Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not Coloring On Walls- Toddler Activities

Toddlers love to be artists. Unfortunately, their artwork is not always created where it should may be on the wall! uggh! So often, some of the parents of the kids I work with are so excited that the child wants to use a marker or crayon that they are not initially bothered by the child coloring on the walls or floor. Then, by the time the newness of the skill wore off, they wished they had never let the child color on the walls.

Some tips for preventing this are:

  • Use Crayola (R) color wonder or other markers that can only be used on certain paper, that way the marks are not showing up on the walls.

  • Water sticks such as Aquadoodle (R)- these water markers won't hurt the wall other than soaking it! You can find activity mats in various sizes made for the water sticks.

  • Hide the crayons or put them in a container high up on a shelf. If you want some within the child's reach, only leave out 2 or 3. I find it better to not leave kids access to crayons until they understand that coloring doesn't happen on walls, floors, or furniture. If you give them access, hope you are watching them closely! If they disobey, put the crayons in "time out" such as up on a mantle or shelf.

  • Use washable crayons and markers, that way it will be easier to clean up. A good idea is to have the child help clean up if he has the cognition to understand consequences.

  • Have the child sit in a particular place when coloring as opposed to roaming around. This way you can keep an eye on him easier. Maybe place a stool or table/chairs in the middle of the room or away from a wall so the toddler isn't tempted to color on the wall

  • Use an easel. For the kids with low muscle tone or delayed vision, visual perception, or visual processing skills, this is especially beneficial. These children typically are better with control of their finger and wrist muscles for coloring when doing it in a vertical plane. An easel board or an over-the-door easel hanger are both good ideas. No easel or access to one? Tape pieces of paper to the refrigerator and have that be the easel. For children with visual problems, use contrasting colors of paper. If the refrigerator is white, use pink or pastel blue paper. If the refrigerator is black, use yellow or white paper. This helps give a boundary and for them to not draw off of the paper.

I am lucky that my 5 year old daughter never drew on the walls. She drew on her kiddy table a couple of times, and I had her help clean it up which eliminated a repeat offense. I am sure that I will not be as lucky with my son, but who knows? My sister was not as lucky as me. When her older daughter "L" was in preschool, she was pregnant with my other neice. Well "L" decided to draw a picture of the family on the wall. She made sure to draw a cute little baby head with a smile on top of her Mommy's large belly. It was soooooo cute, but she still got disciplined. Although, my sister waited until I got to see it before she painted over it! It was so cute it was hard to get mad, but she did have to learn there are consequences for disobeying.

1 comment:

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