Five Ways To Help Kids Love Art

April Goodjohn

In today’s technology-fueled world, also a world that often cuts arts curriculum from schools in favor of preparation for standardized tests, its important we introduce young people to art and give them opportunities to seek exploration and creativity sans devices. Art allows kids an avenue to transfer feelings and emotions through imagination and resourcefulness. Here are some techniques to help foster a love of art in your little ones. 

1. Create a designated space for art supplies in your home. Little artists are more likely to get inspired if everything they need is in one place and they don’t have to scour the house to track down scissors or paper. Make sure the supplies are varied and add new elements often to spark creativity. 
2. Collect natural elements like twigs, pebbles and leaves while walking outdoors. Found items are a wonderful (and free) source of materials for completely unique pieces. Using objects in alternative ways encourages inventiveness and young sculptors will improve their fine motor skills while having fun. 
3. Remain non-judgmental about kid’s creations. Don’t say something like “is that supposed to be a cat”. Instead, ask open-ended questions like “tell me about your work” or make neutral statements like “that’s so interesting”. Kids are more likely to open up about emotions tied to their work if they don’t have to define it for you. Create a safe space where they won’t fear criticism. 
4. Visit museums and galleries. Children’s museums are the perfect place to start as little ones love interactive experiences. As they are ready, introduce them to museums and galleries. Discuss gallery manners before you go. It’s important that kids remain respectful by keeping hands to themselves and keeping their voices at an appropriate decibel. Museum gift shops are wonderful places to find age-appropriate art history books. 
5. Honor Art In Your Own Life. When kids experience their parents talking about art, learning about art and investing in art, they understand that living with art is a priority, not a luxury. Create a gallery space (or dedicated wall) in your home to display your kid's work. Have a few very special pieces professionally framed so you will have them forever but, provide a space where the display can easily be changed and edited by young creatives. 
September 9, 2021