Now, you might be wondering what you can do to help your kids.
I can just hear you saying, “But I’m not an artist.” The fact is, you don’t have to be!
All you need to do is make it easy for your children to gain access to a variety of art experiences and art materials. And the beauty is, you can learn and experience right along with them.
Here are some tips to help you along the way
1. Consider the individual learning needs of your child.
2. Create an area in your home where your child can have unlimited access to art materials: paper, pencils, crayons, paint, clay, etc. You don’t need a separate art studio, just the kitchen table will do.
3. Discuss your child’s work with them. Ask them questions and never criticize their attempts.
4. Be supportive.
5. If your kid criticizes their own work, ask them what parts they like. Encourage them to find something positive. You could also ask them what they could have done differently.
Kids need to know that they don’t need to “get it right”.
Art – like everything in life – takes practice and there will be good days, and bad.
6. Draw and paint with your child. Time spent with your mini-me is never wasted.
7. Let them make a mess! Allow them to make art outside.
8. Take your child to an art museum or art gallery. Discuss the trip before hand and build some interest prior to the journey.
9. While at the museum, be sure to take the time to look at paintings that interest your child. Their tastes may not be the same as yours. Ask your child what it is they like about the art work for eg colour, size, subject matter. Ask them how do you think the artist created the work eg Do you think they used a paintbrush, pencils etc...
10. Share your favorite pieces with your child and compare notes. Maybe you both like paintings that are mostly the colour red. Perhaps they like the ones that feature dogs.
11. Look through art books and magazines, and pick out favorite paintings and drawings. Talk about how and why the artist might have painted what he or she did. Dig into the stories behind the art.
12. Encourage your child to say what they feel about the art. Remind them that there are no wrong answers and always validate their ideas and opinions. It’s really okay to say, “I don’t like that!”. But if they do, ask them to explain why. Maybe there is something in the work that is appealing.
13. Make use of community resources – the internet, the library, local artists, art galleries, retail art galleries, print shops, colleges and art associations in your area.
The world is your creative oyster.