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Painting and drawing includes any kind of mark-making: it might be on paper, or board, or on paving outside in chalk.
Mark-making is very good preparation for school so it is a good thing to encourage from an early age, but it can be very messy.
You need to provide:
If you are bothered by mess, control is key:
It is useful to have a stock of large sheets of paper for painting. Lining paper (available in the wallpaper section of DIY stores) is a cheap option as it is available in large rolls and can be cut to size.
For maximum encouragement of young artists, don’t ask ‘What is it?’.
Young children very often don’t paint ‘things’, they just make marks on the paper, and it may not even occur to them that they ‘should’ paint things.
Instead, comment enthusiastically about the colours, or say ‘Tell me all about it’ when they show you their works of art. Allow them to tell you, rather than guide them.
As an alternative to paint brushes, use plastic cutters or shapes to dip into paint and make marks. Sponges are good as they soak up paint, but leaves provide a cheap alternative.
Cutting and sticking is a good way to help children learn to use scissors, and also to make pictures.
Boys, whose fine motor skills tend to develop later, may be discouraged from painting and drawing by being unable to produce the same kind of pictures as their female peers. Cutting and sticking offers an alternative way to create. It is also rather less messy, so a gentler start for parents worried about paint spillages.
As children grow older, they may like to make specific things by cutting and sticking. A stock of suitable pictures for collaging can be a useful wet-weather tool. A scrap book is also a good option as a place to stick interesting pictures.
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