Start early: For years, experts have said that creativity and an appreciation for the arts aids in a child’s development of motor skills, language, decision-making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness, and improved academic performance. Fostering your child’s self-expression at an early age is the beginning of their life-long evolution.
Create: Even if it’s just a few scribbles, babies and toddlers can start with supervised coloring and finger painting. As they grow, they’ll be comfortable with materials and continue their creative journey into more advanced pursuits. Always keep art supplies handy so creating art becomes a familiar pastime.
Experiment: When it comes to art, the possibilities are endless. Let your kids make pictures and cards with paints, colored pencils, crayons, or markers. They can also make play dough sculptures, build with building blocks, or create collages with magazines and glue. If you’re looking for new ideas, check Pinterest for thousands of step-by-step guides. Don’t rely heavily on the images provided. Your child’s work of art doesn’t need to match and it’s not about perfection. Just take the ideas and let their imaginations do the rest.
Praise their art: While your child is working on art, ask them questions about it. What were they thinking? What is the story they are telling? How does it make them feel? For more advanced artists, connect their creations to art they have viewed. And once they’ve finished, frame it, hang it, display it. Their confidence will soar and they will want to create and learn more.
Visit museums: New York has some of the best art museums in the world. Don’t be intimidated. Museums are child-friendly and many offer programs for kids at every age. Take the same approach as with creating art and start early. Kids who visit museums as babies and toddlers will feel right at home for the rest of their lives. Make sure to participate in age-appropriate activities provided by the museum or create your own. One suggestion is to start at the gift shop and let your child buy a souvenir, then spend some time searching the galleries for that piece. Make it fun and they will begin their life-long love of art and museums.
Take classes: Find after-school art classes for kids in your area. Art classes can nurture creativity, develop skills, and sharpen the imagination.
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