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Arts/Crafts for Kids/Process art for 12 months thru 18 months


Hi MaryAnn
I am a daycare teacher for five adorable children 12 through 18 months. I am required to offer them a process art activity everyday and am having a problem coming up with suitable projects. They eat or try to eat everything I put in front of them. Most of the time if they can't eat it... they aren't interested.  We are not allowed to use any food products in our art so projects like pudding painting are out. I have had them paint using toy cars, and bath scrubbies but that is even to difficult for the youngest ones. I would be so grateful for any help you could give me.

Hi, Shannen. You are working with VERY young children, which means they are still exploring by mouth and with limited attention spans. What I'm hoping is that you accept that you will not have a finished product that is cookie cutter adorable! IT sounds like you are on board with that. The projects you mention are classic great ideas!! Cars, bath scrubbies, and so on. I suppose I can suggest you purchase "First Art", but I don't want to push sales here. It is for toddlers and twos so fits your age groups. On my website I Have a few free sample projects from that book:
The four projects on my website are:
   Bubble Wrap Print
   Color Bottle Blend
   Play Clay Keeper
   Stretchy Dough
   Sit Down Paint Dancing

What you should expect is that they won't care what they are making, but they will be interested in the process and the experience of exploring materials. But don't expect more than 5 or 10 minutes tops! This age just moves on quickly.

Perhaps you should be confident that you can repeat the same art activity over and over. Go ahead and do a full week of gluing cotton balls on paper plates. It's ok! Repetition is important for children. Perhaps if you repeat the same activity, they will learn to do more with it each day.

Please write back with more questions after you think about all this....

I'd like to help more if possible.

MaryAnn Kohl

Arts/Crafts for Kids

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MaryAnn F. Kohl


I am an expert in anything about art for children, but not crafts. I have written over ten books of art ideas for kids, using materials found commonly in most homes. I like easy ideas! MaryAnn F. Kohl, author


began writing in 1985 after teaching elementary aged kids for ten years


Parenting, Fisher-Price, Donna's Day, Scholastic, others

I've been writing and teaching and publishing and giving workshops and trainings and and and for 25 years non-stop.

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