Ever since your kid was born, he relies on self-expression to get his message across. The second that your baby cries after the doctor gives his foot a little flick, he’s already expressing himself. He’ll be crying all throughout his baby years to let you know that something’s wrong. Since he couldn’t talk yet back then, he’s going to cry if he’s hungry, sleepy, uncomfortable and just about everything.
Now that he’s grown up to be a toddler, he doesn’t need to cry to get his message across anymore. However, you still have to encourage self-expression. There are things that he doesn’t know how to express just yet. These are things that he’s encountering for the first time and he has no idea what to do with them. If you encourage him to express himself, that will satisfy his curiosity. But if not, things will go unnoticed and that’s not healthy for him.
Fortunately for kids and their parents, there are companies like Melissa & Doug that focus on producing toys that can help with the self-expression of kids. Art toys are the perfect example. Armed with a blank canvas and some art materials, your kid can satisfy his curiosity by making artwork out of things that he’s encountering for the first time.
Let’s say that he’s learning about shapes for the first time. He can’t express shapes through words just yet. You can’t expect him to talk about triangles, squares, circles and the likes with words because he wouldn’t know how to do so. But with art supplies and toys, he can easily do so.
Of course, it’s a good idea to help him. But don’t help him all the way because that defeats the purpose of self-expression. The best thing that you can do is to encourage him to make use of these toys from Melissa & Doug. This is very important especially for the art materials. He wouldn’t know how to use them at first because they’re unlike the other toys. You can show him how to use them and he’ll catch on pretty quickly.