Parents who don’t have a bent toward the artistic, may shy away from encouraging home arts and crafts projects with their children. But they shouldn’t. It’s calming and healthy for children to explore the world of creative art. Whether it’s drawing a stick figure, doing a watercolor painting or a sculpture project with play dough, artistic expression is a healthy way for children to record their thoughts and ideas.

Make it a habit to collect random art supplies and keep them in an “art center” in your home. (See list below) Then when the moment is right, you’ll have the necessary supplies for a spontaneous art session.

Home Art Projects

Free Exploration: Children love to explore artistic endeavors with no regard for a finished product. They love seeing paint spread on paper, enjoy the feel of clay or play dough in their hands and love to portray their thoughts and emotions via paper and pencil. Encourage their natural joy in the process and don’t demand a “product.”

Holiday Fun: When your family or the entire nation is celebrating a holiday, it’s a great time to encourage your kids to create something related. The topics are familiar and well-loved and ideas for art projects will flow naturally out of the season.

Extending a Story: When you find a story your child loves; be sure to suggest art extensions related to the characters or story line. These extensions further the child’s understanding of the story and also allow the experience of self-expression. You might say, “I wonder if you can make a picture of Goldilocks in the Three Bear’s House.” Or “Let’s make a 3/D model of Baby Bear’s bedroom.” Children can become quite excited about these spontaneous projects.

Creating Gifts: Kids love to make things for the ones they love. Encourage greeting cards for special occasions or simple gifts to give family members or peers.

Showcasing Something Learned: Sometimes it’s appropriate for children to create a display on a certain topic of study or special interest. Maybe your child has learned a lot about local birds, or has collected shells from the beach. Putting these objects and related information into a poster-like display is a meaningful way to share knowledge gained.

For Your Home Art Center

All kinds of paper
Paper towel or t.p. rolls
Glue or glue sticks
Colored pencils
Stapler and staples
Pipe cleaners
Play dough
Pom poms
Googly eyes
Paints and brushes
Yarn or ribbon
Hole punch
Paper bags