I’m a huge lover of art, and before my son was born I’d read every book possible on encouraging art in children. While encouraging art is and should be a natural parenting instinct, there are some things you can do to help your children enjoy art and these needn’t cost a lot of money.
The first thing I did before my son was born was to purchase the Touch the Art series of four books. These range from early European art and Impressionism and end with a book about the Modernists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, amongst others. The really nice thing about these books is that you can, just as the series title suggests, touch the art. Children are able to see a painting Van Gogh did of his bedroom and can pull the red blanket up and down on his bed. Every painting has either one or several things that you can feel. Sensory experiences and the sense of touch are very important when it comes to learning in children, so these books are a wonderful way to indulge in art. I gave them to my son right after he was born and let him do whatever his heart desired.
Visit Art Museums
All cities and even a lot of small towns have art museums. If yours doesn’t have one, get thee to a museum right away. When children grow up around art from a very young age they’re comfortable with it from the start. Don’t expect absolute silence from them either. Let them explore and talk about what they see. At first, each visit may not last very long. Babies may either be very happy and kick their legs and squeal happily in museums or they may cry. Toddlers may also have fun at first and then grow impatient and bored. The most important thing for your child is that art museums are a happy and vibrant experience. You want to leave good impressions and memories with your children of art, so if they grow restless, leave and come back on another day. If you do this often enough they’ll love the art they see around them. Also, another nice thing to do is to point things out to them and talk about colors, people, and anything you see in these paintings. Encourage discussion. My son learned how to walk in the Tate Britain and Tate Modern and seeing art installations everywhere was just a normal thing for him.
Set Up An Art Area For Your Child
With toddlers, set up a little table and chair someplace accessible inside your house. Place watercolors, paintbrushes, a little jar of water, crayons, markers, pencils, glue sticks, paper and everything else you can think of within their reach. Make sure there is always a nice art area where they can indulge themselves at all times and see what they create!