Elements of a creative atmosphere are so easy to provide in your home. With a little forethought and encouragement from you, your children will begin to use your art materials.
Organized-Keep your supplies organized and available. I have found that if they are in eyesight, you will use them daily. When your children are younger, of course you will keep the paints and the markers out of reach but as they grow and mature they can be brought back down for them to use.
Quality-One lesson I have learned over the years is to go ahead and purchase quality art supplies. You will save a lot of frustration if you realize that the quality materials make a better product. This is especially so as your children grow older and more skillful in their artwork.
Variety-Experimenting with art supplies is such a joy to most children. Try not to limit them to the usual crayons and fingerpaints when they are young. Buy tubes of watercolors, oil pastels, colored chalk, and quality colored pencils. Some time ago I put together a Squidoo Lens about art supplies and you may wish to check it out and glean a few ideas for what to have on hand.
Art Supplies for Kids
There are also several of my art tutorials on this page so pop over and check it out and bookmark it for your next art time.
Training-The process of training children to properly use art supplies is one that many people skip. There are techniques for each art medium that need to be dabbled with sitting alongside the parent at the table. Allowing children to experiment with the supplies you have on hand before trying to use them in a structured project will decrease their frustration. Learning to use watercolors, mixing them on the palette, and rinsing in between are all little things that you can model for them. Learning how to blend oil pastels on the paper to create beautiful colors and effects takes a certain amount of time and skill but doing this ahead of the art lesson will increase your child’s confidence.
In my experience, parents who have lacked the training and the exposure to the various art mediums often feel incompetent to offer these experiences to their children. Build your confidence! Start with a few quality art supplies. Use the internet or other blogs for ideas to start simply. Remember there are no wrong answers and just have fun.
This post started off as a sort of “how to” post but it has made me a little sentimental. It brought up some great memories.
My childhood was brighten by my Aunt Liz. She was the most creative person I knew and I considered her an artist. She painted, sewed many of my dresses, embroidered, sculpted, sketched, and beaded. I loved to spend time at her house and she always had an interesting project for me to work on while I was there.
This is a watercolor that I did while I was at her house one summer when I was perhaps five years old. She loved it. She called it her “Little Picasso”. She loved the duck shape in the middle and she had it framed and it hung in her living room with all the “real” art until last year when she had to move into an assisted living center and her brother sold her house. I now have the painting in my studio and it reminds me that it doesn’t take much for adults to encourage children in their artistic pursuits.
I try to encourage my children to be creative in their own ways. To facilitate this in their lives I have tried to organize their supplies in a way that keeps them at hand for the moment the inspiration arrives. My teens are really into Lego models, model airplanes, and sketching so their space has lots of room for works in progress. I try not to step in and clean up because they really do know where everything is from the Exacto knife to the paintbrushes. I took this photo a few minutes ago without cleaning up a bit so you can see that having the bins and drawers and shelves available does help to keep the clutter to a minimum. (Thanks IKEA- Here and Here.)
Take a few steps forward and give it a try. I would love to hear how it goes in your family. Please feel free to comment or email me anytime.
Don’t forget to check out The Gallery Blog Carnival over at Miss Julie’s Place.
The Gallery Edition #2
Barb-Harmony Art Mom