As an artist and former art teacher, I am constantly thinking about ways that I can bring art into raising my child (and future children). For years I have passed by the aisle in the craft stores that contains rows of colorful foam rectangles just waiting to be cut into interesting shapes. I have personally never had anything meaningful to do with this foam (though once I did incorporate it into an artpiece...). Fast forward to now: I have a child who takes bathes with walls so bare... yearning for color.
Olivia is too young to play this colorful foam art game, but soon she will stop chewing everything that comes within her grasp and she and I can play "art" in the tub (and I can't WAIT!!!!). So many great art lessons can be taught with the results of this tutorial, and I hope you try them out with your own little ones. (or just do them yourself. honestly I spent so much time playing with these shapes and making art on the wall while olivia played in the tub that I didn't notice she was pooping until too late!!!!)
Foam rectangles from the craft store (2 or more colors)
organic shapes in the beginning, and then more geometric shapes later.
1. Teach them about organic shapes vs. geometric shapes then have them create an artpiece out of one or the other, or both side by side. Then discuss how the organic shapes look or make them feel compared to the geometric art. Ask them what organic shapes (trees, plants,) they know about in real life and what geometric shapes (buildings, furniture, etc). This activity can lead to discussions when going for a walk. at the playground, or while shopping, etc (well in an artist mom's dreams at least...).
2.Give them a pile of pieces, say 15 pieces, and then give them 3 minutes to make an art piece. on your mark set, GO! and see what they create. Or you can ask them to see how many different art pieces they can create out of those same 15 pieces.
3. Give them a pile of pieces and ask them to see if they can create a real object using just those pieces (such as a lamp, a tiger, a car, etc).
4. Teach them about the principles of design: rhythm, focal point, balance, contrast, and movement using the shapes to demonstrate (review these first if you aren't familiar with them). Have them create an art piece on the wall, and then talk about where they see rhythm with the shapes, or ask them to use the shapes to create something that has symmetrical balance (same on both sides) or asymmetrical balance (not the same on both sides--in simple terms).
yes, this may sound complicated at first, but I think that young kids (maybe not REALLY young kids) can understand these on a simplified level. And it would be fun just to try it out. art in the bath. I love it. If you don't do any of these things, then at the very least they will love creating artwork out of these shapes. And they aren't the boring shapes you find in bags at the store.