Introducing your child to the visual arts at a young age nurtures imagination and creativity. It helps children recognize shapes/colors/images and interpret the world around them.
Involvement with the arts typically falls into two categories: viewing/appreciating/supporting the arts and creating it.
at the gallery/museum, on the street, or online)
Here are some tips on helping children gain an appreciation for the visual arts:
- Use your child's natural curiosity.
- Pick out things they'll recognize.
- Engage the child. Ask questions. Make it a game.
- Show your own enthusiasm.
- Look for venues with a hands-on component.
- Let the child take the lead (within reason).
- Don't stay too long.
- Point out colors, shapes, and pattern in everyday life.
Creating art fosters self-expression and helps kids organize their thoughts in a visual form. It also encourages creative problem solving and helps the child look at the world around them in a different, more vibrant way.
Here are some tips to make it easy for kids to want to create art of their own:
- Keep a creativity box filled with age-appropriate supplies (paints, crayons, construction paper, wooden craft sticks, clay, etc.) handy. Before you recycle plastic jugs, magazines, paper towel tubes and the like, consider adding them to the box.
- Find an appropriate place to display the art your child makes. It doesn't have to be the refrigerator.
- Decorate a cardboard box together to store your child's artwork longer-term. If you don't have the physical space to store every piece of paper, how about scanning them?
- Transform your child's artwork into something you can use everyday, such as a coffee mug, keychain, or water bottle. Print-on-demand vendors like Zazzle make it easy to create items for yourself or as gifts.
- Lynne Guimond Sabean