We spend a lot of time doing art in my house. A LOT. We’re blessed to have an art playhouse in our backyard where my kids can get messy and create till their heart’s content. We also live in Southern California, so the weather is definitely on our side. Those are my two disclaimers right off the bat. I recognize that this is not the norm and in other parts of the country it’s still snowing outside and most people don’t have a designated “art playhouse.” In fact, I’m sure that sounds cookoo to a lot of people, so I get it. However, I have been a teacher for almost 20 years, and I believe whole heartedly in the power of creativity and laying the foundation for that creativity through the process of art. It doesn’t have to be like you see here. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t even have to be messy. Whatever your comfort level, whatever your space, just let them paint! You can join me here in my happy place with the hashtag
#letthempaint JOIN ME!
Keep reading! Keep reading!
You can skip the rest of this post and just click over to this TED TALK to get a clearer explanation of what I’m referring too. You can also scroll down to the bottom of this post to see some of my favorite art supplies to get you started. Otherwise, read on to hear just a few of the bazillion reasons why the process of art creates thinkers, problem solvers and future leaders.
“When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges, much like a scientist who experiments and finds solutions. Art allows children to make their own assessments, while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions, the child’s brain becomes engaged in the discovery of “how” and “why.”
via MaryAnn Kohl
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have lots of dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solution without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs
“When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives.”
via PBS Parents
“I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein
“Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic designed as mediator between this strange hostile world and us.”
1. Rollers or brayer – I prefer ink brayers over the cheaper kid sponge rollers. These are a bit more pricey but they last way longer and are super easy to clean. Plus you can use them for printmaking too.
2. Spray bottles – Don’t use the ones you see in the pics. Those totally stink and I won’t use them again. The small ones are good. My favorite are the ones from ikea but it’s not always easy to get to ikea.
4. Tempera Paints – These are great and you can mix your own colors. For the spray bottles just put a few squirts and add water. If you give just the primary colors kids can watch the colors mix, make predictions and new discoveries.
5. Stampers, sponges, soap suction pads
If you’re feelin’ my vibe and believe in the words above, I’d love for you to join me in spreading creativity with your little one and give other parents, teachers and educators inspiration to spread the foundations of creativity amongst our children. Just hashtag #letthempaint on instagram of any pics of your kids being creative and tag me @mericherryla. I can’t wait to see what they’re up to. And believe me, our children will thank us! (and even if they don’t, our future will thank us.)
Thanks for reading along everyone! Happy Painting!!! xo Meri