I used to think my train-obsessed Noah favored his left-brain as I observed his early childhood development. He spends his time building tracks, problem solving and learning the inner workings of things. But now I’m seeing his right-brained artistic abilities as he delves into art projects for kids. He constantly drags out art supplies ready to create. He builds layouts for his train tracks using pillows as mountains and paints shoe boxes to use as tunnels. And he often surprises me when he comes up with his own vision, and successfully sees it through to completion.
Art provides a wonderful growth opportunity for children and fosters early childhood development. According to the Americans for the Arts, “it teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.”
Here are a few recent art projects for kids. Noah created these after successfully raiding the recycle bin.
Car – large juice container, three soda cans, masking tape and a straw (for the antennae). I don’t even think this one needs an explanation. For a more eye-catching car, cover the juice container and cans with colorful construction paper and use clear tape or glue.
Guitar – a Kashi box, toilet paper roll, rubber bands and tape. Simply cut a hole in a small box. Cut a toilet paper roll in half and tape it to the box. Position rubber bands—done! If you want to spruce it up, paint the box and let dry before adding the TP roll and rubber bands. This particular project really surprised me as it isn’t train related (it doesn’t even have wheels). I had no idea why he kept asking me for rubber bands. When he placed them on the box, it was clearly a guitar, and it played music!
Thomas the Train – we found this in a Thomas the Train workbook. You need red, blue and black paint; two juice boxes, two straws (to connect the wheels); six caps (for the wheels- use caps from a milk container or small juice bottles); glue; cotton; and paper or cardboard circles for Thomas’ face. Make sure the paint dries before construction.