Ginger Pearce

Ginger Pearce

Encourage children to dip into artistic world

In my experience, all children are fascinated by art and love to experience it for themselves.

It is known that participating in art can not only help children have a greater appreciation for the world around them but it can also boost self esteem and intelligence.

Art enables children to cultivate self-expression, imagination and creativity as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

How to get going:

1. Kids like to see that grown-ups make art too. Show them as much art as you can. It can be from family members, local galleries, illustrated books or even famous works of art throughout history.

In order for children to understand and appreciate art, it is important that they are exposed to a variety of art styles.

2. Talk to your kids about art. Let them tell you how art makes them feel. Allow them to voice the things that they like and even dislike in artwork that they have seen. There are no wrong answers or opinions in this just open dialog.

3. Expose your kids to lots of art techniques. You can try drawing, painting, and sculpture to start. This is a good opportunity to hang out with your kids and have some quality play time. Find a space in the house that you can use as a messy room.

4. Give the kids lots of art materials to work with. Given the time, space and opportunity children will often explore their creativity all on their own. Sometimes it’s helpful to give the kids some kind of visual aid, like a painting or photograph to copy or pull ideas from. It helps to get the creative juices going.

5. Stay positive and encouraging. Well-meaning criticisms can come off as rejection in a child’s eyes and can turn them off art for years. Instead, display your child’s artwork. The refrigerator is the most common spot, but sometimes popping it in a frame and putting it in the living room can do amazing things for a child’s self esteem.

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Artist Karla Pearce returns to the Times with her column, the Creative Edge. It will run on the second and fourth Monday of each month.