Doing art with your children is not just a so-so activity. Art encompasses the different subject matters like Language Arts (i.e. identifying the materials used), Math (i.e. identifying shapes and colors) and Science (i.e. predicting what will happen when you mix two colors). Creativity is not something to be dictated but should be explored. And with constant exposure, I’m sure you and your kids will enjoy doing craft projects together.
Focus on the process and not the end product.
Art is more of the journey than the destination. Do not limit your child to what you think is right. Let him color out of the lines for crying out loud! Let his work be an expression of his emotions, not yours. There’s no right or wrong technique in being creative.
Use safe drawing implements.
By using nontoxic products you’ll have one less thing to be worried about. Amspec products like T-Pencil and Crayola are registered with the BFAD to ensure its safety. Young children often like to put objects in their mouth as a way of exploration, so to divert this act, show the child how to use the medium so he can follow. Modelling is the best teacher!
Create a curriculum.
This does not mean making an all out lesson plan. Remember, creativity is limitless. One tip I can share is to center art projects around a theme that your child likes, to keep him engaged. For example, Z is so into transportation that I print out coloring pages of cars, trucks and trains from the internet. I’m also planning to transform tissue paper roll into race cars! Of course, if there’s a special occasion, you can do crafts about these too!
Introduce a range of colors and implements.
Z enjoys finger painting. Once I let him use a brush and he was really excited (to the point that he was painting everything, even himself!). I also made him a heart sponge during Valentine’s Day to make a poster greeting. When playing with dough, I let him use Popsicle sticks and cookie cutters. There are variety of art materials available in supplies store now — pom-pom balls, foam shapes, foam pads, corrugated paper, fuzzy wires, die cut punchers, face paint… the list could go on and on and on! Of course, recycling is also encouraged! Empty cereal boxes, tissue paper rolls, paper plates could be the starting point of an incredible art project.
Deal with the mess.
What I really love about Crayola products is the washable aspect. I’ve also found a way to clean the artwork on the walls. Expect an arts and crafts time with your tots to be messy. So, it is best to be prepared with wash cloths, newspapers and wipes. Involve your child in the clean up process as well by making up games such as sorting the materials in its container or by singing a clean-up song.
I hope that these tips from our colorful afternoon will help you enjoy being creative with your child! Do share some of your art stories and projects in the comments section below.