Last night, the boys and I spent about 30 minutes drawing and painting…music on, supplies out and just making. C1 worked on a poster for a story he wrote and C2 played with the watercolors. I looked through some books on hand lettering and worked on that a bit. It only lasted about 20 minutes, but it was a nice 20 minutes.
We are trying to incorporate art time in our daily life more and more. This is something I really have to be intentional about because it isn’t on the “to do” list. It’s as much for me as it is for the kids, as they get art time at school, but I love to see what they create, and I think it’s good for them to see “grown ups” being (or trying to be) creative. Here are some ideas that have worked for us to make this a more regular thing for us.
Keep the supplies handy
It sounds obvious, but sometimes the idea of dragging out the supplies or digging through the craft closet to find the right thing is just too much. We have several pencil boxes and a couple of mason jars that hold our various supplies. Our basic supplies include colored pencils, markers, watercolor paints and brushes and a big bucket of crayons. We also love this inexpensive Ikea paper holder and roll for keeping paper at hand. We’ve started keeping our supplies on the bottom shelf of the shelves in our front room. These are easy for myself or the kids to pull off the shelf so we can use whatever it is that we choose at the time. It doesn’t always look neat, but I’m okay with that if it means we are creating more often.
Take an online class together or find tutorials to do together
This has been key for getting my older son to do art more often. We have loved doing several Creativebug classes together. Most recently, we’ve been doing the January Drawing Challenge (art from that seen above). We haven’t been doing it daily, but when we have a minute, I let him pick what he wants to try to draw from the list and we just draw for a bit. A subscription to something like that might not be in the budget, but there are lots of other resources you can use for something similar including YouTube videos, library books, etc.
Let go of always needing a “project”
My younger son’s school has really taught me the value of a blank piece of paper. They don’t do coloring pages, only blank pages, giving the kids more freedom to create. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against coloring pages, but this practice has helped me let go of feeling like in order for us to do art, we need a project or a goal. Some days, I just ask the kids what supplies they want to use and let them go. Other days, our art is brought on by a discovery, like the pine cones found on the way home from school. These art times don’t always require my scouring pinterest for ideas, though I still do like doing those projects sometimes, as well.
I often find myself wanting to correct or critique, but really, the fun in all of it is seeing what they make without my fuddy-duddy ways interfering, so let them create. Tell them how great the paper that is more water than watercolors turned out. Let them tell you the story of what it shows. Tonight, C2 told me (regarding his monster truck with sea creature stickers stuck to it above) “mom, this is special”. I had to agree. I know I won’t be getting these sorts of creations forever, so I’m trying to let go of critiques and just enjoy what they make.