Multi-Day Art Projects for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Art is a messy wonderland that children of all ages should be able to experience throughout the years of their growth. From birth to 5 years of age, children's experience with independence and exploration are most important with aiding their cognitive and emotional development. Messy art can help liberate and encourage children, as well as create some pretty inexpensive wall art for your own family room. Here are a list of basic art pieces your children can work on for more than one day!

Using Just Paint

Controlling the amount of paint, the variety of colors, and the paint brush sizes, can help an art piece be spread out throughout days. If you're low on different materials at home, one way to make a multi-day art piece is simply by using paint.

Day one; start with finger painting. Allow the child to pick one color and let them be free with just the colored paint and their fingers. The extra sensory will aid in different designs of all shapes and sizes

Day Two; allow child to pick an additional complimentary color and offer a thick paint brush or utensil. This first utensil can be anything around the house; cotton balls, cookie cutter, reusable straw, etc. The opportunities are endless. As long as you are okay with getting paint on it, your child will love exploring with it.

Day three; offer your child a smaller finer paint brush with a more expressive color. I enjoy using a color that will pop. These tend to be darker colors that show up over all the other colors. Allowing your child to explore with a finer utensil will help the new color compliment the past artwork, rather than overtake.

By expanding the time frame of the art process, this allows the colors to dry, and shows off all the different techniques and hard work!

Painter's Tape Accent

Painters tape is not just for the DIY home designer. Painters Tape can add some oh-la-la to your already exciting 2-D collage. Just remember to put it on before you begin the coloring journey.

Day one; decide whatever design you or your little one may want to create with the painters tape. My little guy and I decided one time to make some ice cream cones with cherries on top. This, of course, took some extra planning on my part, but was so worth it! Once the tape is on, the decorating may begin. If paint will be apart of the art, start with paint.

Day Two; you may try to add some textures. Sponges and thicker acrylic paint seem to make a fun 3-D type display on the art piece. Try cutting your sponges up in different shapes. Using household unused sponges and scissors are a cheap and easy way to add more fun to the project.

Day Three; when the art is dry, encourage different usage of art utensils. Markers, crayons, colored pencils; these can all be used to add some extra designs and splashes of color onto your art piece. You may extend this to day four as well, encouraging markers first, then crayons the next day. Once you both feel as if your art is complete, slowly take off all the pieces of tape and enjoy your new masterpiece.

3-D Designs

Get out the glue, because we are about to go three dimensional. It's exciting to make what others may find as junk into a beautiful creation.

Day One; decide what type of platform you will use; canvas, cardboard, Styrofoam, paper, etc. Then get to work! Start with first choice of utensils and paint. Encourage children to spot the differences in the new textured background and how the paint sticks to it.

Day Two; Use a new choice of materials. Pastels would probably look best on textured backgrounds similar to Styrofoam, as they are more rich in color and thicker in texture. Most times to make a beautiful masterpiece, you don't necessarily need a color scheme. Feel free to allow your child to choose colors of their own choice. You may be surprised what you find works together.

Day Three; This is where the gluing begins. Gather any loose materials. This can be pom-poms, buttons, cut up straws, acorns, pebbles, glitter, etc... Be prepared for messy creativity and line your platform with a cut garbage bag. This allows for easy cleanups and doesn't stick as bad as newspaper. Give your child an open squeezable bottle of glue and let them be free, squirting as much glue as they like on the piece. Remember, it's just glue and it will dry. Glue that dries clear is best as you will still be able to admire the colors underneath the globs.

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