By Nicole Tinkham
Artists tell us all the time how important it is to pass art skills, techniques, or even opportunities down to younger generations. Many schools nowadays don’t have art programs anymore and money is being spent elsewhere, but we believe art is essential for growth, learning and creativity. For those of you fighting the good fight to keep creativity alive in kid’s lives, we just want to say thank you for what you’re doing! It’s inspiring! And if you’re looking for some ideas on how you can keep the curiosity flowing, read on for 4 unique ways to get younger people interested in art. And no, you don’t have to be an artist yourself to do these things!
1. Visit an art museum
You don’t have to know the fancy art terms or anything like that to take a child to an art museum. Let them explore, examine art and make up their own opinions about the work. Ask them questions that get them thinking about the artwork and their thoughts on it. Just looking at creative pieces promotes them to actually want to create art themselves. You’ll find that some museums even have programs for children where they can learn a little more in areas that you may not know much about yourself.
Here’s a great little trick to have even more fun at an art museum.
2. Stop and admire street art
Help children notice art in their every day lives. It’s all over the place! Many cities have beautiful installation pieces as well as graffiti art. When you see an opportunity, stop and take a look at it with the kids. Other things to keep an eye out for are architecture and nature. Pull over and take a picture. Make sure to look for special events in your area too like chalk art festivals where professional artists come in and create incredible images on the sidewalks and streets.
Everything around us was created by some sort of artist. Point out the designs on cereal boxes and let them pick out bright clothing choices. Anything you can think of to really get them noticing art in their surroundings so they can use that as inspiration when creating their own art.
3. Learn & create together
When children see you doing something, they’ll want to join in whether you’re an incredible artist or just starting out with them. Let them make mistakes and try new things. Remember, there is no wrong way to create art. You can also learn a lot from them. You’ll notice that they aren’t afraid to dive right in and get started. We should all be a little more like them in various areas of life.
One idea we love is to not let them use an eraser. When they can easily change their creations, they could second guess themselves and not get anywhere on their project. Try using something more permanent like markers and paint when creating with children.
And let them get messy! This encourages them to let loose and have fun rather than worry about the clean up that comes along with it. It helps if they have their own creative space with plenty of supplies. When they notice the designated space with art tools, it will trigger them to want to get creative more often. If they aren’t showing interest on their own, make special art time that they can look forward to.
Also encourage them to use their imagination and gain creative ideas from that. Children are already very imaginative and as we get older, we tend to lose that. Keep it going and have them use their imagination more often. Ask about what they’re creating and come up with fun stories about their creations together.
You can even make a party out of it! Have some of their friends over for a creative day or a birthday party with an artsy theme. They can learn from each other and work as a team which brings in a whole new level of engagement to their artwork.
4. Showcase their creations
When you make a big deal out of anyone’s artwork (kids and adults alike), it encourages them to continue creating. Point out what you love about the piece (lines, texture, color, etc.). Ask them questions and get them talking about the meaning behind it.
Be sure to hang up their artwork and you can even have it framed which will really make them feel special. You can talk to our custom framer, Mark for some ideas (941-747-2995 and ask for Mark).
When getting children interested in art, it really comes down to 3 main things. Expose them to art, get them creating, and praise them for it. Whether you’re a professional artist or not, anyone can walk through these steps with their children or grandchildren and teach them in importance of art. Plus we bet you’ll learn a thing or two from them! Take the time to connect with them and build a relationship around creative activities. That quality time together is most important for you both.
Tell us, how have you introduced art to a child in your life? Please let us know in the comments below.