Learning to Love Arts and Crafts as a Family

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Does one member of your family like to paint and draw while everyone else prefers playing on the Xbox? It isn’t uncommon for one person to be creative, but it is rare for the whole family to enjoy artistic pursuits. However, even if you are the only person who enjoys drawing, painting, and experimenting with textiles, it doesn’t mean you can’t encourage everyone else to get involved!

Let Kids Be Creative

The best time to introduce your family to creative pursuits is when they are small. Little kids love to play with paints and the messier the better. Most children do finger painting and hand paintings at pre-school. They enjoy the texture of wet paint as much as they love to spread it all over the paper (and themselves). As much as many parents dislike the mess associated with paints and crafts, it is actually good for a child to be creative.

Being creative exercises a child’s right-brain functions, which balances the left-brain functions in charge of analytic thought, reasoning, and logic. Yes, we want our kids to grow up and become a brain surgeon, but purely focusing on science and maths is very limiting. The creative side of the brain needs as much exercise as the analytical side of the brain. Both complement each other.

Shop for Art Supplies

Begin when your children are small. Buy them cheap acrylic paints and rolls of lining paper from your local art store or shop online for art and craft supplies. Wait for a nice sunny day and spread some sheets of paper outside in the back garden. Let your kids paint with their hands, large brushes, sponges, and any other tools you have available. They will have a wonderful time creating large-scale works of art.

As your kids get a bit older, encourage them to try observational drawing. This is useful because it makes them look more closely at the world and objects around them. Teach them to look at composition, light and shade, tonal values, and color. All of these things help to turn a flat image into a three-dimensional picture.

Pursue Art in School

If you find your kids show a talent for art, encourage them to continue working on their art. Teachers tend to push kids away from art when they reach secondary school, on the basis that bright kids shouldn’t waste their time on non-academic subjects. But this is wrong and should be discouraged. Art is a valuable part of the curriculum and deserves just as much respect as maths and science.

Try to make creative activities a family thing. One day a week, take your kids to art galleries and encourage them to talk about what they see. Introduce them to accessible artists like the French Impressionists. You can learn more about famous paintings and then have a go at creating your own versions.

The results might not be brilliant, but it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.

 

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