3 Tips For Doing Art With Your Kids
1. Keep it Cheap
You don't have to break the bank to do art. There are many things you and your children can do together with supplies you probably have or can get from the dollar store.
Here are just a few:
~Make a simple dough with baking supplies right from your pantry (for a few recipes, see my "DIY Taste-Safe Dough" blog post)!
~Spray shaving cream onto a table and let your kids practice shapes and letters (Bonus! Your dinning room will smell great, and shaving cream works well for cleaning sticky, dirty surfaces)!
~Buy $5 worth of craft supplies from the dollar store and see what your kids can come up with on their own! The options are endless.
See my previous blog posts for other ideas on cheap and easy crafts and activities.
2. Don't Judge
Be careful when correcting your children while they explore their artistic capabilities. You can offer guidance without making them feel like they are doing something wrong.
In addition, don't be too hard on yourself, especially around your children. We are all continuously learning and growing. Here are some phrases you can use with your children during art projects:
~"Wow, I really like the green you used over here. Can you tell me what's happening in this picture?"
~"I see a face over here! What is this character doing/feeling?"
~"I see you decided to paint your sky pink! Tell me about that."
As you can see, you can show interest and curiosity about your child's artwork without implying that they are doing anything wrong. Extra credit if you can get your child to describe for you what they are doing and why!
3. Art Therapy
Give your child some simple supplies (crayons, paint, dough, anything!) and encourage them to express their feelings through art. This is particularly therapeutic when children can get their hands messy, with finger paints or clay for example.
Talk to your children about what they are creating and try to appreciate their art without guiding them too much. There are times for parent-lead activities, and there are times for free-play.
Like many young children, my son can be easily-frustrated, hyper, and rambunctious. But given some paper and crayons he can color for an hour or more!
Here are a few things you can say to get them started:
~"You miss your dad? Would you like to draw him a picture of what you did today?"
~"When you knock your brothers blocks down, it makes him sad and scares the dog. Why don't I give you some play doh? You can build your own tower and it won't scare the dog when you knock it down."
~"Lets play the 'color my feelings' game! When I say a feeling, you pick the color you think of when I say that feeling. You can even draw a face to match!" (i.e. if you say angry, he or she may pick red or black and draw an angry face, and so on).
There are few wrong ways to do art and MANY right ways!