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Discover the Power of Art
They say that "looking leads to learning", and that is one reason to introducing high-quality images to children at an early age, as well as encouraging children to express themselves visually, plays a critical part in their emotional and intellectual development. Storyteller Moon couldn't agree more! Here are some guidelines on helping the children you know to develop their artistic potential:
1. Give your child space to be creative
All you need is some paper and crayons, a small table or easel, and a child-size chair or cushion, in the corner of a playroom or bedroom.
2. Show that you value art too
Join your child and do your own drawings, paintings and model making.
3. Encourage your child to respect the materials
Have them look after paper, brushes and paints carefully.
4. Provide many different types of paint, paper and other paintable surfaces.
You don't need to run up the tab in your local art shop, though. The back of an old envelope, the inside of wrapping paper, excess packaging from a visit to the supermarket, can all easily be converted into art materials.
5. Let your child experiment with different tools and techniques
Try collage and model making as well as with paints and crayons; with brushes of all shapes and sizes; with twigs, old toothbrushes, potato cuts, combs, sponges, bits of flannel. Anything goes, but make it clear what is out of bounds!
6. Share pictures and illustrations
Reflect the world in different ways so that your child can see that there is no "right" nor a "wrong" way to be artistic.
7. Collect materials for art projects when you are out and about
Twigs, sticks, leaves and grasses in the park, fabric from charity/thrift shops, stones and pebbles from beaches and riverbanks, can all be turned into something exciting and special.
8. Recycle what you have around the house
Roll up old plastic bags to make rope; keep wrapping paper from presents; give outdated magazines and last season's clothes a second lease of life.
9. Create a display area for your child's work
Use a wall of your kitchen or playroom - children's confidence gets a huge boost when their work is noticed and talked about.
10. Talk to your child about pictures & images that you see when outside
Visit art galleries and talk about the pictures you like and what they say to you.
Children who learn to be creative when they are young never lose this quality. They become the innovators of the future. The skills they learn, and the emotions they associate with the activities they pursued as small children, will go on enriching and informing their lives as adults. Encouraging an early love of art also helps children to develop their capacity for self-expression and for self-exploration, bringing out their unique and particular talents and qualities as young people.