Arts and Crafts for Kids
Everyone always says that kids have the most creativity, and there’s an important reason for that. Young children very often don’t have specific motivations for their actions, and end up doing things in the moment. This is most visible with art, where they can see how the paint feels when they smear it on canvas, or how different colors work together when mixed. They enjoy it so much because they’re experimenting, and with it can come great artistic success.
That’s why art makes such a great activity for children, as it allows them to relax and enjoy the actions that they’re doing. Not only that, but art will also improve your child’s creative, mental, social, and emotional skills, as it stimulates the mind most directly. It also teaches them the importance of thinking in different ways and analyzing mistakes. While an adult may think it’s wrong to mix certain colors together, a child will do it first and see how it looks, only later deciding whether it was good or bad. Working with painting tools, thinking of how colors work together, and stepping back to look at the big picture of their creation can all help to improve your child’s painting skills, and helps them create new ways of thinking for themselves.
So how can this help you, and what are the best situations in which to have your child paint or draw?
Well, even though it may be messy, painting or drawing can be a great activity for a children’s party or playdate, allowing them to connect over something so simple as smearing paint on a canvas, while having them focused on a specific task that develops their thinking skills. Let’s say you have a group of child’s friends coming over soon for a playdate/party, and you have nothing specific planned. Well, head on over to the local hardware stare and pick up a huge piece of plywood. Then, run over to the arts and crafts store, and get several packages of large drawing paper or canvases, along with paints, paintbrushes, markers, pencils, etc. Once you’re back at home, attach a large plank to the plywood, so you can prop up the canvases or drawing paper on it. Place a small table next to each canvas, and you have your very own multi-person painting station! To be safe, lay down something on the floor just to keep it clean, and maybe make a garbage bag poncho for each child.
This way they can get as messy as they want to, and still have a great time! It can also allow them to compare paintings and share some skills with one another. If you want to give it a professional feel, set up an item or model that they can all draw, and tell them to draw exactly what they see. The results may surprise you!
When the kids are drawing, it’s important to leave them to themselves, and not interject with any advice or direction. At this stage, all they’re doing is experimenting, and your directions may come off as being too restrictive. Give them as many colors as they need to complete their painting and have fun, and cheer them on throughout the process!
To really give the children a moral boost, hand out lots of compliments, but make sure that they’re specifically related to their art. Saying something like “Good work” is not nearly as encouraging as saying “Great mixing of colors”, or “I like the way that you used your lines to make the features of the face”. When a child paints, they’re putting real effort into what they create. Don’t expect it to look like professional work, because it won’t be. They’re children drawing, and you should motivate them the way that you would a child. With clear and specific praise, directed towards the hard work that they’re doing.
You can also ask lots of questions, to push them to explain their process. Asking what they’re drawing or what they’re trying to show will get them thinking about exactly what they’re doing, and may actually prompt greater artistic development and connection of different themes.
Finally, no matter what your child draws or how they draw it, show them that you’re satisfied with it, and proud of them for making the effort. Whether or not you think the painting is complete is irrelevant. As long as they’re happy with the final product, then you can conclude that it’s been time well spent.
For your next children’s party, consider painting as a fun and engaging activity, with tons of learning qualities added in. So what are you waiting for? Get messy!