Are you looking for some new art trays to try? Here are eight that we've tried this week.
Tape - my toddler is in a huge scissor phase so he likes this tray, I have coloured tape, children's scissors and card. The card is from Reverse Garbage but the back of cereal containers or other card packaging would work well too. The child cuts pieces of tape and arranges it on the card.
Mirror - painting with a cotton bud on a mirror, fantastic for developing fine motor skills. We loooove using our pencil crayons on the mirror too.
Car Tracks - this tray is the most popular and can last 30-40 minutes, my toddler will almost always go and get other cars, especially his monster trucks (which have fun tread) and will often ask for more paint. The child runs the car through the paint and then onto the paper. Coloured paper adds interest. The could also be done directly on the melamine tray.
Frog Prints - any animal could work but we have been doing a lot of frog study and the frog feet work well here. The child puts the frog into the paint and then onto the paper. After the paint has dried we can get out more paints or pencils and add more drawings or a story.
Diffusing Paper - in a leaf shape with water colours. We use a pipette but a paint brush would work just as well. This is a quick activity and I make sure I have more diffusing leaves nearby.
Watercolour Paints & Crayon - we've actually used a white oil pastel here. The child draws on the paper with the oil pastel and then paints over with the watercolour paints. No matter how my toddler approaches this it always looks beautiful. I also give some words to initially guide my toddler, to use the oil pastel first.
Dot Stickers - my toddler loves stickers and dots stickers are just so easy. They are also fantastic for toddlers who many be exploring order and categorising things, my toddler will sometimes group stickers by colour and sometimes I can see patterning.
Painting Sticks - this is simple painting on sticks, pine cones or gum nuts would work well too. The child has to hold the object with one hand and paint with the other so I like how the hands have to work together, I wanted something for the child to paint but something from nature, the sticks work and later we can decorate them or put them in the garden.
We keep open ended art material on our art shelves like various paints, clay, dabbers and stamps. I prepare trays like these to use in the kitchen (while I'm cooking), if I need someone to look after my toddler or if I need to make a call (or zoom) or if I simply want some down (quiet) time. I prefer to use wooden trays in our home but with so much paint I've found these melamine trays work well and wash really easily.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive list here are 18 Art Activities to Rotate (at Two Years).