As you have probably noticed recently if you’ve been reading my blog, I am having a lot of fun creating daily index cards with the ICAD challenge from Daisy Yellow. Tammy, who writes the Daisy Yellow blog and runs the ICAD challenge each year is very supportive of the idea of children participating in the challenge too, and even has a special FAQ page dedicated to a kid-version of ICAD. When I decided to do the challenge I knew I wanted to get Lewis involved too. He loves art projects, especially getting to explore Mama’s supplies.
I’m keeping it relaxed with him, not pushing him to create when he doesn’t want to, and trying not to interfere with his creative process when he is creating. We’ve only missed two or three days so far, but he has also created multiple cards on some days so it actually evens out to him being approximately on-track with the challenge. When we first started I thought he would create maybe one or two cards here and there, but he’s really gotten into the creativity more than I ever expected.
I love art and creative expression, and I try to keep art a part of Lewis’ daily life as well. He has his own “art drawer” alongside all of my art materials, and free access to paper, markers, stickers, colored pencils and washi tape. Pens, pencils, crayons, and chalk are all readily available for him to use as well. However, I’ve found that starting this challenge with him has made me even more open and ready to let him explore a variety of art materials at any time of the day. It’s so easy to grab an index card (or three) and sit down with a few materials to start creating. I’ve been trying hard not to say “no” if he ever asks for art materials or shows an interest in creating. He spots the glue stick up on the table and asks for it? Great! Lets sit down together, find some paper we can cut or tear up, and glue it on a card! He spotted me writing on the grocery list and wants to use my pen? Sure! Here’s an index card to ‘write’ on!
Some days I suggest art materials or lay them out for him to find, other days I wait for him to find his own inspiration. Some of his cards have come from letting him explore the same materials I used on my card that day, other times it is just a case of him wanting to use his markers. For his stamped card I laid out a few stamps on the table one day and waited for him to notice them. When he did, I asked if he’d like to give them a try and we sat down together to explore stamping.
The index cards seem to be a fun size for him to work on. I’ve seen some suggestions to give toddlers huge paper, big enough so they can paint or color in the full area of where there arm can reach, and of course this is fun and a good art activity sometimes. But, I think tiny paper is just as appropriate. He seems to have no trouble creating his art in the small space, and if I am worried about mess I just place the card on top of some bigger paper or a newspaper. Often these cards seem just-right for his toddler sized attention span. Sometimes he wants to continue creating after he’s done one, but there have also been many times when one card seems to be just the right dose of art.
We are having such a great time creating art together and exploring all these materials. I can’t wait to see what Lewis creates throughout the rest of this challenge (and beyond)!