Art with children can feel overwhelming at times especially when you are worried about what activities are suitable or even the messiness of it all! That’s why I’ve invited Amanda from Process of Play to write this guest blog post all about common roadblocks to creating art with children and some ideas on how to overcome them. Here’s what she has to say:
“My child isn’t interested in art activities.”
“I don’t have the time to set them up.”
“THE MESS, I can’t deal with the mess.”
We all know that art is a glorious, fantastic, brain-expanding activity for kids, but not every parent wants to do it at home.
Let’s look at these three common roadblocks, and see if a few simple suggestions will assist you in creating with your children!
- Lack of interest. Choose an activity that suits your child’s interests best. Love to be outdoors? Create some art in nature with found items. Have kids who can’t sit still? Put the paper on the kitchen floor and let your child walk around it and paint from all directions.
- Simple materials, a space to work and a bit of inspiration is all you need to get creative. A simple combination of construction paper + washi tape + oil pastels creates an easy and fun setup for fine motor skills.
- The MESS. If you find art mess triggering, and therefore don’t do it, I’m right there with you. This is the number one reason parents don’t create art with their children. Dress your child in old clothes, a smock or even just their nappy. Painting on the kitchen floor or in the bath is a good way for easy cleanup. Set firm ground rules of where the paint should go (“Paint stays on the brush and paper”), and put materials away if ground rules are broken.
Here’s an art invitation which fits the bill for all 3 roadblocks:
- Using familiar materials in a different way (clothespins and cotton balls) creates interest.
- Super quick to setup, less than 5 minutes.
- Easy to clean!
- Containers for paint
- Cotton balls (or pompoms)
- Clothes pins
- Tape the paper to your work surface.
- Pinch the cotton balls with the clothespin.
- Let your child make marks and paint with the cotton balls. The cotton balls will create a new sensation different to a paintbrush or fingers.
They may want to take the cotton ball off the clothespin, to create marks. If you feel comfortable with this, it’s a great way to let them explore their materials! Keep lots of paper on hand, as little ones make art at a rapid pace! Enjoy.
About the Author: Amanda from Process of Play
Hi, I’m Amanda creator and owner of Process of Play. Born and raised in Canada, I’m currently living in beautiful Germany with my husband and four year old son. I’m an art teacher. If you know me, art is my background and my present.
In my career, I’ve come to realise the importance of the arts in our lives, and I truly love the joyful process that comes from art creation. Though I love being a classroom teacher, I believe that support for the arts starts at home. Let go of your expectations of what art is. It doesn’t take fancy materials or an art degree to do this with your children.
Embrace their creativity, encourage them to explore, let them take risks and solve problems. I’ve seen it with my son and I know you can see it in your children too.
I’ve just launched ‘The Family Canvas Project’ the perfect process art project to do together, with easy to follow instructions. You’ll be left with a collaborative piece of art to cherish, or gift to a loved one.
Facebook & Instagram: @processofplay