and Crafts Instead of TV
If you are not particularly artistic or crafty yourself it
may be difficult to make sure your child is getting enough
opportunities for artistic expression. Artistic expression
though can be a foundation for writing and for self expression
so it is important that art and crafts be an important part of
a child's life. It is fairly easy to incorporate art into the
school routine though. Here are few tips:
Make it From Scratch – Instead of buying new play dough or
finger paints make your own with your children as helpers.
Recipes can be found online and children will get to practice
their measuring (math) and cooking skills too. Homemade art
supplies are also healthier and less toxic than what you can
buy at stores. Not only will your kids have a blast playing
with these items they will have just as much fun making
Make Art Fun – Instead of sitting your child down with a
paintbrush and a small canvas why not set them up with a big
canvas in an outdoor area, some quality tempera paints, some
water balloons, and some darts. Inflate the balloons just a
bit, add some paint, close them, and attach them too the canvas
with tacks. Then your kids can throw darts at the balloons and
create art with the paint splatter. No child can resist this
incredibly fun project. Later they can sign it and hang it in
their bedroom or playroom.
Other fun projects include painting rocks, using body paints
to mimic the body painting found in many tribal cultures, and
using sidewalk chalks and paint.
Use the library – Your local library will no doubt have many
books on various arts and crafts projects for kids. Look for
books with unplugged projects, seasonal crafts ideas, and paper
crafting like origami. Read the books together and decided
which projects you will work on.
Go Digital – Art doesn’t have to be all about paper, paints,
and getting and your hands dirty anymore. Digital arts and
paint programs are gaining in popularity. Kid Pix and Disney
Magic Artist Deluxe are two popular programs. They allow
children to use digital paper and many different artistic
techniques to create beautiful works of art that can be saved
and even printed for framing. This method saves you a bundle on
Make it Educational – Art can also be educational. Have your
children roll play dough into small marble shaped balls of
different colors and use them as counting and math
manipulatives. The same pieces can be used to learn colors and
to practice sorting.
Allow free Expression – Don’t get in the habit of correcting
your child’s technique or telling them which colors to use. Let
them create their own art. Author Susan Striker of Young at Art
discourages using coloring books because most of the artwork
has already been done. She has a wonderful line of
anti-coloring books available for purchase that give kids an
opportunity to create on their own terms without outside
interference or guidance.
So now that you have some fresh ideas…get busy!