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Creative Arts

Art feeds us in so many ways, and your toddler is eagerly taking it all in…and then letting it all out.

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Toddler arts take many forms. She may sing along with her favorite songs in the car. Or perhaps she loves to twirl and dance the day away. Maybe her favorite way to relax is a beautifully illustrated book before bedtime.

Your 2-Year-Old

No matter the medium, she loves to experience art — and to create it. Whether she’s pretending to be an elephant at the zoo or creating a masterpiece with glitter and glue, she’s learning about what moves her artistically.

  • Music Moves Me

    Do you remember your favorite song from childhood? Does a certain melody spark a beloved memory? Your toddler is starting to enjoy the magic of music. And he’s beginning to create his own sound memories. When you turn on the music, he responds with his entire body. Then, he may hum and sing along — with lyrics, background music or a drum beat. And he’ll share his favorite songs with you again and again (and again and again).

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Do teachers make musical instruments readily available? And encourage children to use them? Good! When the class listens to music, is it culturally diverse? Bonus sign: hearing songs that are about children’s everyday life. After all, what’s more exciting than singing about your lunch, clean-up or nap?

  • I Love Getting My Groove On

    She probably dances like no one’s watching. Still, she just loves it when you watch her dance! Your toddler can’t help but wiggle her body to music. As her coordination increases, she’ll add twists, turns and leaps. Turn on the tunes and encourage her to express herself!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Look for impromptu dance parties! Your child should be encouraged to express himself by moving his body to the beat.

  • My World Is So Colorful!

    He loves it when you hang his artistic creations on the fridge, right? He’s proud of the art he makes, and he’s eager to explore it all — finger paints, crayons, glue, glitter…

    He’s also developing a preference for the art he enjoys as an observer. Have you noticed he picks out the same bedtime book day after day? Be sure to introduce him to lots of family photos, too! As you share those images, he’ll love looking at himself and the people and things he cherishes most.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Will your little Picasso be able to express himself? Look at the walls to see what’s displayed. Does everything look the same, or is individuality encouraged? You want your child to be able to express himself freely through his art. The classroom should include the tools of the trade — from crayons to paints to easels to art stations – to enable that expression.

  • I Can Pretend to Be Anyone or Anything!

    Not only is your toddler playing next to her friends, she’s also beginning to play with them. It’s a subtle shift, but it’s an important one. She’s learning how to express herself through dramatic play (AKA pretend play time), which is a key part of her creative growth. Watch as she pretends to be a fairy princess, a race car driver or a barnyard animal. She’s making the stories in her head come to life…and she’s the main character!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Do you see children expressing themselves through creative, dramatic play? Are they pretending to be police officers, barnyard animals or sports stars? Are they re-enacting events that happened to them earlier in the day? Do teachers encourage this imaginative play?

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Pizza Pizza

    Pizza is not only a favorite food for many children, it’s also for cooking up fun pretend play. Open up an imaginary pizza parlor with kitchen supplies – rolling pin, measuring cups and spoons and mixing tools. You and your child can use paper or felt to make creative flavor combinations. Red circles make great pepperoni, strips of colored paper can be peppers and a shredded tissues makes delightful cheese! Have fun and create.

  • Music Is in the Air

    Music sets the tone for a lot of activities. It can be soft and slow at bedtime. Or you can make it fast and energetic for a family dance party. Pick a song, move or dance together, and use basic music words to talk about it. Some ideas: fast and slow, loud and soft, happy and sad or silly and serious.

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