Apr 25, 2012

10 Ways to Encourage Your Child Artist

Freedom, freedom, freedom! 
Give your child lots of room to create on their own. Provide materials but not too many guidelines. The best little artists thrive when they don't feel too confined. Now, this obviously doesn't mean let them paint the walls (0r you could if that's your plan), but try to create an area in the house where making a little mess is A-okay. 
Keep it Simple.
We're programed to think we have to provide our children with a huge load and variety of craft supplies to work with. Keep it simple and stick to the basics. It's amazing what children can do with just a simple sheet of paper, crayons, paint and some glue. 
Join in on the Fun. 
Even if painting isn't your thing, you can still provide your little one with some company and support by cozying up next to him/her with a book you love or that sweater you never finished knitting. 
Pick the Right Time!
Just like us, no child wants to work on anything when they are tired or hungry.  Any activity is more enjoyable when we fuel-up with a healthy snack or feel well rested. Choose a time for art activities that isn't during a hectic time of the day

Hang Their Work on Your Walls!
I know the fridge seems like the default place for kids' artwork (we hang it there too) but find some pieces of their work you love and frame them in a real, live frame to hang on your walls. You'll be amazed how much confidence this instills in your children to keep creating!

Don't Force It.
If they aren't in the mood to color, let it go. There's nothing worse than an angry little artist. ;)

Make Materials Accessible.
If your children can easily access their materials, they are much more likely to "set up shop" on their own. There is nothing more fantastic than watching your child create something, totally self-motivated. 

Put on Music!
Studies show that when we listen to certain kinds of music (think: jazz and the classics) our brain shifts into right-brain mode. When you play music for your little artist, the creative juices flow!

Find a Local Art Class
Each art teacher provides different perspective and even being surrounded by other children painting and coloring can be more motivating that the same spot at home. 

Create Outside!
When the weather is right, have your little artist take their favorite drawing pad and crayon set outside on the lawn. Sometimes drawing with nature around is the ultimate lesson in creativity!

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Unknown said...

What a perfect list! You could even apply it to your own artistic pursuits as well!

Jen C said...

Love this list. And I agree with small + friendly. I'm going to apply it to my own artistic pursuits.

Rebecca said...

Isabella is a 'junk' fiend. She will see anything and say, "I can make something out of that"

Caroline said...

Small + friendly and Jen C--Now that you mention it, me TOO! :)

Rebecca, Isabella and I have something in common! I too and a little junk fiend. :)) Gil's not always happy about it when I bring something random into the house for an up-cycle! :)

Susan Anderson said...

You are an expert on this subject, and your suggestions show it!

Good list, Caroline.


leigh hewett said...

This is like a creative manifesto. I love it!

ellen and shelley said...

that's exactly what i was thinking, small + friendly. totally not just for kid artists!

Caroline said...

Why thank you, Sue! :)

Leigh--I didn't realize it but it IS like a manifesto! :)

ellen and shelley--YAY for the adults too! I should come up with another list (similar) for us! Or, we can just use this one! ;)

Unknown said...

I love these suggestions. I just wish I didn't get so anxious about messes! I really have to let that go, it's not like my house is clean anyway! LOL!