If you agree that Kids don’t get enough art in their lives, you are not alone. There are so many wonderful ideas for artistic things for kids to do at home, there are lists all over the internet, I won’t go into all of them here but I do have a couple of specific artistic challenge that are really fun and forces my 5 year old off her tablet and gets her thinking about the world around her.
- I call it “Reality Clip Art” this one is great for rainy days (or in the Midwest where we live) snowy days. I take a clipped picture from a magazine or newspaper and tape it to a dry erase board, and then my daughter has to draw a picture around that idea. This is a great way to see what’s going on in her head as well, because she draws her feelings. Somedays we get lots of flowers and butterflies and somedays we get dragons and other darker themes.
Kids can’t always express their feeling mostly because they haven’t learned how to do that in a way that makes sense. I know that some days my daughter comes home from kindergarten frustrated or sad and she doesn’t know how to let out that frustration in a constructive way, so this exercise not only lets her express her feelings but also provides her with a way to let those feelings out calmly.
- Build something, this can be with clay, wood, sticks etc., I do a lot of home remodeling, I seem to always have a project to work on, so I always have scraps of wood lying around. With my supervision of course, I work with my daughter to build small pieces of furniture for her dolls or bird houses for outside, then I let her paint it, and I let her work with the tools (with me hovering like a nervous dad).
First, working with tools is fun and my daughter loves power tools especially the air nailer, and it’s a good time to teach her good safety practices. It also brings us closer together as father and daughter. When we finish a project she feels such a sense of pride and so do I because she tried to do something like that. I want my daughter to have that pride in everything she does so giving her that feeling now allows her to know what pride feels like so she can work toward that in the other aspects of her life. Just yesterday, as we were sitting down for dinner and my daughter turns to me and says “I want to be the best student in school”. Without knowing what that will take I am proud that she feels that way and I hope I can keep her focused enough to make that a reality.
- Gardening, Yes gardening is art, it has all the qualifications (work with your hands, get a little messy, it’s not TV, you need to be creative, and it instills pride) I encourage my daughter to plant things and let them grow in pots or the garden. We have planted tomatoes that were left over from the store; mushy old tomatoes grow really nice new tomatoes, what a great learning experience for my kids. I have a bunch of Avocado trees, dwarf orange and dwarf lemon trees, a pineapple plant all from store bought produce. Even my 2 year old son gets his hands dirty.
I like to let my daughter get her hands dirty, she doesn’t mind at all and actually really likes to find worms and bugs in the yard to add to plants because “worms are good for plants” she says. I let her plant the items, water them and watch them grow, she gets so excited when the tiny plants pop up through the soil. This is yet another source of pride for her and it gives her a sense of responsibility for all these plants that she has started from birth.
In this post I have pitched three of my favorite artistic things to do with my daughter; there are hundreds of ideas out there on the internet. As long as you are present with your kids and try to do something, I know you will be making a difference in their life. When it comes to art there is no right and wrong so letting your child do whatever they want to do with their art is important for their development, so let them explore and be challenged and try and help them understand arts importance in their life.
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