Faige Kobre’s guest post here about the therapeutic nature of art was a reminder to me to be more intentional about pulling out art supplies to provide an invitation for my boys to create. I’m not sure what’s been holding me back, but it certainly wasn’t their interest!
The other night I asked who wanted to paint outside while dinner was finishing up, and three eager boys bolted for the table. (By the way, outdoor art is awesome! In addition to all that natural inspiration, the majority of the heavy lifting at cleanup time can be done with your garden hose!)
My new commitment to providing creative invitations for my children couldn’t be better timed, as my friend Christie Burnett from Childhood 101 recently released her book, Time to Create. (affiliate link) It’s an amazing collection of ideas for encouraging kids to be creative and experiment with art concepts and materials.
But it’s so much more than just a collection of project ideas. It shares all the foundational concepts behind children’s art. Things like how kids benefit from doing art, how to overcome hesitations about doing art, how to keep it all organized, as well as how to display and talk about art with children. It essentially has all the information I learned about art and creativity in my education classes in college. (And it costs much less than you’d pay for that tuition!)
Christie has organized the book according to the types of creative processes used to create (drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, etc.) giving great ideas for setting up invitations to activities and supporting children through each process. It’s the perfect resource for parents or teachers hoping to incorporate more truly creative experiences into the day.
Following its pages, you know exactly what to keep on hand, what to prepare, and what to pull out to provide the perfect invitations to create. Suddenly, art experiences are totally demystified!
Perhaps one of my favorite things about this book, is its emphasis on process over product and the constant reminder to honor individual differences while recognizing the importance of supporting the developmental needs of children throughout the creative process. (Of course, I’m a sucker for that!)
I’m sure with Christie’s book around for inspiration, we’ll have many more pre-dinner art sessions to come. I’m hoping you’re feeling encouraged to find more time to create with your little ones too!
What are your favorite ways to encourage creativity and process art with the children you love and teach?