(This post is over a week late in the coming, but the activity concept was so fun that I want to shoot it out there to you all either way - before I forget about it and it gets lost in a pile of neglected blog "drafts".)
In honor of Tu B'Shvat, I broke out a new form of art for Freida. It was quite the hit! While I personally feel she was too old to truly reap the benefits of such an activity, she seemed to enjoy the tactile observation either way. Ideally, this is the perfect art form for a 2 year old; mess-free, removable, and extensively creative.
The general concept is contact paper. Simply tape a nice big sheet of contact paper on the wall - sticky side forward. Give your toddler enough art materials to get insanely creative with (feathers, foam cutouts, scraps of colored paper, sequins etc.), and demonstrate the method! Watch their little hands discover the world of sticky goodness, and explore the properties of weight and layout. They'll learn so much from this activity, and you'll definitely get a nice chunk of time to yourself!
I gave Frieda a pile of brown paper squares, and a stack of colorful paper leaves. After some simple directions she went ahead to create her own tree! I was excited when I realized how capable she was! And the best part is when they come up with ideas on their own - she asked me if I could cut out some red apples for her to add to the mix! And after she finished her tree, she proceeded to request materials to make a "flower garden" (I stuck up some more contact paper, cut out some paper flowers, and cut up a few pipe cleaners to use as stems)! Nothing like schepping creative nachas! :)