by Taelor Fisher, Art Education Contributor
Photo by Claire Pedregon
As a professional artist and elementary school art teacher, I get to create work that brightens and fills families’ homes, as well as to provide engaging lessons for my art students on a weekly basis. My art students soak up any chance to work with their hands, get a little messy, and enjoy a stress-free creative environment in the midst of academic lessons. Artmaking, the use of imagination, and staying creative are key elements to a balanced and fulfilling childhood and family life. Here are five tips to keep your kids creating:
KEEP SIMPLE ART SUPPLIES AVAILABLE AT HOME.
Keeping simple (washable) art supplies around the house, like a set of watercolors, markers, crayons, and lots of paper, are a great way to start encouraging creativity in your kids. Providing them with fun, found objects to paint with adds an extra element of excitement and gives them the chance to problem solve. For example, dipping yarn into paint to then drag or splatter along the canvas can create Jackson Pollack-inspired pieces! Another idea is to cut up used kitchen sponges for use in creating texture when painting, mixing things up from a traditional brush set.
PROVIDE TIME AND SPACE FOR CREATING.
Provide your children the time and space to express their creativity at home. Where should you start? First, take an interest in how your kids like to be creative. In the classroom, I have students who love to paint, but don’t want anything to do with molding clay, or vice versa. I also have students who only want to draw realistically, then some who are more abstract. Your child’s art teacher can guide you as to which interests they are noticing in the classroom, so you can enhance and facilitate their inclinations from there.
If you categorize yourself as a parent who’s “not artistic,” don’t stress. Once provided with the time and space to create, kids do all the work. Listen to what they ask for, and take the chance to create alongside them. In our world of constant movement and technology, it’s even therapeutic for adults to take some time to doodle or color. These will be moments remembered, and you might even enjoy it!
VISIT ART MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES.
Taking your family on outings to museums and galleries opens their minds to new ideas and discussions. A friend of mine who is also a creative professional recently told me, “We love visiting museums and doing projects with our kids. It brings us closer together as a family and has allowed our children to express themselves and think about things in new ways. Viewing, buying, and creating art has opened up our kids’ minds, giving them additional outlets for problem solving and thinking.”
ATTEND WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES.
Have some time on the weekend? Look into educational programming that your local arts institutions and organizations provide. Most museums host workshops and events directly geared towards families and children. There are also many pottery studios around the country that allow you to purchase items to paint or where you can even host a birthday party!
If you have questions about making art at home with your children, or about my work or commissioning a painting, you can contact me at [email protected]. Follow me on Instagram @taelorfisherpainting or through my website taelorfisherpainting.com.