I had the privilege of attending a watercolor workshop two weeks ago by Memory Crafters. For a person without knowledge about watercolors and basic art, I was really happy with how it turned out. The speaker was evidently a professional artist himself, and yet he was able to bring what looked like complicated art knowledge to very basic and understandable bits. Although I wasn’t able to bring my two-year old daughter to the event, I am keen on doing the activity at home with her (2 weeks late because she got sick!). My tools are ready for our new adventure in the world of art!
But first, let me tell you why I think this activity is worth my (and your) while to pursue with your toddlers. Let me tell you now that the enumeration is not based on importance, and that the reasons may be very much related to one another. After all, art is simply the meeting of all our senses at that point when it was being done.
1) Watercolor introduces a new world of art coloring.
Yes, that’s aside from using crayolas to give colors to your little one’s drawings! Most first experiences with colors involve crayolas, usually those big ones that suit our toddler’s small hands. When we let them experience this, it can be like a light bulb that flashes bright lights from the excitement of seeing and experiencing new things.
2) Watercolor develops fine motor skills.
The grip that toddlers use to hold on to their brushes develops these very fine muscles that are useful for so many things later on. The small swish and swash of their brushes onto the paper, and the splish and splosh they make when they dip their brushes to the small water bucket or jar are sparking up some valuable connections for better and finer motor skills.
3) Watercolor gives them a more concrete idea about blending (primary) colors in order to produce a new (secondary) color.
In our house, we love the book Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni because, aside from it being heartwarming, it also shows what happens when Little Blue and Little Yellow combine – they become green! However, seeing it happen LIVE and in actuality, makes the idea of mixing colors more concrete.
Other basic mixing ideas are those of yellow and red to produce orange, and red and blue to produce violet. You can also have a printed color cheat sheet, mine was printed by 55 printing, to guide and teach your child. There are, of course, innumerable colors that may be produced, but all we need are the basics when it to comes to our toddlers.
4) Watercolor can be used to teach our toddler about emotions and the colors associated with them.
Later on, we can better understand our toddler’s feelings just by looking at her/his artwork. A lot of psychologists and therapists are using artwork to understand a person, why not us, mothers and fathers? If only to understand and be able to relate to them more.
5) Watercolor enhances the parts of their brains that handle creativity.
The fluidness of water creates art that cannot be reproduced the same 100% way. This can lead them to new art designs that may enhance their view of creativity. This medium is so free that what one may think as mistakes can turn out to be beautiful accents to an artwork. The freedom that this medium allows provides room for so much new discoveries. A stroke can be the wave of an ocean. A washed stroke can be the horizon. The possibilities are endless!
6) Watercolor may also enhance their problem-solving skills.
As you continue this journey of watercoloring with your toddler, you and her/him will find that the effect that you are looking for may not be what you initially intended or wanted. So your child will look for ways and solutions to make the art more to her liking.
7) Watercolor and any other art for that matter, can build a child’s confidence.
Seeing a finished result always gives one a high. Simple watercolor of flowers and trees, and even letters and numbers, can build the belief in one’s self, which is necessary to have the heart to push for bigger things now and in the future. Hearing your child say “Finished!” can be sweet music to your ears because you know there is happiness and pride in that statement.
I do hope you will consider doing watercolor with your toddlers! Who knows, your toddler might be the next Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, or Ben Cabrera!
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