The Joy of Creativity - Family Art Activities
Art Activity for The Family Circle
Art is a very powerful nurturing and developmental activity. Be it drawing, oil painting, sculpting, cooking, dancing, drama, story telling, making music, and other imaginative creative experiences, making art is a transformational experience.
Be sure to engage in some form of imaginative creative activity every day and share this practice with your whole family, your classroom, or any group that you are part of.
The Power of Art
Art provides a language to express what one cannot say in words. Sharing in artistic endeavors creates an intimacy and closeness among participants that is also psychologically beneficial to those involved.
It is also an effective way to cope with any loss or difficulties, release built up tension or emotions, and the balance it creates in our lives also leads to a better ability with "left brain" processes.
The focus should be on togetherness and creativity. It is okay to experiment, to color outside of the lines (literally and metaphorically), and to use instuctions as a springboard for your own innovative additions or subtractions.
Parents can select an activity or choose one by consensus. Include every member of the family in the endeavor. It can be a group project or individual projects that everyone shares about after the selected time.
When we instill confidence in our children, encouraging them to express themselves in creative ways, we are allowing them to develop courage and the understanding that creativity is an expression of the soul.
Creative Sandbox Play
Music Making With Children
Colorful Chalk Art:
A Fun Outdoor Activity
From Driveways to Sidewalks to City Streets, experience the joy of the artistic process itself by creating exhuberant but fleeting chalk paintings. (Just make sure you choose a traffic-free area.)
Even the youngest toddlers eagerly hold colorful chalk chunks and joyfully make their marks alongside older siblings and parents.
Be sure to bring a camera to take photos of the experience and the finished result.
Drawing and Painting Fun for All Ages
From a child's first finger paints to more elaborate projects, drawing and painting activities can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you choose pencils and crayons, tempera or pastels, it is fun to experiment with different media.
Ideas for encouraging the self-expression of children through watercolour painting. This guide for parents and teachers covers preparation, color-stories and poems, painting the moods of nature, and more.
Paint a Mural
Murals are a fun, creative and wonderful way to decorate a child's room or playroom. (Just be sure not to be too directive. The theme should come from the child or children involved.) Having the family paint a nursery mural is also a great way to get older children involved in adjusting to the arrival of a new baby.
Reading Adds to the Experience of Mural Making
Enhance the mural experience with great children's fiction on the topic.
Can't paint the walls where you live? You can paint a mural on a large bed sheet. You can also create a different fabric or bedsheet mural for every season or holiday. You can also ask guests to sign their names on it (a sharpie works well for this) and you will have a unique holiday memento of the occasion through the years.
After it dries, it can be adhered to the wall with a starch solution. It will remain secure but easily removable. And the starch will wash off the wall easily. You can also use a strip of velcro across the top to attach it. The soft side of the velcro goes across the top edge of the back of the mural. The other half can be attached to a piece of wood (the wood would have to be hung on or attached to the wall), wrapped around a long curtain rod or bamboo pole, or hung with tab tops or ribbons tied onto a rod.
If you live in an apartment, want to rotate different murals, or move frequently, you can also take the mural with you and re-hang it in your new home. This also helps children adapt to their surroundings and feel at home in the new location.
This is also a project that can be done in stages over time if you prefer to plan it first and not create a spontaneous work of art. You can have a brainstorming planning session for ideas about what to paint, what colors to use, and so on. (Measuring the area or size of the finished mural and creating the same proportions scaled down to fit a piece of paper is a lesson in itself.)
Then make a smaller painting or drawing of the project that can be enlarged and transferred to the wall by hand or projected onto the wall to copy. To transfer the drawing, determine the scale (for example if you use 1 inch = 1 foot, you would take a pencil and draw a grid of 1 inch squares on the drawing and a grid of 12 inch squares on the wall (use a level and t-square to keep the grid straight and accurate). You can then easily enlarge the drawing it on the wall square by square.
Make A Mobile
From simple to sophisticated, mobiles have fascinated children and adults alike for ages. Realistic or abstract, thematic or eclectic, large or small, making a mobile is a fun activity the whole family will enjoy. (And holiday themed mobiles make wonderful decorations!)
Making mobiles is also a great way for kids to learn about balance, air currents, and more.
Need Ideas to Help You Get Mobile-ized? There's Plenty Here!
Tibor explains how easy it is to make beautiful mobiles from simple objects such as a feather, a shell, a twig and some thread. See how to make all kinds of mobiles with things you can find anywhere. Includes Sunrise above the sea mobile, Guess-what mobile, Seesaw pocket mobile, Alphabet mobile, Night mobile, and more. Mobiles make great signs, decorations, mementos, and gifts.
Make Your Own Holiday Cards and Decorations
Even young children can make greeting cards (younger kids love potato stamping!) make paper chains to trim a Christmas tree or decorate for a birthday party, make Halloween masks from paper plates, and so on.
Includes crafts for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day, and every day of the year using what you have on-hand!
Creative Cooking with Kids is Fun
And Provides Lots of Teachable Moments
Research shows that we learn more when that learning is connected to relevant activity. Cooking with children can be very educational as well as fun and I know I still have fond memories of helping to measure, mix (and taste!) in the kitchen when I was a child.
The ABCs of Creative (& Educational) Fun Cooking
for the Entire Family
Here's a recipe with "lesson plan"
ideas to get you started. It really is
as easy as A-B-C! (Sorry, couldn't
resist that one.)
Which Art Form Do You Like Best?
Do You Participate in Creative Activities? Which One Do You Like Best?
Looking for Additional Ideas?
Here Are Some More Fun Art Projects to Try
- 100+ No-sew Fabric Crafts for Kids: Hours of Fun, Oodles of Projects, Gifts, Toys, Playful Decorations & More
- On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids, by Lisa Bany-Winters, featuring 125+ theater games that spark creativity, boost confidence, and encourage collaboration
- All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family (Book & CD) by Nerissa Nields and Katryna Nields
- Making Shadow Puppets (Kids Can Do It) by Jill Bryant and Catherine Heard
- Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, And Turn: Books for Kids to Make by Gwen Diehn
- Art Lab for Little Kids and Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake and Rainer Schwake