Anyone who has children, or has spent time around kids knows just how much this is true. From a very young age, children naturally gravitate toward creating - whether it's with paint, play doh, or smashed bananas - they find a way to make art out of anything.
Did you ever wonder if you could utilize this "art instinct" to encourage learning, and have a lot of fun (and fun-filled memories) alongside your child? I'm here to help! I've been exploring art and artists with my kids, and I've come to realize some things definitely work better than others.
Everyone learns at their own pace
It may seem obvious, but sometimes it's a good reminder. We've been to art events with other children where the parents were obviously frustrated with their kids because they weren't cutting/coloring/painting like the other kids. It's way more important to have a good time, and encourage a lifelong love of learning than to finish with a perfect piece of art. And besides, isn't the point of art to encourage individuality? Art is a place to explore, experiment, try and to discover what works for you.
Set up a child-friendly art area
I was reluctant to do this when my kids were toddlers - and it required a lot of supervision - but I'm so glad I set up an area that was just for them when they were little. At first it was just a stack of paper and some washable crayons, and as they got older (and stopped thinking it was fun to draw on the walls) the area evolved and grew. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a little table at their level where art supplies are always waiting for them.
Sneak in some learning
If you know a thing or two about art, just chat about what you see them doing.
"I like the way you're swirling your paint. It reminds me of a painting called Starry Night. I'll show it to you when you're all done."
"That purple flower is so pretty. Did you know when you mix red and blue together, it makes purple?"
"Let's see if we can make a whole painting only using dots. That's called pointillism!"
... you get the idea. It doesn't have to be a formal lecture. There are little opportunities for learning something everyday. Just sneak it in!
So there you have it. You can harness the magic of art to facilitate learning at any age. The possibilities are truly endless.