Ideas to Make it Easier for Kids with Limited Mobility to Create Art

Children are naturally creative, expressing their imagination and sense of wonder every day through activities like inventive play, singing songs, and art projects. And while a lot of this creativity happens organically, some – like art projects – can take more time and planning for supplies, set up and clean up. But giving kids the opportunity to create art is well worth the effort for the benefit it has on their minds, emotions, and self-esteem. 

When a medical condition limits a person’s mobility, it can interfere with some of their day to day tasks or prevent them from being able to participate in certain activities – but art projects don’t need to be one of them. These ideas and tips offer adaptation solutions, making it more possible for all people to show off their artistic side. 

Think outside the box for tools and materials

Traditionally, we envision art projects to include materials like paper, paint trays and brushes, crayons, and other tools that require a good deal of dexterity. But anything can be considered a tool – after all, art is all about getting creative. 

  • Paintbrush are too hard to hold? Instead, try a spatula (use it like a big paintbrush), paint rollers, large blocks of wood to stamp shapes, sponges for a fun texture, or a rolling pin. 
  • Paint trays are too small? Try finger paints – squirt them on the paper and move it around from there, using hands or another tool. 
  • Pieces of paper too small of a canvas? Cut a paper bag up to make it one long strip and use the blank side to make designs (like this).

Go digital

 

Technology has afforded many innovative ways to reimagine how something can be done, including art and forms of creative expression. 

  • Try photography – whether with a device like a tablet or a camera, photography can be a great artistic outlet. If pressing the button or holding a camera is too difficult, there are tools to help like this wheelchair camera mount or this shutter control.
  • Use a computer or tablet to create digital art using paint or design programs – it’s as easy as moving a finger on the screen, ideal for those who aren’t able to grasp. 

Art is all around

Think about the items your child already uses on a regular basis and consider how it can be used to make art – when you expand your definition of what art is, you may be surprised how many tools are mediums are all around. Does your child like play cars? Maybe you can help them roll the wheels in paint and push it around a piece of paper. 

If you or your child have found a way to make art easier with limited mobility, please share pictures and tips in the comments – we’d love to add to our list!

P.S. – here are a few craft ideas from our blog, as well as coloring sheets featuring children with medical complexities.

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