Inspired by Megan from The Art Pantry, who has written several ebooks and recorded podcasts about this from my days as a kinder teacher, I completed a “31 days of Invitation to Create challenge” back in Dec’17/ Jan’18 for my toddler where I set up simple #toddlerartinvitations for her to create daily, giving her opportunities to engage with art materials and to explore with different art mediums, and I shared it on my instagram account here.
To put it simply, an ‘Invitation to Create’ is basically setting up a prompt or provocation that invites your child to sit and engage in an art experience.
Honestly speaking, I’ve never been an ‘art’ person for majority of my life, up until I became a preschool teacher. I’m not a fan of crafts and things that require me to follow a series of step-by-step instruction to get a final art/craft product as I get discouraged when mine doesn’t look quite like the original and then I think I’m bad at art. I was also not a fan of crafts during my teaching days, as I did not like the idea of 25 preschoolers going home with an almost identical piece of artwork at the end of the day and not being able to express their individuality and creativity.
But after getting acquainted with Process Art, engaging and exploring with art for just the process and the joy of creating rather than getting an end product, it absolutely changed my perspective and opened my eyes to the wonderful world of art. I have fallen in love with it since and I wanted to share it with my toddler, especially when I noticed that she is always drawn to art materials like moth to a flame.
I set the 31-day challenge initially for myself to introduce as many art mediums and materials to my toddler as I possibly can in a month because I wanted to create a new habit of thinking creatively, and being less possessive of my art materials. I have several chests of drawers full of unused materials that I have been hoarding since my teaching days and it was an intentional decision of wanting to make setting up simple art invitations a part of our daily lives.
What I did not expect to see happen as a result of taking on the challenge was that it would become so much more than myself and my toddler. From the start of the challenge and throughout the entire month that I did it, I received so many messages from mamas taking the time to thank me for sharing these invitations and how they have been inspired to set up similar things for their kids. My heart is so full and I’m so grateful that so many more children are enjoying the fruits of me doing this challenge apart from my own toddler.
To see a compilation of the entire 31-day Invitation to Create challenge, click here 🙂