Parents often ask me, "What's the one thing you would recommend I do at home for my preschooler?" To be honest my answer changes. I might say, "Outdoor explore time everyday." or "Have a nature table or area in your home for all those natural treasures your child brings inside."
Today my answer is to have an art area at home where your child can freely play with art materials. It can be a small area, a little table or desk that you don't care about. You can put a mat or drop cloth underneath the art area. Make it an area that is easy to clean and an area where your child can feel free to be messy!
It best to have a variety of art supplies for your child to choose from. Over time your child's art supply preferences may change, but any artist will tell you that it helps to have the right tools for the job. Here are a few to consider depending on what your child can handle using on his or her own: Markers, Crayons, Pastels (non-toxic), Drawing Pencils, Colored Pencils, Glue, Child-sized Scissors, Dry Watercolor Paint Trays, a container for water to use with them, and of course brushes. There are many child-safe paints to explore.
Your child can should be able to grow in independent art activities. It will build creativity and many children find surprising ways to use materials in their art. Parents often find that encouraging a child to experiment on his or her own without over the shoulder supervision can create really surpisingly creative results. Your child may enjoy using materials from your nature table for painting or gluing too.
Here's a great source for child safe art supplies, Discount School Supplies