Artful Storytelling

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!