I don’t know about y’all, but nothing makes my heart flutter more than watching my children get really, really into art. The creative spark in drawing and coloring at home to the adorable projects that come home from school. Now what I do with all of that art (boy, can it add up!) is for another post, but I wanted to share some ideas and outlets for helping to spark creativity and get your children to appreciate and love art.
Stating the obvious here, but talking about art is just as important as doing art. I have found some great books that can really get some great conversations going with the littles. Asking how they feel about a certain painting or what they think of when they see a certain style of art can not only become hilarious but really get them to start understanding emotions and the incredible power art can have on evoking certain kinds of feelings.
Mini Masters by Julie Merberg – This series of board books was given as a gift (great gift idea!). Each book in the collection pairs a simple title with a famous and beloved painting. The Mini Masters series will introduce your child to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces with a design and execution that has the very youngest children and smallest hands in mind.
Olivia by Ian Falconer – Everyone with small children needs to have Olivia on the nightstand. The simplicity in the storytelling about this fun-loving pig is relatable a delight to read. The author also sneaks in some famous works of art that make you want to pack up the children and take them to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Art Book For Children by Editors of Phaldon Press – This book is more like a reference book (better suited for older children). It is less of a story and more of an inside look into the how and why of some famous works of art. The Art Book for Children is the perfect book for a road trip when it is time to put away the screen time and let them explore the world of art.
Creating a space for your child to generate art is so important. Giving them the supplies and freedom to draw and create everything from scribble scrabble to coloring books can not only give you a small break but can help them gain an appreciation at an early age for just what art is all about. When it comes to making space we have loved this art table that allows for a place to not only put your crayons and markers but also has a place for a roll of paper so you always have it on hand. Another inexpensive (and great option) is this easel from IKEA. It is an easy setup, does not take up too much space, and provides hours of entertainment options. In the early years giving a child a crayon and letting them go to town is awesome, but as they get older and interested in drawing we have found Art for Kids Hub to be an AMAZING resource for getting excited about art. This father/son (and sometimes daughter) duo takes you through step by step on how to draw everything from a flower to a movie character. They are engaging, patient, and FUN!
Finally, one of the best ways to get your children excited about art is exposure. Take them to art museums and ask them questions like “what do you think the artist was thinking about when they created this?”. Walk them around local art fairs and chat with the artist about how the piece was created and what the inspirations were behind the piece(s). Finally, put the art you love in your home for them to see every day. Explain why you purchased the art and what you get from it. We think that Tulip by Lexie Armstrong, Gertrude by Ashton Shaw Despot, or Metropolitan by Paige Kalena Follmann would not only look great in a family/child art space, but it would also be an investment in teaching and helping your child appreciate and enjoy the wonderful world of art.
Do you think an introduction to art at an early age is important? How do you teach art education to your children? We are always open to learning and trying new things when it comes to kids + art!
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