It is not a secret that art is a very important part of a child’s development. Any articles on the subject will tell you different reasons for it: it boosts their confidence, motor skills, visual learning, inventiveness, etc. They are probably all right. The benefits of learning through art are so vast, that it can’t be explained in a few lines.
Painting is a favourite activity of almost all children I have met. Mine are no different, since they were very little they had free access to all kinds of art supplies. It will be messy but - at least for me - I find it absolutely worth it.
When painting, I have two rules that I try to stick to:
First, I never interfere in their painting, unless they ask for help (and even so I try to encourage them to find a solution by themselves).
Second, they have to help to clean up their mess.
Sidenote: I also love sitting with them with my own paper and paint! The child in me still enjoys painting and drawing.
There are many fun activities you can do to help your child explore painting. I think of my role as the provider of necessary materials and tools to help the child express their creativity.
Some time ago, my older child told me he was “bored of painting” and I took it upon myself to boost his experience a little bit. Up to this point he had always taken the initiative so I thought that maybe it’s time to give him some motivation. Here are some ideas:
Take them to The Children’s Art Factory: There is a small place in the city of Guelph where children can come and express themselves without limits. I have gone a few times. My first impression was that the place was too small and although it is a bit cozy, my children have so much fun (and so do I) that I can’t think of a better place to spend the morning. It is divided into different “stations” and they can enjoy all kinds of activities; from playing with sand to painting, dressing up and singing. It is a great place for creativity and the time goes flying by when you are inside. On top of that, you don’t have to clean up afterwards.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit the bakery next door and bring extra socks becuase they will get a bit dirty.
Check out some of our pictures from The Children's Art Factory:
A few years ago my son received these placemats as a birthday present. He instantly loved them. It comes with different designs from which you have to create your own art (animals, feelings…). We had a great time doing it (yes, I painted my own placemat and I enjoyed it). Since then, using a random shape, fingerprint (or even glued button) in a page and creating a painting from it has become a quick, fun way to make art in this house.
- Comics: If your child is older, a good idea is to make a booklet for him to draw his own story. Also they can act it out with puppets later on.
- Simple items around the house: Use them as stamps. Toy cars wheels; paper rolls and even leaf prints look amazing on paper. Even celery can make a perfect print. Anything at hand can be a potential painting utensil.
Bonus: Passive creativity motivation
Sometimes I set up a table with various painting supplies on it, with the intention of engaging them without asking. They are welcome to use any of the items, but the choice to do so is up to them.