Art and music are known as activities of expression! These activities in the classroom can help the child communicate their feelings. Children are given art activities with almost no limits or boundaries; this gives them the opportunity to explore and continue to grow their creativity.
Through art, the toddler can develop or tune their fine motor skills. We love seeing the children do the art activities in the class. They are focused on the process of what they are doing. As their “inner child” is directing them to develop their self they are concentrated on how they hold the markers, what shapes they choose to glue, how the brush moves with paint on it, and so much more. Unlike the adult, they truly aren’t concentrated on the final product they simply enjoy the act of working and developing their skills.
The art activities are set up quite simple. For crayons, markers, or paint, they are given the choice to use two or three different colors. For gluing activities, we have a limited amount of shapes set up for them to choose. As you are familiar with the classroom every activity is on a tray or basket, near the tray they have the paper set up for them to choose. For example, if the child chooses to work on painting with waters colors the tray is set up with the materials needed and the sheets of paper are nearby. The child chooses one sheet from a basket of only 2-4 papers. They are free to use as many sheets as they please and when the run out they know where to get more.
This is something that can easily be implemented at home! Instead of giving your toddler a box of 64 crayons try to minimize the amount so they do not feel overwhelmed and can easily choose between a few colors. This can be done with most art activities, like feathers for a collage could just be a handful instead of the whole bag. This will also limit messes that could get overwhelming for the child to clean up! Please remember that at this age the important part for the child is the process, not the results.
Toddlers have the natural tendency to dance, wiggle, and make music! Music is just as important as any other topic in the Montessori classroom. The children have access to using musical instruments on a daily basis. There are a variety of instruments that get switched out every couple of weeks. This allows the child to be in contact with many instruments from around the world. Along with the instruments we also teach the children songs with movement. Moving around in the classroom gives the children the opportunity to exercise their gross motor skills and express their unique spirits.
As the children learn the lyrics to songs this also helps them with the development of their language. It is always a joy to see a child who is happily working on any activity in the class while singing a song they have been learning!