Doodling and crafting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Spare moments are filled with creative pursuits whenever possible. Since I see art as a treat; I never to expected supplies to go unused. Some children are just not impressed with art.
Personality and attention span may play a part in their disinterest. And then there are those who had a bad experience with an art teacher or critical parent. But even if arts and crafts are not your child's favorite thing to do, there is still value in the process. Encourage creative expression with the following tips.
5 Ways to encourage art exploration
Set the stage- Setting up a dedicated space to work with a variety of good supplies. Providing quality materials may seem unnecessary if the child is not interested in art, but it could be the Dollar Store art supplies are frustrating. Pastels, real watercolor paint and thick paper can make a big difference. You do not have to buy top of the line supplies, simply steer clear of the cheapest.
Offer ideas - Getting started can be the hardest part. In my art classes I am often surprised at how intimidating a blank piece of paper can be to some students. They need suggestions in order to move forward. Even without any formal art training, you have an advantage over an art teacher. The reason is that you know what your child likes and can use that as a springboard. Mention rocket ships or boats, frogs or chameleons, fruit or candy and the creative wheels will start turning.
Observe and ask questions - Don't be too quick to praise your child's efforts. Simply watching and enjoying their presence is worth more. If you have to say something, ask a question or mention something specific such as how their color choice reminds you of something. "Oh, that color yellow reminds me of my favorite flower," or, "Wow, that is a bright blue. Looks like your soccer jersey."
Taking the pressure off with a little small talk can make art less intimidating for some kids. Others may just like the quiet so use discretion.
Resist the temptation - It starts innocently enough; your child asks you to draw something, so you do. Pretty soon you are the one doing the art project and they are watching. Why should they bother? They know they cannot make it look the same. Avoid setting up unrealistic expectations and encourage your child to do their best. Pull out projects that do not require perfection such as printing or making crayon rubbings to break the pattern.
Find the fuse - Art encompasses a wide variety of styles. Take your unimpressed artist to an art museum or local art show to widen their horizons. See what they are naturally drawn to and then offer supplies that are relevant. One of my daughters was intrigued by the fiber art displays at the museum while another was drawn to bold graphic art. It may be that crayons and markers are not the medium for your child.
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