Encouraging your child to be creative is a great way for them to learn in a fun, relaxed way. Whether it’s drawing, colouring in or sticking things together, they’re using a wide range of skills to create their masterpieces.
Physically, using a pencil fine tunes finger muscles and improves hand eye co-ordination. So the earlier your child starts to use one, the better. Other benefits include learning how to problem solve by letting your child decide what medium to use, where to put the lines and how to fill them in.
I think one of the most important skills it teaches them, is to encourage their creativity and expression. Giving a child a blank piece of paper and crayons, is a great way to let them express what’s going on in their head. Their creations are often a portrayal of how they perceive their world and helps to develop their imagination. It can also help to improve self-esteem by allowing them to feel pride in their work and the confidence to talk about it to others.
Art is a great way to fill in a rainy afternoon and often doesn’t take much supervision once the initial set up is done. That makes it an ideal lockdown activity for parents trying to work from home.
It’s also a great way to relieve stress in both kids and adults. We find it’s also a great go to activity for calming down when tempers start to get frayed. It can also give a child an outlet for expressing how they’re feeling. That’s then a good tool for adults to use to start talking about what’s worrying them. This is really important in the current climate. Drawing a picture of what they think the virus looks like can help to make it feel less scary.
We’ve been doing a lot of colouring and drawing over the last few months. It’s helped us all to connect and spend some quality time together doing something that doesn’t involve a TV or computer screen. And it’s helped us all take our minds off how our lives have been turned upside down. Eldest has loved doing art themed Facetime sessions with her cousins. They take it in turns to pick something to draw, then show each other once it’s finished.
But all of this extra art work then leaves another dilemma. What do you do with it all? It’s lovely to look back at art our eldest created when she first started nursery and then see how her skill has developed over the years. I don’t want to throw it out, but it will end up being damaged if it just sits on a shelf gathering dust.
So, I’ve been scouring the internet to find ideas for how to store it. One of the cheapest ones, which I think I’m going to do, is to buy a large art portfolio. I’ll then sort through and decide which are the best pieces I want to keep, mount them and then store them in the portfolio. That means I can add to it in the years to come. It doesn’t take up much space and means (hopefully) that the artwork will be preserved.
Another option is to take photos of each piece of art. You can then order the prints and make them into a scrapbook. Or you could create a photobook using an app like Popsa or Photobooks. These options are good if you’re not bothered about keeping the actual art. I’m not sure I want to part with it just yet.
If there’s a particular piece of art that your child is really proud of, you could get it framed. We were recently lucky enough to have one of eldest’s paintings made into a cool pop art print. Raising Creatively have come up with this great way to preserve treasured art work. You just need to take a good quality photo on your phone of the picture. They then work their magic to turn it into a fabulous print. The picture on the left is eldest’s painting, the one on the right is the cool new print
We received our print for free as part of the testing process. The artwork we sent them was a self-portrait eldest painted. It’s something we’ll treasure as it was done in one of her last lessons at school before lockdown began. It really makes me smile.
I’d love to know if you’ve come up with any other ways of keeping your kids art.