Thinking visually and planning spatially are strengths for your Architect/Artist. Most Architect/Artists are visual learners and benefit from seeing what is desired or expected. Try some of these activities that will cater to your child’s orientation to learning.
- Create an art center: Your child will relish any and all materials, including those for collage, painting, drawing, and sculpting (e.g., clay or playdough). Put the supplies on low shelves so that she can independently access the supplies.
- Provide open-ended building supplies. While it might be tempting to get kits to assemble, your child will receive greater challenge and benefit from building materials she can utilize in any number of ways. Think foam blocks, Lego Blocks(R), Magnet Blocks, Bristle Blocks(R), even recycled paper towel rolls or cereal boxes!
- Utilize manipulatives: Your child will likely learn more, easily, when you employ items she can manipulate and arrange. These can be formal items like unifix cubes or snap cubes or colored counters, but need not be. Puzzles—including 3-D ones—are also a common favorite of Architect/Artist children.
- Make visual learning central: You can access all aspects of learning through your child’s visual strength. For example, read a book like How Many Bugs in a Box by David A. Carter. What a visual treat! To extend your child’s learning, help her discover more about bugs with this fun activity: make an I Spy jar from a wide-mouthed plastic jar filled ¾ with rice or small pastas. Add photos of different kinds of bugs printed on card stock with the bug’s name, or plastic replicas of real bugs. Give your child a magnifying glass, a clipboard, and a pencil. She can shake, discover, and record her findings. Print out extra images and let your child group and categorize the different kinds; keep tallies of the number of times your child discovers the same kind in the jar. Together look up the interesting bugs you find: Science, literacy, math, and fine motor wrapped up into one fun activity.
- For more I Spy fun, check out the I Spy series by Jean Marzollo. Online, take a look at http://www.scholastic.com/kids/ispy/?lnkid=stacks/nav/b_and_a/titles/ispy.
- Nature Cards: Collect interesting natural elements and bring out additional whimsical items, such as googly eyes or playful stickers. Make cards for teachers, as thank yous, or just friendly love notes. What about spelling out your child’s name in twigs or crushed leaves?
- There are a great many online resources for Architect/Artist children. Check out some of these:
- How about an online project where your child can use virtual foil, pasta, buttons, etc. “Paint” with glue, “sprinkle” glitter, add virtual leaves or “crumple” paper—click on the utensils CAP and you will see an incredible array of options! http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/mister-maker/games/mister-maker-magicpaintbox
- My Oats: A virtual spyrograph! http://www.myoats.com/create.aspx For a more kid-friendly version, check out: http://www.toytheater.com/spiral.php
- Check out this simple “painting” interface. Click “animate” when your child is done, and let him see a movie of how he created his work of art! http://kids.tate.org.uk/games/paint/
- GlowFree or Doodle Buddy or Paint Sparkles Draw apps: easy to navigate, and fun to create…yes!
- Squiggles app: Simple playful app that encourages your child’s doodles to become something more.
- For two fun online ways to foster your child’s cause-and-effect understanding, try http://www.coolmath-games.com/0-rotate-and-roll/index.html or http://flabbyphysics.com/flabbyphysics.swf
- Challenge your child’s classification skills with this fun interactive: http://kids.aol.com/games/sorting-with-hampshire/.
- http://www.crayola.com/coloring_application/index.cfm: Fun, simple drawing canvas.
- Visual “Mad Libs(R)” story maker: http://www.pinkydinkydoo.com/storybox.html