1. Provide an available art and craft area in your home
The child then has everything they need on hand, requiring little or no assistance from an adult. In our house, we have set out on the bookshelves at child height: a stack of paper in various colors, sizes, and textures, a set of drawers: with crayons in one drawer, pencils in another, markers in another, a tray with glue sticks, craft glue, scissors, ruler, sticky tape, hole punch, stapler, a box of randomly collected bits for craft
2. Focus on the process, not the product
Materials are accessible for the child’s artistic expression, not the product. Better to describe rather than value judgments. Compliment your kid’s work
3. Provide good quality art materials
I recommend buying fewer good quality art materials that give a nice texture and color than many cheaper materials that aren’t as beautiful. Teach your child how to use the materials properly and take care of them, especially cleaning and putting everything away. If they are not being used properly, I suggest removing them and offering them again later if the child can show you they can use them properly.
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4. Show by example
When presenting materials to your child, it is often better to draw squiggles or loose lines than a picture. If you show them a perfect looking flower and only scribble, some children will not try.
5. Find a way to manage art in your household
Some ideas are that you could have a place where you put useable scraps of paper or use office “in-trays” for each child to put any finished work or work they want to come back to. Once the trays get full, get your child to choose some of their favorites and let them glue them in a ‘playbook.’ Recycle them as unique wrapping paper. It is a nice way to keep a record of artwork that is too bulky to keep is to photograph it!
The best sign of an efficacious art area is one that is being well used. If yours isn’t, have another look at these tips and see if you can make some changes to inspire your child to enjoy discovering the art area in your home.
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