Exposing your children to art at a young age can help them develop an enjoyment and appreciation for art, as well as spark their creativity. Young children are eager to explore the world around them, so providing ways for them to do that in an artistic way can be very rewarding. Remember, when it comes to art, there is no "right" or "wrong" way. A child will gain a better appreciation of art when they are having fun with it and can experiment a little with what they are doing. Consider these fun art exploration projects to enjoy with your children and help increase their appreciation and love of art.
The art of finger painting has been around for years and is something even a small child can have fun doing. The idea, and feel, of dipping fingers and hands into paint and smearing them on a piece of paper seems to appeal to children. A tactile experience, or sense of touch, is a key element in a young child's development. They are unencumbered by things like brushes and getting strokes correct - they enjoy the freedom and the feel of painting with their fingers. Fortunately, finger paint is inexpensive and easy to use and comes in a variety of colors. You just need to have plenty of finger painting paper, water, apron or old shirt for your child to wear and protection for your table.
If you don't have finger paints around when the urge to finger paint strikes your child, you can make your own. Mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar and one cup of cold water together in a saucepan. Cook the mixture for about ten minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture has thickened to the consistency of finger paint, remove it from the heat and let it cool. Divide into several small plastic containers. Mix a few drops of food coloring into each container using a different color in each container.
When the paintings are dry you can have your child pick one or two favorites and place them in large picture frames so your child can enjoy them and proudly share them with others.
Crayon Scratch Art
Crayon scratch art is a wonderful project for adding an element of surprise to your child's artwork. It has become a very popular way for children to use their creativity because each piece they create is different. Start by protecting the table with paper or a plastic tablecloth. Since small pieces of crayon may be flying once the project begins, you may want to cover the floor with paper or a drop cloth. The next step is to hand out paper and ask your child to select different color crayons - the more the better. Then, have them draw designs to completely cover the paper using as many colors as possible, except black. Next, have them use a black crayon to completely cover their design. There should be no color but black showing so the thicker the black color, the better. With a wooden popsicle stick they can now scratch off the black crayon making any design they want. When just the black crayon is removed, the other colors come through, looking like stained glass. The black outline helps the lighter colors to stand out. Their design can be as simple or as intricate as they want. You can display a few of their favorite works of art in metal picture frames.
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