets became essential to collect these special eggs, replacing the original nests. Carrots are also sometimes left out the night before to entice the hungry Easter bunny to add additional eggs and so that he would not get hungry while jumping around the garden.
Family Easter fun
The painting of Easter eggs is still a strong tradition and quite fun to do with children. It’s easy to do, but only paint hard boiled cooked eggs.
Children love to paint and cut out Easter shaped eggs and decorate Easter egg cartons along with straw like decoration.
This is a picture of my 3-year-old grandson’s decorated painted cardboard Easter egg carton. We had so much fun using various colours and blending different colours together. Some of them we placed in a cut-out green basket, rolled together, that stood up on the table. We had a lovely three hours of bonding, chatting, and painting while he was using his skills of drawing, painting and cutting out shapes which he does extremely well. I allowed him to experiment and explore his creative side. It’s such a fun activity to do for Easter.