An Art Centre for Special Needs Toddlers Essay

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Age/Grade Level of Children

Creative art forms like drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpting form a key constituent of toddler/ preschooler with special needs curriculum. Engaging in creating artworks supports child development over multiple domains besides facilitating development of small muscle control and coordination. This paper will deal with the planning of an art center for older toddlers with special needs (aged 2-3 years).

Number in Group

The class will comprise of 20 children with special needs aged 2-3 years, an easily manageable number. A maximum of 4 to 6 toddlers will be allowed into the center at a time to ensure smooth supervision. The toddlers with special needs may practice their cognitive skills through experimentation with color, band and texture, which offer self-discipline limits. Furthermore, art helps toddlers develop creativity (Aslin et al., 2014).

Goals of the Center

An art center for toddlers with special needs may aim at achieving a variety of goals which include:

Emotional Goals

· Starts displaying empathy towards peers

· Feels confident and safe when not with parents

· Demonstrates one’s likes and dislikes

· Displays pride after accomplishing something new

· Appropriate self-assertion

· Displays contrasting moods from intractable to amenable

Social Goals

· Mimics elders and peers

· Persuades or influences others

· Attempts at making others happy

· Assists with clean-up

· Has fun ‘exploring’ with peers

· Displays immense interest in the language of adults

Physical Goals

· Sits up properly in a chair

· Climbs stairs

· Washes hands and dries them
· Uses a paintbrush or crayon

· Stacks blocks

· Kicks, rolls and throws ball

Placement of the Center

The art center’s location will be dependent on what space is available within the classroom.

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Most importantly, it will be situated away from sources of noise and distraction like entertainment centers and traffic. It will also be situated far away from the educator to ensure concentration.

Ideally, the art center may be placed near a large window which will allow ample amounts of natural light into the space. Further, a nearby window means children can easily look out and gain inspiration. Low surfaces will be used for convenient child access. Sliding ladders will be utilized for handicapped children. Lastly, the center’s placement near a sink will facilitate clean-up (Landry 2012).

Rules of the Center

The number of toddlers with special needs that may be simultaneously accommodated in each area will be established, in addition to how their number will be controlled. Method of imposition of time limits (if any) will be established as well. Lastly, rules for area clean-up will also be established.

Spring clothespins or magnetic boards may be utilized such that when children enter an area, they move the clothespin or magnet to indicate that the slot is occupied. When leaving, the clothespin or magnet will be moved back to indicate that the area has been vacated.

Specific Materials to be used in the Center/ Storage and Placement of Materials

Research has revealed the significance of considering the points outlined in this section when planning a child art center. As art may….....

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Aslin, R. N., Woodward, J. Z., & LaMendola, N. P. (2014). Models of word segmentation in fluent maternal speech to infants. In Signal to syntax (pp. 129-146). Psychology Press.

Gelineau, P. (2011). Integrating the arts across the elementary school curriculum. Cengage Learning.

Landry, C. (2012). The creative city: A toolkit for urban innovators. Earthscan.

Riley, S. (2013). Group process made visible: The use of art in group therapy. Routledge.

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