You do not have to be a professional artist to instill a love for art in your children. In fact, you don’t have to feel like you are good in art to teach your children how to be terrific in art. Exposure and opportunity are critical for a great start in art!!!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
What to provide for your children in order to develop their artistic side:
The play dough is especially good for strengthening finger muscles, exploring, using imagination, learning about color and texture, and general playing. Mommies often dread the mess of play dough, but squishing, rolling, and sculpting is foundational for art. My favorite play doughs are the home-made types. There are some simple recipes for making play dough that smells great. Be sure to give your pre-schoolers opportunities for play dough fun.
Pre-schoolers need chubby crayons and they do not need to stay in the lines….yet. Coloring sheets are wonderful, though. Pre-school children need to learn how to follow some simple steps for basic drawing: shapes, stick people, house, tree, dog, cat, flower.
Pre-school children need to use safety scissors. Always monitor scissor use. Let them cut scrap paper into a mountain of trash if they choose. Next, begin to instruct them in how to cut along a line. You can progress into shapes from there. Take the time to teach them how to cut. Hold their hands as you instruct.
Practicing drawing with a chubby pencil is good, too. We do not always think of that for little ones, but they should begin to interpret the world around them by drawing what they see on paper. A pencil on typing paper may not seem like art to mom, so give yourself a pat on the back if you recently told your little one draw something for Mommy on a piece of blank paper.
Also, pre-school children need to finger paint. One of the best ways to get out doing regular finger painting projects, which require supervision and work on your part, is to provide those bathtub goodies: washable crayons, colored bath foam, and washable bath paint (home-made, too). Give them extra bath time to paint! Then, set aside some time to use that giant art pad and those finger paints. I love to take these activities outdoors when the weather permits. Be sure to stamp their hand prints on a sheet of paper first, and then let your child “go to it!” Remember though, red, yellow, and blue mixed together makes brown. If you are saving a paper for refrigerator art or the scrapbook, you may wish to limit or guide your child’s color options.
The next post will explore what to provide at home for your elementary children.