“I have two and four year old boys. The little one is quite into being creative but the big one has never really gotten into it – do you have any resources/ideas for keeping active, thrill seeking, superhero loving boys who can’t sit still for long engaged?”
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I have heard and seen this same situation with so many kids and I just want to say it’s totally fine for a child to not want to sit still. Some kids just need to move their bodies. We can teach them over time to sit when it’s important, but we can also honor their energy and try to work with it. I have a couple of ideas for you to get him more involved in art, but it doesn’t always have to be at a table or sitting down.
When I taught art classes, it was important to me to come up with projects that all of the kids would really enjoy- including the ones who couldn’t sit still. We did some big movement art that got the kids to stand up and move their bodies. We also did some active projects at the table that included hammering or rolling things. Even though we were sitting down, these activities were still really engaging.
Here are a few links to some of their favorite movement art activities:
A few favorite active art projects while sitting at a table:
Making Toys For Play
Another suggestion is to incorporate art/making things into his play. If he is playing superheros you could set up a few supplies on a table like toilet paper rolls, paper, scissors, rubber bands, tape, etc. and start making a super hero car or rocket ship, or something else and invite him to make one with you that is directly related to his play. As your child gets more used to making things for his play, you can begin to introduce new materials that he may have been resistant to before. This can often get an active kid to focus for a bit! It works best if you are super excited about his play and let him lead the way in the making of the object.
Eventually, if these supplies are easily accessible, your child will rush over to them any time he needs something for his play.
Any other suggestions from readers are welcome! I’d love to hear what you do to keep active boys engaged in art?