We are starting a new program that will run on Saturdays at 10:30. Little Hands Art is a process art program for toddlers and preschoolers. The intention is to explore the art materials, rather than making a specific craft.
For our first program I decided to start with the popular-on-Pinterest activity of painting with cars. Instead of brushes, we used matchbox cars to move the paint around on the paper. I had tried it out with my two year old the week before, to rave reviews, so I was confident that the children would have a lot of fun with it, and I was right. The combination of movement and paint was a bit hit.
To start I set up several low tables. I have read that young children are best able to manipulate art materials if they are standing or kneeling, rather than trying to sit in a chair. To create some low tables, I took an idea from the library makers toddler art class tables and used delivery tubs and our regular folding tables. I flipped two delivery tubs upside down (since they have a textured bottom that would provide more friction), one for each end of the table, then put a folded table on the top. It was the perfect height for the little ones, yet not so low that parents willing to sit on the floor were uncomfortable.
Takeaways: since the point was to play with the materials rather than create a careful masterpiece, each child produced many, many pictures, and we quickly ran out of flat surfaces to place them. Next time we paint I need to have some sort of clothesline drying rack or other means to dry the pictures.