Painting with a two year old

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on April 2, 2014

in Creative Art, Painting, Painting with a Two Year Old

Painting with a Two Year Old

My grandson is two years old and has began showing an interest in the painting process. However, anytime I ask my grandson if he would like to paint with me or paint a picture, he always, always tells me no…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

Being a preschool teacher who loves to explore the painting process with my students and having my grandson turn me down every time I ask him to paint can be a bit disappointing. So I have had to be patient and just keep opportunities out there for him to explore when he is ready….

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

So on those days when my grandson comes over to the preschool to “help me” clean up the classroom, I will leave some painting supplies out and available for him to check out. If I ask my grandson, “Would you like to paint on the easel?” he ignores me or “Would you like to paint with the rollers?” he ignores me. So I don’t ask, I just leave the paint supplies available for him to choose to give them a try…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

Normally, I leave paint on the easel with paper all ready to go and there are days when he will mosey over to the easel and begin to paint on the easel paper. Forget about putting a paint smock on him because that is the fastest way I know to get him to change his mind and not want to paint…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

Anytime he is painting at the easel, he will ask me to play music on the classroom CD player. So I am happy to turn it on so we can both listen to the children’s music while he paints and I continue to clean the classroom…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

My grandson will spend the longest time painting at the easel. He will paint with his left hand and then his right hand and then with both hands. He listens to the music and paints with whatever left-over colors I have sitting out in the paint cups…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

The color of paint doesn’t matter to my grandson right now. What matters to him is the way the paint moves as he brushes across the paper.  He goes round and round or makes long strokes across the middle or dabs the brush at the paper…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

And on one particular occasion, my grandson noticed a set of wooden blocks I had sitting on the counter. He asked if he could play with them and then he brought over a cup of paint and began to paint on them. These blocks were already marked on and I will soon be painting over them with white paint so letting my grandson paint on them first was a very good idea (one I would have never actually thought of but he did)…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

He began painting the blocks and stacking them up higher and higher. Paint and stack, paint and stack until they would get off balance and tumble down. Then he would start all over again trying to keep his tall tower of blocks from tumbling and still painting a dab here and there as he went along…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

I am quite certain if I asked my grandson, “Would you like to paint a block?” he would have ignored me and went off to do something else. But where I can be flexible and give him the opportunity to choose to paint on his own, he does some remarkable things with the artistic process that even I hadn’t thought of…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

Right now in my life, I have a brand new baby granddaughter, an 18 month old grandson and my two year old (almost three now) grandson. I also teach a class of children ages three to five years old. So everyday I am observing the development of children from newborn up until the age of five. I observe and learn from them what makes the creative process or learning process interesting. I am learning to be a better observer of the children I teach and care for so that I can meet each of them where they are developmentally. I see similarities in interest that cross all age spans and at the same time I see the interests changing and maturing as the children move from one age to the next…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

Next year, my grandson will be joining me for preschool but for now, as you can see, he is busy being a great helper as I work to clean up the classroom and set up for the next day…

Painting with a two year old by Teach Preschool

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ribert & Robert April 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

Way to get them started early! Look like you have an amazing artist on your hands!


2 Katie @ Preschool Inspirations April 15, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I love this post so much!! There have been a few kiddos go through my classroom who have reminded me of your grandson. It’s so fun to catch them in art, especially at times when I’ve wondered if they would ever pick up the paint brush :).


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