Fine Motor & Art without frustration - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-04-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All (blah! sorry this got long!)

 

This is my first post over in this area. My oldest child is 3.5 and I have been doing lots of research to get us started on our homeschool path. Since we are in AK and need to keep our trips outside shorter in winter, I am hoping to do a lot of art. I have no experience with paper-paint-and glue type kids art and I have absolutely no idea how to guide my son. My biggest goal for him is to avoid frustration but I want him to be able to benefit from the experience. 

 

So far, we do wet-on-wet water color painting in a single, solid primary color. He chooses his color every day, I mix the paint and set up his work space and he paints until the the paper is completely covered edge to edge. He seems very happy with his paintings so I haven't even moved on to color mixing/color wheel yet. At some point I plan to do that and then make solid color paintings in secondary colors. We have some beeswax crayons both block and stick. he will color occasionally but does not often seem happy with his work. Sometimes he will just grab a pen and scrap paper and 'draws' a story (totally totally unrecognizable scribbles) and tells me about it - that he does seem pleased with. 

 

So, in your experience, is this just typical for 3.5? Should I be looking for or waiting for a developmental jump? He scribbles all over coloring pages and asking him to color inside lines would be well beyond his frustration-capacity (not that I would or have asked him to do that) Do you have any ideas for 'projects' I could work with him? Or should I just let him be for a while?

 

I am looking at Atelier Art curriculum for next year (starting this coming fall). He will be almost 4.5 at that point. I have emailed the company just to see if there are readiness signs for what age to begin their program with kids but if anyone has feedback on that or other preK/K level art books or guides that would be very helpful too. 

 

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

 


XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#2 of 6 Old 01-05-2012, 10:12 PM
 
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:) I was in your shoes when my girls (now 5) were your child's age.  It is WILD that all of a sudden they start drawing inside the lines...it all happens when they are ready!

 

My best advice:  leave as many art supplies out as possible and tolerate as much messiness/chaos as possible and praise everything (except cutting their own hair, painting intentionally on the walls, etc...I've had all that too).  My girls have rarely been frustrated by fine motor/art skills...but I literally allow them to do as much or as little as they want in a day.  I've been very "unschooly" about art and they create very interesting things.  Most importantly, they seem to enjoy it.

 

Now, at 5 years, they draw human/animal/house, etc figures, stay inside lines in coloring books, write letters and numbers, etc.  I have let this ALL come naturally and somehow it just all falls into place.  It's magical!

 

Hmmm...projects...Most of the time I've just put random objects (toilet paper tubes, straws, magazines) out and said something like, "You can use this any way you'd like" and they come up with incredible stuff.  Try to give your child lots of access and permission for most things.  By the way, my mother gave my kids scissors at 3 years old. I cursed her (in my head) for months and months and months because I had paper scraps all over my floors all the time.  If you can tolerate that, the scissor work is awesome and they love cutting things!

 

Most of all, have fun!  And know that you're not alone in having a messy, messy kitchen or art space!  And, btw, my girls have been using their scissors to make paper snowflakes for 6 weeks now!  Talk about paper scraps everywhere! :) It never ends!

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#3 of 6 Old 01-06-2012, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!  I am so glad to hear it happened all of a sudden for your girls. My husband is very athletic and has excellent gross motor skills but his fine motor skills kind of stink. I see the same pattern in my son so I think I am a little more worked up over fine motor because of that. 

 

He does have a pair of scissors and likes to cut up paper. He cuts and cuts and never wants to do anything else with it so I barely even considered that art :) I will let him keep going and maybe I will see some more interests emerge in the coming months without any stress.


XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-06-2012, 11:18 PM
 
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It happened out of nowhere with our DD (5.5), as well. She was around the same age. As the pp suggested, I'd leave out as much as possible, and allow him to explore and create. My mom teaches that age group, and usually leaves two paint colors at the easel and rotates out each day. Resealable paint cups are great for this.

Have you checked out Pinterest? There are a ton of projects on there for kids his age, and they'd be easy to do with basic craft supplies. For example, putting paint in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Tape the bag shut, smooth it out, and let him make squiggles and designs with his fingers or a Q-tip. You can leave the paint in there for later, or squeeze it out to reuse for painting. We also do a lot of play dough making here, as well. It's easy to make, and DD likes to add her choice of color, scent, and sometimes glitter.

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#5 of 6 Old 01-07-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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Hi there!  Another idea which I love, especially for rainy/indoor days:  using white board/dry erase markers on the windows and/or glass doors.  The kids love it and, not that I understand why, but using the markers on a vertical surface is supposedly helpful in developing fine motor skills.  Washes off easily!  If I didn't have such water-fascinated kids, I'd let them wash it off!

 

I agree with the pp too -- I left out paint and an easel for a long, long time.  I rotated the easel, chalkboards, white boards, taping paper to the walls, etc. 

 

And, I saw great things in a Montessori catalogue today (montessori services I think):  small hammer and nails, and the rubberband board thingy...pardon all my technical jargon!

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#6 of 6 Old 01-07-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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For quite a while, painting is Process, rather than product. I can remember my kids painting something I'd want to keep, and then next time I looked it was completely painted over.  Later, they would paint something recognizable, but would narrate a story as they painted, rendering the finished product just a wet, colorful page.

 


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