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  • Encouraging art and creativity in your children

    2010 - 01.08

    If you are reading this article, chances are you have a creative soul and love to let your immagination soar - because - why else would you be visiting a site aimed at crafts, hobbies and other such creative pursuits?You may well be talented and artistic however, have your children inherited this creativeness and resourcefullness? And if they haven't - are there ways you can stimulate this part of their lives? Here are a few tips as to what you can do…

    Encourage the creativity in your children by providing them with the time, resurces and the space for making art. Try to set aside interruption-free time for drawing, in a mess-proof zone – so that their creativity can run wild. Make sure you cover all surfaces so that any splashes of paint or scribbles of crayon are ‘caught’ – because  nothing squishes creativity more so than a parent saying “Don’t make a mess” every 2 minutes.

    Choose the right drawing materials too as this is very  important. Many craft materials can be improvised, but when drawing tools and paper are required, opt for a small selection of good quality age-appropriate products, rather than loads of inferior products. Be sure to check safety information and follow instructions. Young children should always be surpervised during ‘art time’ because many necessary materials – such as crayons – pose a choking hazard.

    Surroundings: As with writing or working at a computer, good posture and a comfortable position are important for drawing. A child-size table and chair is actually preferable to an easel. If the chair is a little high, provide a phone book as a footrest. A coffee table and a cheap plastic chair work well. A small kitchen storage trolley is a perfect solution for containing supplies, or if space does not allow, a portable fishing tackle or tool box is a good option too. Messy toddlers may need a drop-cloth and supervision to avoid ink-stained walls, as even ‘washable’ pens often don’t deliver on that promise!

    Art Materials: Avoid cheap markers, too-hard pencils and thin paints – these types of materials are discouraging to the child and therefore  a waste of money. Provide many sheets of blank paper to inspire their crativity and occasionally invest in a large canvas so that your child can paint something ‘grand’ and chances are you’ll want to hang it on your wall!  Provide also coloring books or coloring pages which are bountiful online – coloring pages are not so great for creativity, however they do provide children with the  chance to practice their fine motor skills and sometimes it’s very relaxing and just what they need to simply color in without the ‘pressure’ of thinking about WHAT to draw. 

    For example little girls may enjoy coloring images of Barbie and at sites like Barbie Coloring Pages you’ll find the best coloring pictures of Barbie

    When it comes to drawing and coloring, at each age/stage of your child’s life provide….

    Toddlers

    • Child-safe markers and wipe-off boards
    • Chalk boards and safe chalk
    • Plain paper and coloring pages

    Juniors

    • Sketchbook
    • Student colored pencils
    • Washable Markers
    • Oil pastels
    • Plain paper and coloring pages

    Middle School

    • Sketchbook  or scrapbook
    • Graphite Pencils
    • Watercolor sketch paper
    • Watercolor pencils
    • Marker pens, marker paper
    • Plain paper and coloring pages

    High School

    • Sketchbook  or scrapbook
    • Quality drawing papers and boards
    • Graphite Pencils
    • Artists’ quality colored pencils
    • Illustration markers, marker paper
    • Pastel paper and hard pastels if liked
    • Plain paper and canvases to work on

    All ages

    • Safe sharpeners, erasers, dusters, stencils and rulers
    • A  folder for storing large pieces
    • Storage boxes for smaller pieces
    • Consider photographing or scanning pieces for a permanent record.

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