Sometimes you need to just take a step back and allow your child to immerse themselves in that moment of creativity. It gives them the chance to express themselves in a way that is all their own. Children are all about being in the moment: the sound of a brush against the paper, the way it feels to rub paint on the surface, the look of glitter as it is sprinkled. You might not realize it, but these moments can have a more profound impact than you might think.
What’s so important about art?
Art is so much more than just paint and glitter. Encouraging your child to be creative also helps their minds to develop, not only mentally but emotionally and socially as well. What it does is foster the ability to analyze and problem solve. Look at it this way: they learn basic math by counting the colors they use; they improve their fine motor skills by wielding a paint brush; by experimenting with different materials, they are venturing into science. More importantly, art can boost self-confidence because children are happy when they create something and those who feel as if they can experiment and are able to make mistakes will ultimately discover different ways of thinking. And all of that continues beyond the art room.
Through all of our experience here at the Markeim Art Center, we’ve learned a few things. Here’s a short list of ways you can help to foster creativity at home:
- Don’t give direction: Avoid giving your child specific directions—don’t tell them what to make or how to make it. Try saying “why don’t you experiment with different kinds of brushes and paper by mixing colors” instead of “paint a rainbow”.
- Let them get messy: Set up a space that will allow your child the ability to be messy and experiment. Use some newspaper or a drop cloth on the kitchen table or set up a space in the garage if the weather doesn’t allow the opportunity to be outside.
- Explore the process: Encourage your child to talk to you about their creation. The best way to do this is by asking “Did you have fun?” or by “Tell me about what you made.”
- Ask specific questions: It can be easy to simply offer a generic compliment, but you want to be specific about your comments—try being precise, ask, “I see you used a lot of green. Tell me about your choice to use that color.”
- Let it go: After your child is done with what they are making, it’s important for them to feel what they have created is enough so don’t suggest they make changes or additions.
To take your child’s creativity to a whole new level or to help them develop those all-important skills that come with artistic self-expression, give us a call at Markeim Art Center, phone (856) 429-8585 or visit our calendar page for our upcoming camps and classes.