Let’s face it, when you think of art as a parent, what comes to mind? Messy paint brushes spills all over, splatter paint, children covered from head to toe in glitter, your house taken over by globs of paint everywhere! Am I right? How many times have you heard the benefits of letting children engage in exploratory play and you think, oh heck no, I’m not setting up a sensory activity in my house! And you catch yourself saying, ART IS MESSY and I don’t want to deal with it!
Well, I’m here to tell you, yes, art CAN be messy, but it DOES NOT have to be. Not all art has to be action art like Jackson Pollock and we don’t have to be scared about messes when we think of introducing art activities in our homes. There are thousands of studies proving the importance of creative and exploratory play in childhood development. The importance that art plays in helping children with problem solving skills, thinking out of the box, making mistakes, confidence building, self expression, mathematics, logic and reasoning etc. far outweigh the negative impact that screen time has on a child’s developing brain.
In a day and age when we rely so heavily on ipads and technology to replace investigative play we are actually causing irreparable harm and inhibiting our children’s fundamental brain development.
Too much screen time damages the brain! Suggested read on Psychology Today’s Web Site. Excessive screen time is also being linked to depression and anxiety in young children along with obesity as they begin to have less curiosity, lower self-control, less emotional stability and a greater inability to finish tasks.
Today I invite and challenge you to Create An Invitation for Art in your home. By just putting out a few supplies, you can easily provide your child with a fun process art activity. And because it’s so open-ended, the art activity is perfect for children and adults included!
Consider a Fuss Free – Quiet Calming Activity instead giving your child an IPAD.
“Invitations to create art bring out children’s natural creativity while providing a low-key activity they can do on their own.” Jean Van’t Hul
The key to keeping things simple when you want to put out playful, creative invitations to make is having sturdy open ended materials at your fingertips.
Simple Set Up with No Goal in Mind: I suggest setting up on a tray and making it enticing. Keep it open ended and don’t have any expectations. Kids will naturally extract what comes to their mind. Some kids are naturally creative and others might be happy to just explore if given the choice.
- Watercolors (it’s a very gentle palette and requires very minimal set up) and an Art Pad, good set of watercolor brushes and a small container for water.
- Crayons and Oil Pastels and a sketchbook or Art Pad
- Paper Collage (kid size scissors, construction paper and glue stick, if you don’t want to deal with liquid glue)
- Drawing (graphite pencils or colored pencils and a sketchbook)
- Inexpensive Plastic Table Mats (dollar store or IKEA, target, walmart)
- Inexpensive Plastic Trays (dollar store or IKEA, target, walmart)
This does not require fancy set ups or a dedicated space (although a cute little nook with a table and chair, simple plastic bins for storage can be perfect). Nor does it require you to go out and purchase elaborate and expensive art materials.
You can set it up on your kitchen counter and have your child besides you creatively engaged while you cook dinner. Imagine some of the best conversations could be had with your child in this simple moment!
Check out this cute Valentine’s Day Simple Art Tray from Buggy and Buddy. Click photo to go directly to the link.
I hope that you will make room for art in your home and in your hearts. And remember if you want to experience more of the messy, massive, creative explosions of color come visit us at the studio, take a class, join a workshop or attend a camp at La Dee Da!