In my studio I like to add explration of art media, nature, and more.
We do exploration art which is great for sensory exploration and developing creative & problem solving skills. Often I will use what's created through sensory exploration in coolaberative murals. Memory art is done with a parent and the creation utilizes parent child colabreation and the product becomes either functional or a cherished memory. Creating crafts or props to provide an opportunity to facilitate a function (like a game or instrument) or for imaginative play.
For our winter & weather exploration here are some of the things we'll have available at the studio or you can do at home...
Explore some textures with tissue paper, raised patterns, and crayons
Explore shapes with blocks or let them cover a piece of contact paper with a variety of materials- I'll have a variety of materials that can be used so you'll have a nice sun catcher.
Make a snow globe or sensory bottle.
There are many ways to make these, I will have a flier with directions on one and materials at the studio for another.
I use several kinds of art but process art is especially important. We adults often like to have a proscribed set of directions and outcome (which has it's place), However open ended exploration of materials is very developmentally important. Here is a discussion from an OT about why process art is important for brain & body development. From an artists perspective process art is also important because it exercises & developes creativity.
I've had some parents ask me where I got my toddler crayons...
I purchased the animal finger crayons at lakeshore learning and they can be palm held, warn on finger or stacked (they also have animal faces). The color wheels are easy to grasp and are compact & durable I’m pretty sure I got them at Walmart but I just looked and they are available on Amazon. Other good toddler crayons are coloring eggs or rocks which are designed for easy grasping. I do have links for anyone who wants them.