Wood Working with Toddlers Family Process Art

2 Apr

Wood Working for Toddlers - Family Process ArtWoodworking with little kids is one of my favorite activities.  There is just so much you can do.  The possibilities are endless and the process is so rich.  This was so easy and so much fun,  I can’t wait to do it again.  Especially since we did it all together as a family.  All of a sudden I feel so much energy around Family Process Art.  We’ve done it countless times but I never labeled it before.  Somehow giving it a name has allowed me to share it with others, which is so nice because it’s amazing! So now I am officially labeling the fun art experiences we have as a family of four, plus Billy, our dog, as Family Process Art.  It totally rules.  Basically, I set up some materials on a table, invite everyone in and see what happens.  That’s about the extent of it.  Here’s how this wood working activity for the whole family transpired.

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art First, I put out two bins of wood pieces I’ve been collecting from flea markets, old toys and thrift stores.  If you see a bag of wood bits at a sale, don’t pass them up! Random wood pieces are great for exploration and gluing, which is what we did here.   The only other material I put out was glue.  A few glue sticks and eventually a glue gun when my husband Ev wanted to go hardcore, which he did.  Skip to the last pic below to see what he made!

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art First of all, toddlers freaking love glue.   I swear, it’s like guaranteed homerun every time. I knew it wouldn’t hold the wood all that well, but this was more about exploring than anything else, so I was ok with that.  Plus, we had the glue gun on hand to keep anything more permanent.  Gigi started by just spreading glue on a few pieces while I made a structure of sorts.  By the time I got to the 2nd tier she was all about it and quickly took over my project, placing wood beads inside and then bringing it to her doll house where it now remains as a piece of furniture never to be touched by my hands again.  I’ve been informed of this several times now by my little sweetheart : )

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Next, Gigi began gluing her own structure, calling it first an airplane and then a helicopter.  She informed me she was taking it on a trip to New York that I would not be accompanying her on.  It went something like this.  “Mama, this is my helicopter.  I am driving to the airport because I have my license in my pocket and I’m taking a plane to New York.  You’re not coming.  You’re meeting me there.”  Ha! Gotta love the mind of an almost 3 year old working hard to take complete control of her environment.  At least she wanted me to meet her!

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art The play and conversation continued and then came D.  Look out.  This little bundle of joy thought Gigi was the funniest thing she had ever heard.  She cracked up over everything her sister said while diligently gluing one piece over and over and then trying endlessly to put the cap back on the glue stick.  That’s my girl.

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art While the girls worked and I supervised, Ev got lost in his own woodworking.  He was quiet as a mouse as he sat and created.  He got out the glue gun and shared it with Gigi while I played with D.  We were all crammed into Gigi’s room, which was a nice treat.  It’s not our usual spot for creating.  Sometimes moving a little working table into an unexpected room can work wonders! Highly recommend changing it up.

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Before long both Ev and Gigi were done with creations.  I was so busy with the girls the whole time that I didn’t even see Ev’s work until it was totally finished.  I couldn’t believe what he made!!! My husband killed it with this incredible airplane!  It’s awesome and Gigi totally loves it.  I think we’ll paint it in a few days.  Gigi’s airplane is great too.  She’s really proud of it and both are sitting next to each other in our play area.  I love helping my husband tap into his inner artist.  He never thought of himself as an artist growing up but now I think he’d say otherwise and that makes this mama really happy.  And my girls basically have creativity pumping through their veins so here’s hoping they enjoy it as much as I do!

Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art Wood Working with Toddlers - Family Process Art

10 Responses to “Wood Working with Toddlers Family Process Art”

  1. quiltykanuck April 2, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    That looks like a lot of fun! It,s a great salvage idea to. Very “reuse and recycle”… I’ll have to keep on the look out this summer!

  2. Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest April 4, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    I just love this post, Meri! I find the act of creating with my son (and my husband too if we’re lucky and he’s home!) to be such a rich bonding experience. And woodworking is just so darn fun!

    • Meri Cherry April 4, 2014 at 4:55 am #

      Thank you Ann! I saw that you posted this on FB too. Thank you! This whole family process art thing really has me energized!

  3. Jeanette Nyberg April 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Oh, man. There’s nothing better than siting around with family making art – or whatever you want to call it so it’s not intimidating.:) Strangely, I’ve never thought of using glue sticks with wood pieces.You just changed my life.

    • Meri Cherry April 6, 2014 at 2:16 am #

      Ha. It works if you use a lot Jeanette. It definitely worked well enough for my girls. My husband needed the glue gun ; )

  4. Emma @ P is for Preschooler April 5, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    I love that the whole family got involved! I’m surprised the glue stick worked on the wood – we’re going to have to try this now!

    • Meri Cherry April 6, 2014 at 2:54 am #

      Thanks Emma! Like I said, it holds if you use a lot and definitely did the trick enough for my almost 3 year old and 1 and a half year old. Thanks for reading along!

  5. Jackie Currie April 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Love this, Meri! Building structures is a favourite around here. Love the open-ended creativity this activity offers!

    • Meri Cherry April 6, 2014 at 2:55 am #

      Thanks for reading along Jackie! My whole family really enjoyed this!


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