Making Time For Creativity

There is nothing I love more than hanging out with my boys.

When I combine hanging out and making art projects, well that’s just pure bliss!

Every once in a while, during the summer months, I turn a lazy afternoon into an art class. After all, I am an art teacher. My children are very creative and have a natural art talent. My oldest won’t attest to this because he is way too cool to admit it. He’d rather announce to the world that he loves basketball, that’s way cooler than art. Ahem.

I enjoy bringing out the many art supplies I have on hand, spreading them out all over the dining room and proceeding to make a productive mess, all the while, having fun in the process. I am a firm believer in getting kids to turn off their devices and use their imagination. We have a rule in our house that screen time is limited and you must get up, go outside, and be active for a good part of the day.

Making time for creativity is a great way to distract my kids from their electronics. They never seem to notice how long they have been creating as the hours begin to sneakily slip by. My boys really do enjoy making art. It just takes a little effort on my part to get out the supplies and to give them some direction on what to make.

The trick is to get in there and create right along with them. Many times parents have good intentions with planning arts and crafts time but they don’t join in on the fun. Parents bring out the crayons, markers, paper and glue and simply say have fun then walk out of the room. Kids want you to stay and create with them. Make those messes as a family! It’s so much fun to collaborate on projects and experience the results. When you are in it together your kids are less likely to give up or finish something quickly just so they can get back to the screen again. Or, get back to being with you!

Here are some ideas for easy art projects you can do as a family.

  1. Line creatures: Close your eyes, and with a pencil draw a line all over a piece of paper. Open your eyes and try to turn that line into a creature. Add color and lots of details to make it come together.
  2. Draw your own Zentangle: You know those coloring books that are so popular now. You can make your own just by using a fine marker. Start with drawing a large circle. Fill in the circle in small sections with fine, intricate patterns. You will be amazed at the finished piece!
  3. Grab a hunk of clay and sculpt your favorite food.
  4. Paint with scissors: Find some scrap construction paper. Using only scissors, create a scene from the scrap pieces of paper. Glue down the cut-outs onto a sheet of paper. You will be just like Henri Matisse!
  5. Color mixing gumballs: Draw a gumball machine on a piece of construction paper. Use red, blue & yellow finger paints. First, dip your finger into the primary paints and dot gumballs. Second, dip your finger again into those same colors and dot on top of the previous gumballs to mix the paints into secondary colors (green, purple and orange).

Have fun with the time spent with your kids. Make time to get messy and be creative. Don’t be afraid to get crayon marks on your table. They can be cleaned, but the memories made from those marks will last forever!

Now go make a masterpiece!

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