I LOVE watching children create! This week we have many creative holiday courses at ICE and I am fascinated by the way all kids can comprehend more and write fluently if they are encouraged to use art as a tool to help them learn! Whenever we have these days they are messy, unpredictable, enjoyable but above all filled with learning – and lots of it!
I have never met an uncreative child or an uncreative adult. Art is a wonderful tool for all families and individuals to use to unlock the creative process, improve learning and build self understanding!
Here are a few ideas to get you started- both kids and adults!
* Stop criticising yourself or your child as you draw or create- just enjoy the process!
* Keep a CREATIVITY BOX handy – fill it with crayons, coloured pencils, markers, stickers, a tin of paints and brushes, different sorts of paper, cardboard toilet rolls, old Christmas and Birthday cards, scissors, sticky tape and so on!
* Turn the TV off regularly and get the CREATIVITY BOX out so it is easily accessible.
* Sketch a much loved garden plant- follow every line of stem and leaf so you intimately KNOW the plant- this is sort of like a slowing down and meditation exercise. We often use this with very “sparky-brained” and “wired” children!
* Occasionally turn a drawing upside down to copy it. It encourages very careful copying and seems to suspend the self- criticism voice. You become more aware of the lines, shapes and the results are often quite pleasing!
* Get to art galleries regularly with your children so they can get to see great models and start to develop art appreciation.
* Buy some great kids’ art books- there are many available to help kids get to know artists and learn new techniques.
* When you read to your child make sure you spend time discussing the illustrations and the style, techniques, colours that have been used by the illustrator. Picture books so often have more information in the pictures than the text!
* Link NATURALIST and VISUAL SPATIAL intelligences by constructing collages with objects found in the natural world such as bark, sand, leaves, berries etc.
* Use chalk on bricks and drive ways to draw. It is completely non- threatening because it can be washed off.
* Make some play-dough or purchase some plasticine and make the main characters from the book you are sharing with your child. This helps them develop characterisation understanding- very important for the writing genre.
* Paint pictures of the settings of stories you read aloud.
There is no doubt that enjoying art- both for yourself and your child, will lead to deeper learning, increased ability to imagine, wonder and dream and higher intra-personal and visual spatial intelligences!