art class for kids

No Art Class at School? 5 Ways to Introduce Art at Home

Think art isn’t all that important? Think again. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that art is essential for kids’ intellectual and emotional development. Art activities do more than provide rich creative opportunities—they foster cognitive growth and development in children. When kids create art, they engage all of their senses and wire their brains for successful learning. Art has even proven to increase test scores and reduce dropout rates among students.

Art is so vital to children’s education that in 2010 Congress passed a resolution declaring the second Sunday in September Arts in Education Week.

This resolution states:

              Arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills,

              imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate and express

              ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which supports academic success across the

              curriculum as well as personal growth outside the classroom.

Well, with all of the benefits provided by art, shouldn’t your kids be exploring their artistic sides at school? Unfortunately, arts education has suffered within past years and seen drastic budget cuts. But don’t worry! With a just a little innovative thinking you can provide everything your child needs to get creative (along with all the brain boosting benefits!) right at home.

Check out these easy ways to introduce art into your home.

Provide Access to Art Supplies

By simply allowing everyday access to basic art supplies you can provide your child with an opportunity to create his own masterpieces. Open-ended art activities allow children to engage in the process of creativity. You don’t’ need anything fancy! Simply stock up on basic art supplies including paper, crayons, paint, painting tools, markers, chalk, glue, scissors and tape.

Upcylce Your Junk

Stop before you get to the garbage! Don’t throw away those cardboard tubes, gift bags, greeting cards, egg cartons, holey socks and blueberry cartons. These items are your little artists’ inspiration! You’ll be amazed at what your little one will create from your empty toilet paper rolls.

Mingle with the Masters

Whether you head to the library to checkout age-appropriate books on Picasso and Rembrandt or take a daytrip to your local art museum, introduce your child to artists, teach art appreciation, and provide inspiration and insight into their various art forms. Be sure to ask if your local library has free museum passes.

Host an Art Party

Instead of heading out and spending a fortune on admissions at your local indoor bouncy castle, host an art-themed birthday bash at home. Work with your child to select some art projects of interest. The kids can make their own jewelry by stringing dry, colored pasta on yarn, decorate their own cupcakes with tubes of frosting and sprinkles, or create their own mosaics by gluing broken tile pieces on cardboard.

Make Your Own Books

Whether you encourage your child to staple a few pieces of construction paper together to make her own picture book or spend the afternoon scrapbooking with your child, encourage the use of art to tell a story, whether it’s one she makes up or is a real-life one of her own.

Another cool way to get your kid’s into art? Watch this great, kid-friendly movie that emphasizes the importance of art: An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky. In this cute film, the new American Girl, Saige, rallies her friends to help save art at her school and learns about art beyond the classroom. Get it on Blu-Ray/DVD July 2nd.

Art is everywhere in your daily world. Consider your child’s interests and developmental abilities for inspiration. When you provide opportunities to create art you’ll get more than your child’s masterpiece to display—you’ll get a sense of satisfaction from knowing that you’re providing rich opportunities that contribute to the positive development of your child.

*This post was sponsored by American Girl.

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