4 Unique Ways To Get Children Interested In Art

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.

Featured Organization of the Month: Adopt-A-Family

As the year continues on, it brings with it many new seasons. For starters, school is back is session. And with that, many kids can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Featured in our blog about local organization F.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies), we know that many children rely on the food they receive at school as their main food source on a daily basis. Hunger is not something that magically disappears, and requires many people to work together and take a stand. Thankfully, our community is rallying behind these families and stepping in to provide them with food. This is what helping each other out is about. 🙂

I know that Christmas Season is still months away, but let’s be honest here, we’re all starting to think about it. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year; for most of us that is. The reality though is that many families don’t look forward to Christmas at all. The daily struggles of life are a constant reminder of the things that they don’t have, and for the less fortunate, Christmas isn’t always full of cheer.

Fortunately, we have a local organization that allows us all the opportunity to impact these families every year. Adopt-A-Family (non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation that gets no government funding) started in 1982 because they “saw a need to bring a little Christmas hope to the underprivileged children of our community.” Their purpose is to “reach out to struggling families in need of help during the holiday season. Once these families meet our qualifications we purchase, wrap and distribute gifts to the children in the family.”

Over the years, Keeton’s has had the incredible honor to furnish Christmas presents for families in need. And each year, we’re impacted knowing we helped put a smile on a child’s face on Christmas morning!

If you are considering “Adopting A Family” this year, here is how you can do it:

“We’ll ask you what size family you would like to provide for and then we’ll give you a list of the children in the appropriate family along with the ages and each child’s wish list. You are asked to give each child, a book and 3-4 of the items on their wish list. You purchase, wrap, label and box the items and return them to us at our warehouse during the second week in December. The family you were assigned will pick up their gifts at our warehouse during our distribution days in mid-December.”


“You tell us the number of children in the family you want to adopt, send us a donation to cover the cost of the gifts for the children and we’ll do all the work. We’ll handle the shopping, wrapping and boxing of the gifts for this family and send you a list of the gifts we’ve purchased.”

“The choice is yours but in either case, you choose the size of family that you can support. We begin assigning families about a week after our registration begins in November. If you are purchasing the gifts, you will be given a specific date on which to deliver your boxed gifts to us so that we can assure timely availability for the receiving family.”
Contact Adopt-A-Family:

To adopt a family you may call them at (941) 748-4424

Email them at adoptafamily@gmail.com

Be sure to include the following information:

• Your name/contact person
• Organization if applicable
• Address
• Phone number
• Number of children in a family you’d like to sponsor
• Whether or not you have previously adopted one of our families

Once they hear from you, they’ll get back in touch with you. Please note that they are not able to begin to assign families until the second week of November.

For more information, or to donate online, check out their website here: http://adoptafamilymanatee.com/how_you_can_help/adopt_a_family.html

We’re thankful to live in a community that takes care of each other. Some of us have much, and some of us have little. When we come together, we can all make a difference.