So…. we all know by now that the arts are dwindling away to nothing in our schools. And even the time kids do get in school may not be the best quality. With art being a hands-on subject, how can art teachers find the time to do much more beyond quick, very surface projects?
Since art and design are a huge part of our every day lives, there are a bunch of small things parents can incorporate into time spent with kids to up their creativity smarts.
Drawing is the backbone of art and design, so we like to keep pencils and paper out at all times. I’ve even found that rather than crack open a sketchbook, kids are more likely to spontaneously start drawing if there is a stack of printer paper hanging around.
Likewise, we keep our camera within easy reach. Kids adore shooting millions of photos, so give them some mini ‘pro photographer’ assignments: fashion shoot, landscape, self-portrait, product shot (anything goes). Encourage them to use natural light, which always yields better results.
Point out items around the house or in public that you think are designed well, or have great packaging. You’ll be surprised how discerning kids can be when they begin to notice good design.
Slip an art term into your activities once in a while- texture, composition, light and dark, perspective. These are ideas you can bring up when you are reading a picture book together, watching a Harry Potter movie, or looking down the street in town.
Think colors! Kids love announcing what their favorite color is, but how about looking around at color combinations they like- Grab a big pack of colored pencils and compare what their favorite blue color looks like on paper next to orange. Then try that same blue next to a few different blues and a green or two.
Have them think about how they would change the design of some of their toys or objects around the house. Are they satisfied with the color and size of their Legos? How could they change them? What could be done to a beanbag chair to make it even cooler?
Essentially, it’s the same idea parents and teachers have been using for math and science- showing kids how they can use some of these concepts in every day life. We have our kids look at pizzas to learn fractions and mix up strange concoctions in the kitchen to discover science magic, but when it comes to art and design, we should also be showing our kids that it is all around us, everywhere.