As an art teacher, one of the most natural ways to spend time with my toddler is by making art. This summer, we've been painting with some natural materials. After my youngest son was born in June, my 2 1/2 year old brought me a bouquet of flowers when my mom brought him to visit. We enjoyed the flowers once we came home and I thought it would be fun to paint with them before they totally dried up.
We gathered our supplies- construction paper, acrylic craft paint in colors of my toddler's choice, tray for paint, paint brush, and flowers. I showed him how he could sort of stamp the blooms of the flowers or wipe the paint-dipped flowers across the paper like a paintbrush.
He painted with the flowers for a bit then wanted to use his paintbrush and that was just fine. I think it's important to let the kid take the lead when you're making art!
When the paintings were done, he decided to "plant" the flowers in some empty containers. I love his imagination.
On another day, we painted with cypress branches. My brother cut down a tree at my parents' house and we were enjoying the soft branches. The weather wasn't quite as nice that day so we painted in the bath tub on our homemade paper!