Sometimes I come across learners who have started an art class to help their children to draw and paint. Often grandparents who recognise that their grandchildren have an interest in art and want to nurture this.
They often tell me how when they spend time with grandchildren they do arty things. These learners usually want more ideas of what to do creatively to develop an interest in art in the children. Sometimes they wish to learn to draw so they can pass on the skills to their children. These are my thoughts on the topic…
All Children Have An Interest in Art
Although there are definitely some children who have more of a natural interest in picking up pencils and paint, I don’t think there is a young child who isn’t interested in making marks. This is a natural form of expression so it is more about allowing time and space for this exploration to be developed and continue.
Having Materials and Space
One of the things that can stop children developing an interest in art is parents who don’t allow an area for children to be creative. I have a friend who loved art as a child but her mum was an obsessively tidy housewife who didn’t allow her to ‘make a mess’. By the age of 14 she had pretty much stopped doing art.
Allow Them to Create for Themselves
I remember playing with cardboard boxes a lot as a child. I made a doll’s house for my Cindy dolls because it was too expensive for my parents to buy one. I had to learn how to construct it out of cardboard and I drew the wallpaper patterns, the whole project engrossed me for months and developed my love of art.
These days children tend to have ready-made kits from shops so they tend to play with the ‘raw materials’ less. If you give children paper, glue and cardboard boxes it is amazing what they can teach themselves about the materials.
What You Can Do to Help?
Having an interest in art yourself will of course help your child become interested in drawing and painting. Allow them to try out your paints and pencils and most will love getting involved and sharing the interest with you.
Should I Show my Child How to Draw?
I have heard different views on this from art teachers, there are some who believe very strongly that you should never draw for a child. I don’t see the problem, but perhaps rather than draw for them you might encourage them to pick out the shapes of the object. Encourage them to look at the outlines, textures and shapes.
You could then ask them to re-look at a curve or edge and adjust it for themselves rather than correcting it for them. This is much of what a good art tutor will do, the problem with correcting others work is that they haven’t learnt for themselves. A good analogy is telling someone how to spell something rather than them looking it up in the dictionary themselves.
How do you get your children interested in art? Do you do art with your children? Share your thoughts below…