Why You’ll Never Regret Doing Art WITH Your Child
November 23, 2021
By Beth Herrild
We often talk and write about why engaging in art making is really great for kids. Art helps them develop their creative problem solving skills, create new synapses in their brains, and enhances their empathy and self-esteem. But here’s why you’ll never regret doing art with your child.
When you discover a new activity together, you’re modeling lifelong learning and a growth mindset. When you say something like, “I’ve never used acrylic paints before either. Let’s experiment with these new materials together,” you’re showing your children that it is safe and good to learn something new at any age. You’re giving them encouragement to try new things throughout their lives; and permission to not have all the answers. Kids will be faced with many situations where they can either try something new – something they may not be very good at initially – or simply keep doing things they’re familiar with. When you try new things with them, your actions speak so much louder than your words. They will remember those experiences when faced with opportunities to try new things!
Besides modeling good things for your kids, creating art together will also strengthen your connection with them. Doing an activity like an art project with your children is a wonderful way to bond and create memories. In an article on The Conversation titled, Why Creating Art with Your Children Is Important, Prodita Sabarini wrote “When you make art together with your children, you add additional relational benefits, as they share feelings and ideas. Art is communication without the need to be verbal, which may allow them to express themselves more honestly than through speech.” This relational piece can also be very rich for aunts and uncles, grandparents, or other caring adults. When my kids were young, I even felt better about leaving them with a sitter if I knew that they were going to share an art project together while I was gone.
The key in all of this is not being overly prescriptive with the art activity. We’re big fans of putting some boundaries around the project and then within those boundaries, allowing your kids to make their own creative decisions. For instance, you could say something like “Today we’re going to do a watercolor project. Let’s all create landscapes (paintings of an outdoor scene.) You can use any colors you want – they don’t have to be the realistic colors. Your scene can be of a hillside, ocean, or whatever you can dream up!” If you don’t give kids any parameters, most kids will just become overwhelmed and not know what to do. So it’s also good to decide on one medium that you’re going to use like watercolor, colored pencils, tempera paint, acrylic paint, etc. Conversely, if they feel like their art needs to look like some example, then it turns into more of a craft project and removes the creativity and creative problem-solving aspects. Crafts can offer kids some skills and pride in their craftsmanship, but the opportunity for growth is so much greater when kids get to express themselves creatively. To read more about art versus crafts, check out our blog post, Should You Do Art or Crafts With Your Kids?
Since we emphatically believe in the power of engaging in art activities with your kids, our art subscription boxes and Insider’s Club digital membership projects are designed for parents or other caring adults to do WITH kids. That’s why our tagline is Connect • Create • Educate. Our regular size subscription boxes come with enough supplies for up to two people (and we hear you can often stretch that to three if you’re willing to share supplies.) Our large size boxes come with enough supplies for up to four people. Many of our customers do the projects together as families. In fact, we often hear from parents that they enjoy the projects as much as their kids do!
If you are now convinced that you’ll never regret doing art with your child and you’re ready to begin engaging in art with your kids, check out another blog post, Setting Up an Art Space for Kids, How to Talk to Your Child (Or Anyone) About Her Art and many other posts on our blog that can help!