Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Making art with your kids

Our art supply box is over-flowing with paint, play doh, crayons, glitter and pizazz....lots of pizazz!  There's nothing that we won't make into art and watching my big girl have the best time, get into her zone, create something and most importantly, make an enormous mess, is amazing.  She's discovering something new every day and I am too. 

Living in the city we love to explore and go to museums and galleries all the time, and of course walking down the street in Manhattan is like an art education itself.  Still, sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back, give a toddler a marker and a piece of paper and let her go at it.  We've also been known to take random things around the house and "make stuff" with it.  A few months ago we made a little city out of a cardboard box and some old blocks that we were going to give away and I took some wrapping paper from a gift and cut it into shapes to make into a collage.  Fun for days!  Don't even get me started on the face masks we've made out of twine and paper plates. It's like a party every day!  I love showing her how every day, "boring" things can be new.  Also, I just really love watching her and taking her picture.  Isn't it obvious?

Do you love making art with your kids?  I'm always looking for new materials and recently rediscovered Flubber.  Do you remember that stuff?  My sister reminded me that we used to pay a quarter for it out of the toy machine at the supermarket when we were little and it brought back a million memories.

By the way, if you're in New York or coming for a visit with your kids any time soon you should definitely check out the Children's Museum of the Arts in Soho.  It's such a cool space and they have wonderful walk-in classes.  I went to a workshop there with my sister last week and one of the biggest things I took away was that it's best to just sit back and let kids do what they do.  Try not to ask them "what are you making?" (I'm SO guilty of this because I'm just too curious to know what's happening in her head!) and start with one or two materials and then gradually give them more supplies one by one - paint, glitter, glue, model magic, stickers, tape, tissue paper...

Also, check out this great guest post by artist and photographer Damian Franco, 5 Ways to Teach Our Children About Art.  I go back and read it whenever I need a little inspiration (which is pretty often).

The look on her face today when we mixed colors and she saw that red and blue make purple and yellow and blue make green (her recent favorite) was priceless!

Using all of her might to squeeze that glue.

Shredded tissue paper provides entertainment for hours...or at least 15 minutes straight which is an eternity for a two-year-old.

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