Today, I have an amazing resource to share with you. Art Play is a new book that has been recently launched, and is a creative art activity book that is also a sensory and fine motor goldmine. Children can use art activities to create while developing skills and making an art project they can be proud of! Art Play is a process art creation book that focuses on developmentally appropriate art projects for kids, using sensory experiences and allows children to explore art materials at a level that is comfortable for them…without expectations for the “perfect” end product.
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Years ago, I created a children’s activity book with my friend Meredith, an educator and author of the website, Homegrown Friends. Meredith’s new book, Art Play, is my new favorite children’s art and activity book.
In the book, you will find easy to set-up art projects that focus on the child.
So often, we see crafts and art activities that are product focused. And, while the end-product focused craft has it’s time and place, especially when working on data collection or achieving specific goals in scissor skills or other areas, there is a place for process art in therapy as well.
And, this book has got you covered in child-friendly art projects that pull in a very important area: play!
We know that play is the job of the child. Play is a child’s primary occupation after all! And, it’s through play that these art projects allow a child to participate in creative, making activities. These are activities that allow a child to develop age-appropriate skills…through play!
This book is beautifully and thoughtfully written and includes step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. The pages of the book are wipeable and durable, meaning the book can be right there in the play activities and the pages are kid-friendly with thick paper that kids can manipulate.
Just some of the skills that can be developed through the art projects in this book:
- Pinch and grip strength
- Eye-hand coordination
- Motor planning
- Visual motor skills
- Direction following
- Visual scanning
- Visual memory, figure-ground, visual attention, and other visual perceptual skills
- Tool use
- Gross motor skills
- Tactile experiences
The art projects in the book focus on play, so there are so many play experiences for children to incorporate into art. Just some of the art play activities include:
- Dramatic play
- Pretend play
- Building with blocks
- Playing with cars/vehicles
- Creating while upside down
- Picking and collecting nature
When you combine art with play, you get a lot of movement-based activities that help children develop whole-body skills!
Process Art Activities
Would you like a copy of Art Play so you can add these hands-on activities to your therapy practice or home?
Check out the blog comments below which are loaded with reader’s favorite ways to create art with kids.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.