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Encouraging art at home

Children have fun doing original artwork, and winter is the best time for some inside art.

Create a snowy day box which is filled with treasures and inspirations to occupy children on even the coldest winter day.
Create a snowy day box which is filled with treasures and inspirations to occupy children on even the coldest winter day.
R. R. Cratty
Children have fun doing original artwork, and winter is the best time for some inside art.
R. R. Cratty

If your child has a preference for one medium, you can provide those materials. For instance if your child prefers painting different paints to experiment with might be just the thing to spark their creativity. Try acrylics, oil, tempera and watercolors or maybe different sizes of brushes, canvas and paper.

If your child doesn’t have a preference in their art material you can begin their experiments by providing a variety of art materials: Pens, pencils, paints, markers, clay, paper, glue, scissors, popsicle sticks, fabric, felt, wood, nails, hammers, buttons, stamps, glitter, rocks, feathers, pinecones, old clay pots.

The little artist in your home will be tempted to jump right in and try new art materials if they are simply set out on the kitchen table. The kitchen provides one of the best places, good light, water and parents nearby to look at, and talk about new creations.

Parents use to be hesitate to encourage art work at home because of the fear of a mess. Today there are plenty of inexpensive, reusable, plastic table covers. Child size aprons, -or dad’s old shirt. With a new generation of art supplies like the New Ultra-Clean Washable Markers. Formulated to provide brilliant colors while washing easily.

Cleanup becomes a snap when supplies are stored in an accessible place, a box or drawer just for art supplies. Cleaning up art work should be thought of like baking cookies, not an issue. We make a mess together and we clean up together.

Of course, celebrate when an art project is done. This is a positive time to ask: “Where did you get your wonderful ideas?” How did you get these rich colors to blend?”

Don’t let younger children get discouraged if an older brother or sister is a bit more artistic than them. Continue to provide materials and praise your little one’s work.

Young children love the sense of accomplishment when they finish artwork, as long as you appreciate their art and they have supplies they will continue to create.

R.R.Cratty

Some books for more family creativity:

Art Lab for Kids (Lab Series) by Schwake, Susan and Schwake, Rainer

The Art Book for Children by Editors of Phaidon Press

Learning at Home by Rhonda Cratty

Art for Kids: Comic Strips: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish by Art Roche

Links for more family fun ideas:

· Apps links and books to help with homework

· Strategies to help children cooperate in the mornings

· 2014 Family Winter Fun

· Learning at home is a new parent resource