How to Get Your Kids Interested in Art: 14 Tips, Ideas, and Activities

Exploring artistic pursuits is a joyful and enlightening experience, despite the occasional untidiness it may bring. Art yields a multitude of positive effects for individuals of all ages. Studies suggest that it contributes to a diverse range of cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits, not only nurturing a child’s self-esteem but also positively influencing their academic performance. 

Due to its considerable impact on early development, introducing art to your children at an early stage can prove advantageous. Even if your little one doesn’t initially display an interest in art or creative endeavors, there are several ways to kindle their curiosity in this domain. 

Whether you’re dealing with a toddler or a young teenager, here are some exceptional tips, ideas, and activities to genuinely capture their interest in art and seamlessly integrate it into their lives.

1. Start Early

Every kid is born with a natural curiosity that is at its peak when they are still toddlers. You can take advantage of this stage of growth and nurture their curiosity by introducing them to colorful and interesting visuals such as paintings, drawings, and illustrations.

Young children are very touchy and will grab anything they come across so a sensory approach will work best. Provide them with non-toxic art materials that are appropriate for their age such as finger paint, washable markers, and crayons. 

Playing with playdough and arranging for painting activities is also recommended since it helps develop fine motor skills. The goal, at this stage, is not to create anything intricate but to spark an interest and encourage them to play and experiment.

2. Visit Museums and Art Galleries

Taking your child with you when visiting a museum or art gallery can work miracles. It is a great and effective way to expose them to different artistic mediums and styles.

Some museums and art galleries even offer programs explicitly designed for children and interactive exhibits can be quite interesting for young ones.

Visiting museums with your children will definitely make them fall in love with art. However, be sure to start slow. You don’t want to drag them into extremely complex and abstract exhibitions. Also, don’t try to force them to look or focus on works that they have no interest in even if you love them. It is important to let your child explore as they please.

3. Get Them to Talk About Art

Talking about art with grown-ups is not easy as it is a subjective matter. However, unlike adults, who are worried about being wrong when discussing art, children don’t care about being right or wrong. They only want to have fun.

You can cultivate their interest in art by asking them questions about some of the works and pieces they find interesting. Start with simple questions like “What do you see?” and then go from there. Talk to them about what they love in a specific piece and what they think they could add to make it better.

Talking about art helps grow their interest and also helps them develop an artistic vocabulary. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers as it is all about having fun.

4. Create Sculptures From Public Art

Sculptures are a unique and hands-on way to introduce your kids to the idea that art is a permanent and essential aspect of life. Public parks often have murals and sculptures positioned close to playgrounds because of this. Make a point of visiting parks with your kids and observing these installations so you can get their opinions.

Encourage them with more detailed inquiries, prompting them to translate their responses into personal projects. Inquire about their preferences regarding a particular sculpture or invite them to contemplate enhancements for it. You can have them explore further at home with kid-friendly online resources so they can better their craft.

Don’t be scared to share your own opinions and insights. Explaining how you experience art will make them more comfortable and encourage them to share more. Translating art from the pages into something they can actually touch and feel lets their imagination run wild.

5. Make Time for Art

As a parent, prioritizing activities that take precedence over others can be challenging. Some families have multiple children and working parents so activities outside the home mean an extra financial burden and time; which many parents cannot afford. However, some quick planning can make it easier for you to guide your child to prioritize art every day.

You can find teachable moments throughout the day. Motivate them with specific and detailed questions, urging them to express their responses through individual projects. Explore their preferences concerning a specific sculpture, or encourage them to ponder potential improvements for it.

You can maximize the little time you can spare by killing two birds with one stone. For instance, you can have your kids complete a simple drawing prompt while you make dinner. Wherever you go on vacation with your family, set aside some time to art museums in Mississippi. If you have an upcoming family road trip, you can bring along a sketchbook and a set of pencils so they can practice as you explore the outdoors.

6. Make it Playful

Creativity, art, and play are almost synonymous with each other. They are all vital attributes in child development, learning, problem solving, and self-confidence. When a child plays, they experiment with the freedom to make choices they cannot make under normal circumstances. They don’t have to worry about making mistakes since they have room to try again and get better.

To make art playful, you can create process based projects or invitations to create. In this case, you set out a specified amount of materials on a tray and have your child create anything they feel like.

You can also set out on a scavenger hunt of materials that they will then use to create art. Be sure to read the mood of your child and don’t force it on them if they don’t feel like playing. They will eventually return to the process.

7. Enroll Them in Art Competitions and Programs

enroll kids in art programs

Many art institutions host competitions for children. Some museums even have separate art programs for kids. Recognizing the significance of introducing children to art, museums and art galleries make concerted efforts to enhance accessibility for youngsters. You can leverage these opportunities by encouraging your children to participate.

Support their creativity by encouraging them to take part in the competitions. Let them know it is not about winning but participating as it only helps them get better and provides an opportunity for them to share their ideas and creativity with the world which is an achievement on its own.

8. Involve Them When Choosing Pieces for Your Home

Another great way to get your children’s interest in art is to let them choose artwork that will be displayed in the living room or their study room or bedroom.

If they have made some pieces before, you can get them to choose their best works and then display them prominently and proudly. This will cultivate a sense of pride in your child and create an environment where they feel appreciated and celebrate their art.

It is also great to seek their input when selecting pieces to display in the rest of your home. The easiest way to go about this is by browsing the internet. You can discover some interesting pieces that resonate with your personality and that of your child on online art galleries.

9. Create Together

Participating in whatever your child is doing is key if you want to pique their interest and it is no different with art. Instructions may not be enough since they are young and look forward to you more as their parents.

There is no harm in painting with. You can have a fixed time during weekends where you spend time together and discuss famous artists and renowned works.

Hand paints and finger paints will do at the beginning before you can slowly move to more difficult tasks such as drawing a tree or human figure as they improve. Ideally, they should not use erasers at the beginning. Let them draw what they feel and express their inner ideas through the paintings.

If they have an upcoming birthday buy whatever supplies they need and let them paint their own balloons and hats. This will only make them more confident in their abilities.

10. Add Context to Their Creations

Art can be inaccessible for children and the easiest way to get them interested is to find something they can relate to.

If they love animations, you can suggest an art project that involves their interests and they will immediately be interested. If they love nature, find something that involves the natural world and they will have no problem doing it. 

Understand what they like and dislike and suggest something that captures their attention and peaks their interest.

11. Work With Outlines

The trick to making an art project looking complete is to teach your child how to outline and add contrast to their creations. Outlining is important at all levels of artistry since it is what makes the art pop. 

Think of all the famous artists and how much they outlined their work. If you are working on a pencil drawing, then think about how hard it would be to keep contrast unless you use dark lines somewhere. Instead, you can use a sharpie waterproof black marker, oil pastel, or even black paint and a small brush. The impact on the end result is substantial. 

Additionally, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in black; the choice of color can vary based on the specific creation.

12. Experiment

The potential is limitless in the world of artistic expression. Provide your children with the liberty to craft cards and images using paints, crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

They can also play with playdough to create sculptures of whatever they like. Playing with building blocks or creating collages with glue and magazine snippets are also great options. 

If you need new ideas or inspiration, you can always turn to the internet with platforms like Pinterest which offer step-by-step tutorials and guides. However, don’t rely entirely on the images provided. Whatever your child creates does not have to completely math the images provided as it is not all about perfection. Once they have the idea, leave everything else to their creativity.

13. Display Their Creations

Even if they only drew a simple tree or painted the sky, framing and hanging your child’s creations shows how much you appreciate their artworks and inspires them to do more.

Displaying their pieces is like a reward. If they just created their first hand painting or finger painting, you can paste it on a board and laminate it. It may be a small gesture to you but it will make your child smile and realize the value their creations have.

You can display their works in any part of the house, whether you choose the study room, mantle, or living room. They could be the décor pieces you need to finish your house. If you appreciate their work, they will learn to value other artists’ creations later on. Also praise them to make them feel confident in their own abilities.

14. Invest in the Right Supplies

What you get your child while they are still young can influence what they lean more towards as they grow. If you bring them toys and child-appropriate painting kits, they will learn to lean towards art. Playdough clay sets, creative Lego sets, washable crayons, and [paint kits are all things you can start with.

Fun painting kits or large art papers will help them boost their creativity. Sometimes, kids can only express what they feel through their paintings if they cannot find the right words. Allow them to experiment and make a mess in the process since it is the only way they can learn and improve.

These supplies may be a bit costly but you won’t regret it since your kid will eventually learn to appreciate art thanks to them.

Children grow fast and you have to start preparing them for adulthood as early as possible. If you want them to turn into art enthusiasts at some point, you have to start at an early age and introduce new teaching methods. This blog post has highlighted a few options but only you know what is best for your child. With these tips, you can figure out what works for them and what they are interested in.

References:

  • Kylie Rymanowicz, Michigan State University Extension. (2015, January 22). The art of creating: Why art is important for early childhood development. MSU Extension. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/the_art_of_creating_why_art_is_important_for_early_childhood_development
  • Contributor, C. O. (2020, January 31). 7 amazing kids’ museums perfect for a Cold-Weather weekend. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalone/2020/01/31/7-amazing-kids-museums-perfect-for-a-cold-weather-weekend/?sh=c9d003fc94c9
  • Art museums and galleries – Visit Mississippi. (n.d.). Visit Mississippi. https://visitmississippi.org/things-to-do/art-museums/