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Tips For Encouraging Children To Love And Create Art

The arts have an important role to play in a child’s education, with arts-based therapy having been found in numerous studies to help with a plethora of skills - including focus, collaboration, and decision making. The arts can also help boost academic performance, as well as enable kids with specific conditions (including autism, psychological issues, asthma and stress) to make big strides in their progress. One of the best things about art is that you don’t need to be a budding Picasso to experience its benefits. Scientists at the University of Drexel found that no matter what your skill level is, taking time to produce art is a powerful way to end stress. If you teach small children or adolescents, and you’d like to plant the seed of artistic creation in their hearts and minds, the following tips may be of use.

Choosing Subjects Kids Are Drawn To

In order to motivate kids to spend an hour or longer on a creative task, it is important to choose themes and topics that they love - think popular cartoons, gaming characters, and universally loved themes from the world of books. Popular iconography, fashion, and pop culture can also guide your choice of themes. Currently, images gracing a plethora of memes, fashion, and school accessories are fantastic creatures like unicorns. Learning to capture a unicorn’s proportions artistically is fun and challenging all at once. Children can also learn about perspective, drawing this mythical creature from various angles and positions. If you choose this theme, you might want to start out with a collaborative collage to garner ideas, then follow this with a session on sketching and eventually, painting a 3D unicorn.

Magnificent Materials

The more colors and materials you have in your supply cupboard, the better, so make sure to entice kids through variety. Just a few cheap and cheerful materials to look out for include poster paints (or tempera paint), watercolors, oil pastels, craft tapes, markers, crayons, and stickers. Some children in your class might prefer sculpture to painting or drawing, so make sure you have different types of clay and putty so they can enjoy getting messy and productive all at once.

Taking It Outside

Kids are likely to get much more excited about art creation if they can channel their inner Monet in the great outdoors. Studies have shown that nature has a powerful effect on the human mind, significantly reducing levels of stress hormone, cortisol; improving mood; and sharpening focus. Kids can choose something beautiful in nature to draw or sculpt. Think flowers, leaves, trees, and of course, any cute creatures and insects they may bump into while your class is outside.

Art has numerous documented benefits for children and adults alike, so it is worthwhile thinking of ways to inspire kids to create. Choosing subjects they love, ensuring they work in a range of mediums, and providing them with varied materials should do the trick. So, too, should taking kids outside - be it to a museum or park - where they can find so many new subjects to draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or even sew.

Written by Jennifer McLee

Education World Contributor

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon