As an artist I get excited over colors and shapes and am inspired by many things that I encounter each day. I can easily say that I am an art teacher at heart because I yearn to share my excitement with others and would rather dream up ways to share it through art experiences that will build creative knowledge, skill, and confidence, than make a personal work of art. Paint the Rainbow is a phrase that my daughter often says out of the blue. It always makes me smile and opens me up to life’s possibilities. On this blog you will find artistic endeavors for you and your children to take part in, engaging art materials, special tips for set-up and clean-up and what happens in between. Learn new recipes for artistic fun that are not cookie cutter or product based but focused on exploration and grounded in sensory based learning.
Exploration is how creative discoveries begin to blossom. Don’t be afraid to get messy. Lay down an old sheet or vinyl tablecloth before setting up shop. This will make for an easy clean-up as well as less stress about material use while playing. If you are nervous about getting messy, your child will sense that energy which may interfere with their natural curiosity. A homemade smock can be made with an old t-shirt or a men’s dress shirt buttoned in the back with the sleeves cut at the elbow.
I often catch myself concerned with the way my child chooses to manipulate the materials at hand. My instinct is to change her movements to the way I know to be “correct”. I have made a conscious effort to simply notice how children use the tools and then use that knowledge to direct how I set up and lead an activity to help them be successful. I go through a filtering process before intervening in the activity. Here is how I see it: When your child asks to take part in something you are not sure of, ask yourself first “Is it safe?” If your answer is Yes then tell yourself that your approval will help your child grow by giving them the opportunity to explore at their own pace and make discoveries on their own terms. This shows them that you respect their ideas and builds self-confidence. When you begin the activity, if things get messy and you find it difficult to settle your nerves, ask yourself “Can it be easily cleaned in the end?” If your answer is Yes, than relax and witness the magic. If you are curious about how to talk to your child about their art experience and finished products, read my post about the Language of Learning from Art Engine.