“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give”. – P. D. James
Children and Art
Children and art just go together like strawberries and cream.
All children like to get to grips with things that squidge and slide and slip and if the result is something they can keep and can take home and see proudly stuck on the fridge.
The looks on their faces when they spread the finger paint over a lovely clean piece of paper are something which every parent or carer should cherish; those expressions are the outward sign of creativity at the moment of its birth.
Art is Fun and Educational
It is an intriguing look into a child’s mind as they interact with what they see and turn it into a visual interpretation that, although it may not look too much like the original to anyone else, they can recognize.
Parents can always tell what their children enjoy and art is something that never fails to amuse and engage a child.
If they are going through a time of change, such as a move or starting nursery or play group, art for kids is a great way to express what is happening in their world. Even if they don’t have any worries to work out, children still get a huge amount of pleasure from the creative process.
If encouraged gently at this point, it can give them a creative pathway that they can follow lifelong, even if at a very amateur level.
Learning Communication Skills
Some children find it difficult to communicate in words and for them, art can be an excellent outlet.
Art for kids contains so many of the most important life skills which will set your child on the right path.
Many things happen in a child’s daily life – they watch TV, they are taken from A to B, they are taught eventually to count and read.
But with art for kids, they are involved in a direct act of creativity. If the child is left alone to draw green cows and a purple sun, then they will learn a lot about themselves and the world around them.
In the early years, a child’s painting is unlikely to be representative, but can tell us a lot about what is going on in that little head.
Why does my clay horse keep falling over? Because one leg is shorter than the other.
Why does that tree look wrong? Because the leaves aren’t all joined together like that on a real one.
Problem-solving is something that a child has to come to naturally. When kids are making something or painting or drawing something, they are problem-solving all the time. And so, the art gets more realistic, the models get more stable and the pieces of the child’s world click together just that bit more securely.
Seeing another child’s artwork and accepting that they can do things that they can’t is a good way to spur a child on to a higher level of creativity.
Snatching a paint brush is unlikely to create a social atmosphere and a child will soon learn how to share, how to say please and thank you.
Creating art for kids in a group is also very good for the child who has ‘stalled’ in their creativity. Skills which they have not yet mastered, such as cutting out or finer pencil work can also be learned from peers with no pressure from a formal teaching session and are therefore much more likely to succeed.
One thing that it is very important for a supervising adult to remember is that children see art as creativity, not an expression of a talent.
Until they can express themselves in words, art for kids is a wonderful way to share what they have going on in their heads – even if it is of a green cow and a purple sun – is worth a thousand words.
Bio: Marlene Stucker is a part-time blogger married with two kids and currently works at Photo Canvas, specialized in designing personalized photo canvas prints.