We all want to help our children reach for the stars and shoot for the moon! Art is such a wonderful way for kids to express themselves, while developing such important skills as creativity and problem-solving. Art – whether in creation or appreciation – entails learning to see, interpret and understand. Children can translate their internal vision or depict images based upon external sources of inspiration, both of which provide young artists with material to draw upon and feed into their art practice.
Original art by Shantrice, age 13 of Michigan who write of her art, “Darkness falls; light revolves”
Explore your child’s unique view! Provide your child with some basic supplies, such as blank paper, pencils, markers and crayons. Strike up a conversation about the stars, moon, planets, as well as our sun and sky. Connect with your child’s natural enthusiasm and clever ideas by encouraging him/her to create art that captures these unique imaginings.
I was recently so flattered when our 7-year old goddaughter Ainsley visited and before leaving, drew herself into our family tree ~ carefully placing herself under our daughter Krissa. I was touched. She also came to love our two black pugs, Duke and Jester. She loved helping me to feed them and to take them on walks. She carefully drew two big hearts, colored them, cut them out, and then she asked if she could put them down toward the bottom of our refrigerator so that our pugs could enjoy them! Naturally, I agreed! I loved how Ainsley believed that our dogs could appreciate her artwork. Why not?! Ainsley used the sketchpad, which awaited her upon her arrival to our home, and made pictures of our pugs and other things that inspired her. Ainsley has since returned to the East Coast with her family, but her art remains and warms my heart.
Does your child have a story to tell through art? Absolutely! Encourage your child to tell his or her stories through art. What a wonderful way to chronicle a vacation, a visit with family and friends, a pet or so many of the activities that are extended and appreciated when pencil or crayon meets paper. Art feels good. Children gain confidence and enjoy a great sense of accomplishment when they create art based upon their own ideas, especially when their art is not criticized or judged. Instead, ask open-ended questions about what inspired their creation. Celebrate the act of creating art! Encourage artful storytelling and enjoy the imaginative, sometimes surprising art that results!
Art education can come to life when you engage a child’s senses during the creative process. Creativity is such an important part of every child’s development. You can inspire your child’s creativity by adding music and even movement. Art for kids can be made more magical when you combine art forms, such as tuning your child into some Japanese folk music while working with Chigirie (paper art) – for an activity go to: http://www.abrakadoodle.com/press/chigirie_0906.htm. It is a great way to give your child an appreciation for the arts and cultures while exploring them. Music can also help set the tone for a creative sketch. Your child may find that certain classical or jazz or contemporary soundtracks help activate his or her imagination. Encourage your child to show movement in an art creation – whether it be a modeling compound or swirling paint on paper – and then suggest that your child move or dance as a further expression of that creation. Use art combined with music and movement next time your child wants to express his or her creativity. Ask your child what kind of music will help set the mood for making art. Play with creative movement by suggesting that your child demonstrate how a butterfly moves, and then set it to paper while listening to music reminiscent of spring and summer. Talk with your child about his or her feelings and the energy of his or her creation as this creative process continues, because emotions, beliefs and ideas are such a big part of art education. Your child will love it!Artfor kids can come to life in beautiful ways by adding a few art supplies, music, movement and interactive encouragement with just a dash of guidance.