Now your child can confidently hold a pencil and their imagination is expanding every day, they will get so much satisfaction from art and creativity. Simply offering your child blank paper and crayons is a great start for their creative urges. Given free rein, your child can express the way they see the world, draw out magical fantasies – and they’ll be improving their fine motor skills (essential for handwriting) and building their confidence as they go.

Playing with patterns

Working with patterns is a great way for your child to develop observation skills. Now your child is old enough to spot and understand patterns, they can enjoy making their own. Offering different coloured beads, or different shapes of pasta for your child to make collages or thread on to string is fun. Or you can offer your child cut-out shapes (circles, triangles and squares for example) to make into a collage. As your child grows, they can trace shapes and cut out the shapes themselves with safe scissors. You can offer stickers, old wrapping paper or fabric pieces too perhaps. Understanding and creating patterns helps with maths at school, because it encourages counting and helps your child spot sequences.

Monster collages for confidence

Cutting out crazy monster shapes and offering your child lots of materials for them to take the shapes in whichever direction they choose is a good way to stimulate creativity. Rather than working with a particular result in mind, your child can enjoy the creative process, and turn the shapes in whatever they like. Offering crayons, paint, coloured pens, wobbly eyes, sequins, stickers or whatever you like will bring your child’s creativity roaring to life. Feeling proud of what they’ve produced – all by themselves – is a nice confidence boost too.

Magic mirror pictures

Using simple paint and paper, your child can experiment with mirror pictures. Fold a piece of paper in half and open it up again, then encourage your child to paint on half of it – with lots of wet paint. They can also make handprints, or use potatoes to make prints. Butterflies, faces, houses and other symmetrical shapes are obvious choices, but your child can experiment with whatever pictures or patterns they like. Experimenting with symmetry is a good start to seeing natural symmetry around us, and helps your child work out how symmetry works. And wonderfully messy painting is always brilliant fun of course!

This play idea is great for...

  Creative play
As well as being satisfying, relaxing and enjoyable, creative play helps your child use their mind creatively, which helps them find fresh solutions to problems, enjoy learning about new things, and feel confident in facing new experiences.
  Fine Motor Skills
Every kind of art and creativity helps your child build strength and precision in their little hands. As your child starts nursery and school, Having good hand control is a great help for learning to write, eating with a knife and fork, changing for PE – and much more.
  Discover the world
As your child’s world expands and they see and experience more of the world, using pencil and paper to express their point of view and helps them to understand the world around them, think about how it works, and discover their place within it.