One of the many wonderful things about unschooling, is that it allows the boys to have plenty of time for creativity. You may have heard that creativy is back in demand in the work place, but beyond that, I think creativity thinking is a cornerstone of joy. I want our boys to have the tools they need to have happy lives as children and adults, and I believe creative play is a way to do that.
Sometimes their creative play happens with sticks and toys in the yard, sometimes it’s Legos, sometimes it’s every single pillow and blanket in the house.
Today, is was art. I just purchased some new oil pastels for myself and was doodling with them. The boys saw them and were inspired to try out their own pastels. My six year old drew a fire-breathing dinosaur and used his hands to blend the colors together. He came up with the blending technique all on his own. The younger boys made more abstract art. They drew together for at least 30 minutes.
We love the giant sketch pads from Jerry’s for kid art. The pages are sturdy. The kids love drawing big, and the pads have a ton of sheets for a great price. The boys were using Crayola oil pastels and unknown chalk pastels from a few years ago.
I’ve learned a few things about facilitating kid art over the years.
1. Kids love working big, so the floor is your friend.
2. Buy the sturdy paper. Thin sheets are frustrating. They bend and wrinkle and tear.
3. Buy the cheap markers. Unless you want to police their every move with a marker, buy cheap, washable markers. Like Dollar Tree cheap. Those lids are never going back on in a timely fashion.
4. Watercolor paint is magic.
5. If you can make space for an art corner, do it. Leave the supplies in reach. Show the kids how to be independent in the art space. You will be amazed at how capable they are.
6. Abstraction is a toddler’s BFF and representational work is over-rated when it comes to kid art. It’s all about the process.
7. If you want a painting for the wall, think analogous color scheme.
8. Step away from the art space. Check in occasionally, but don’t stay. Avoid helping, and allow your child to focus on the process. The more you can get away from thinking about the destination and focus on the journey, the better. And maybe that is life advice, too.
9. It’s going to be messy and that’s half the fun. Dress accordingly.