Importance of imagination for kids – developed through art
My children both love to draw and my daughter who is the eldest loves painting as well. Really I do not remember her not liking any form of artistic expression. Art is an important part of being human which helps develop our imaginations. It comes in many forms, shapes, sizes, textures and colors. In my research I learned that art is another way we as humans can express ourselves and it is just as important as language to accomplish this. The importance of imagination for kids is in part developed through art. I never previously considered either of the last two points to be of significance until now.
My lack of active encouragement of my children’s love for art must now change. In part, it comes from my own lack of interest in art. I need to provide them with places and resources so they can experiment, grow and continue to love art. I searched the internet searching for different types of art (not big art guy here but used to love doing the same things they do as a child) and what artsy items they might be able to use.
I also searched for methods I could use to encourage and teach them art. I came across information advising parents on what not to do also which I found very interesting since I was doing one of them in another area unrelated to art. Yes there are positive and negatives ways we can encourage our children in pursuing art with consequences. Let us first turn to examine why it is important for our children to do art.
Keeps them focused and expressive
Yes doing art keeps our children focused and developing their imaginations. It is also an activity that can keep them occupied for periods of time which is good since it keeps them away from playing video games, watching TV or other mindless activities. You can join with them in doing art, they will love it since they will enjoy doing the activity with you and having you create with them.
When doing art you and your children will be able to express anything that you feel through your art. You will be able to create any situation, any event and any idea will be allowed to be brought to life in front of you. It really matters not if you nor your children are good at art. What is important that you encourage them to express themselves in whichever form it takes. I recall making drawings that in hindsight were very poor but at the time as a child they represented very clearly images, thoughts and feelings of my minds imagination. You may be able to recall a similar time when you created something as a child that represented a thought or idea you had. How did it make you feel? Please share in the comments below. I can say personally it made me feel very creative. Our children can develop their creativity and imagination by doing art. Most never amount to the next Picasso which is completely acceptable. They should not have any such expectations placed on them but instead be encouraged to develop their love for doing art. Let us now examine a couple experiences I had with my daughter doing artsy things.
The time we mixed food dye colors in milk with dish soap
One time a few years back when my daughter was younger I wanted to do some artsy things with her and one of thing we decided to do was to play with colors, food dye colors of red, green, yellow and blue in a bowl of milk. It was great fun for my daughter.
What you need to do is get milk that has at least 2 percent fat and pour that into a bowl, as much as you want. Then you take the food dye colors and squeeze drops of it over the milk. Then you take a q-tip and dip it completely in dish soap. After this you put the q-tip in the milk with the food dye coloring and see what happens. It can also be done as a science experiment. I call it an artsy activity because you can end up create many unique designs by playing around with it.
Check it out in the YouTube video below.
Easter egg painting
This actually I have done a few times with my daughter. Each time we have done it we both enjoyed it very much. It is another great way for children to develop their imagination as they can mix colors, draw lines, shapes, images of things and so on upon the eggs. As they develop you can learn together or teach them if you already know many much more complex designs such as Hungarian Easter Eggs. Again I do not want to suggest your children do these and have pressure to learn them to become better artists. I am only demonstrating what is possible if they want to try.
Ways you can encourage your child’s imagination development
In my research I learned there are many ways we can encourage our children imagination development.
First thing I learned was to be encouraging when they show your their art. Tell them what you like about the art, what colors or designs you like. Tell them how it makes you feel. How much you love their artwork. Ask them to draw what they want.
A second thing was to encourage them to just do it. Encouraging them to just do art for the sake of loving it and for no other reason has many positive benefits for our children. It gives them enjoyment, self-confidence, develops their creativity and imagination which all will benefit them later in life as well as now.
A third thing was to create an art station, room, studio, area or what have you, where they can go to be creative at anytime of the day. They can work on any art related activity and know it will be there the next time they get back. They can hang paintings to dry, set out art sculptures to dry and so on. Maybe you have a spare room? A place in the basement? Or area in the kitchen where they can go? You can even take it outdoors when the weather suits.
A fourth thing I read was to encourage our children to instead of telling a story have them draw/paint it out from start to finish
A fifth thing was to point out illustrations in children’s books and talk about the shapes, colors and layout.
A sixth thing to do was create a travel art kit they can take with them on the road when creativity strikes. Include items such as pencils, paper, stickers and other drawing and coloring materials.
The last thing I will share for now is that you do not need to spend a lot of money starting out if you do not want to. You can create your own Easel from cardboard which can be used indoors and outdoors.
Things not to do when encouraging your children
Some things I found in my research to not do when encouraging your children to do art included:
- Compare your child’s artistic abilities with other children or established artists.
- Do not purchase expensive computer programs to assist your child
- Motivate them to be the next great artist and make a lot of money.
- Make them believe they are the best.
- Use adult logic when judging their art work. Children do art from an emotional place that is not logical.
- Do not force them to take art classes before they are ready as it will destroy their love for art. Formal art training to early on in their journey with art restricts them and smoother their love for art.
- Be concerned about things they draw that maybe disturbing to you but is just them exploring. Example war ships at war in world war two or fighting in action. Exception being if all they draw is disturbing then maybe seek professional help to be sure your child is ok.
- Do not try to teach them.
- Allow them to advance at their own pace.
In conclusion I will be making changes and encouraging my children to do more artsy stuff so they can work on their imagination in order to better develop it. Doing art connects and develops our children imagination. A developed imagination leads to them being creative which is great for many activities not related to art. Even if my children never become artists they will be able to take their imagination and creativity with them wherever they go in life. Will you? Please leave a comment down below, like, share on Facebook, Twitter or scribe to our email. Thanks as always and have a great day!
Proud papa of two,