by Angie McFarren
Mom was so excited. She had the finger paints and paper ready; the table had a plastic covering on it; her child had on his painting shirt; and she had her camera ready. Mom encouraged her son to place his hands in the paint and begin creating a masterpiece. Then it happened. He looked at his wet hands in repulsion. Mom’s heart sank. Thankfully, she made a wise decision. She did not force her son to continue. Instead, she went on a hunt to find an art project he would enjoy.
Some kids are just born to draw and paint. Then there are other kids that loath anything art-related. Take heart there are ways to ease the reluctant child into finding something to like about art.
In this 3-part series, you will learn reasons for teaching your kids art; find links to fun activities; receive additional ideas for learning art; discover which art curriculum I believe is the best for elementary students.
Reasons for Teaching Art
- Art enriches students’ education and enhances their academic success.
- Art increases problem-solving skills, boosting academic success.
- Children release more of their creativity as they improve their observational skills.
- Children learn there is more than one way to create or interpret art.
- For some children, art is a way to express themselves when they cannot in any other way.
- Art improves fine motor skills.
Educational games allow learning to take place while having fun playing them. Below is a list of websites that you might find helpful in introducing your children to art in a fun way. Note: I have viewed most portions of the content on the following websites. As you know websites change daily. Please contact me if you find any objectionable material on these websites.
Free Arts Games for Kids (of all ages) by Artsology
There are many interesting art books of different types available for children. Below are just a few I have selected. Even though the age range is shown, you may want to browse the content of the books before showing them to your children.
- Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist series has several revised editions with new content, which includes a timeline of the artist’s life, maps, and a quiz (with answers). The recommended age range is 7-11.
- The Usborne Book of Famous Artists for ages 8-12
- Artists Children Should Know – series for ages 8 and up.
- Famous Paintings, Activity Cards for children grades 1 and up.
- Of course, you will want to visit your local library when you are able.
Field trips are usually a hit with many children. Going to an art museum might be a stretch for some. I will share more on this subject in a later post.
There are many apps available for download onto iPads. Kids love them and will spend hours playing the games. Turn that fascination into something creative.
Jim has written a series of blog posts on digital art. You may want to begin reading Top 3 Digital Art Apps for Homeschoolers.
The Supercoloring website has numerous coloring pages of famous artists and paintings for you to download for free. The pages allow children to not only color but to learn about the master artists and their works.
Work on Art with Friends
Having an art class (whether it is a co-op or at home) with other kids makes it more fun. I know of one child who really disliked art. He found the art class to be more tolerable when he was doing it with a friend.
Display Their Artwork
As you well know, children love having their artwork displayed. The refrigerator tends to be commonplace for it. You may find the number of displayed artwork overwhelming in number. An option to consider is taking pictures of the artwork and placing them into an album once you are ready to remove them from the refrigerator door. Creating a scrapbook, which includes a sampling of the artwork is another idea. Your children can then help with the scrapbooking.
Decorating cookies is a fun activity for kids especially when they can eat their creations afterward. Using pointillism techniques is one way to add art to cookies. It is simply adding small dots in different colors to the cookies creating shapes. You might want to look at a few Seurat paintings before decorating the cookies, so your children have an idea of what pointillism is. See the Light has a pointillism art project, Pointillism Fruit that your children may enjoy.
You will find many art videos on YouTube. Some are not kid friendly. But there is a kid’s series called Art with Mati and Dada your children will enjoy watching.
Keep Art Supplies Readily Available
It is important to have art supplies accessible not only for an art class but also when a creative mood arises.
Use Art Curriculum That Does the Teaching for You
What I consider to be the best product for elementary students to use is See the Light’s Art Class since it is for beginning students. Your children will learn art techniques that will benefit them in their future projects. You will learn more about the Art Class DVDs in part 2 of this series.
Bonus: Free Art Project
The See the Light Art products mentioned in this post: