Do your kids love to make art work? Or do you want to introduce your little one to the magical world of art and creativity? Art provides so many wonderful benefits for the artist and audience alike. Doing art helps enhance a child’s physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and imaginative and innovative development. Learning to channel one’s experiences, feelings, and energy through artistic creation is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. You just need to get started!
Here are some tips for how to introduce your child to Art!
1. Keep Creative Supplies Handy
Art anytime is the motto here! Don’t let logistics like not having any materials be the thing that dampens your little one’s creativity. You don’t need a lot of materials, or necessarily “high quality” ones. Just some basics and the space to create will do. A good starting list of materials includes: washable paints, paintbrushes, markers, crayons, child-safe scissors, tape, modeling clay, construction paper, glue, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, chalk, drawing/scrap/butcher paper, and collage materials including old catalogs or magazines.
2. Get Them Started and Then Let Them Go!
Imagine when you were in school if you had an art teacher who introduced what you were going to be doing in art class that day, but then went on to talk about it for half an hour, about all the things you “could” do, or the fine points of the history and significance of the style. You’d be bored! Your little ones want to get playing! Young children are more about exploring and playing than about the fine philosophy or methodology of it all. Grab some tools, show your kid a few ways it can be used, and then let them explore with their imagination and creativity!
3. Take Them to the Museum(s) and Explore
Museums can be wonderful places to explore and appreciate and learn to love art, even for small children. The trick is to not overdo it, either in time or in scope. You don’t need to bring them through every exhibit or try to teach them how to appreciate things they have no interest in. Let their interests be their guide, and have them talk to you about a few pieces they like and why. You can share your observations and interests, too! Exchanging perspectives broadens both of your experiences. You don’t have to go to the Louvre to do this, either. Local museums can be a great treasure trove for this sort of adventure and learning experience!
4. Talk to Them About Their Art
While you probably don’t want to over-philosophize about art to your little one, it’s a different thing to have them talk to you about their creations and what was going on in their little mind. Maybe it was nothing in particular, but children can often have wonderful perspectives and ideas about what they’ve created or tried to capture on paper (or chalkboard, or clay, or the sidewalk with water “paint”) that may not meet your eye, and having them tell you what they see in their creation and in their mind will help them communicate, think and act creatively, and be a fun bonding moment for both of you.
And of course, be sure to display some of their creations somewhere special like a wall or refrigerator so they can see and feel proud of what they’ve done and contributed to the family home! Happy arting!