Creative Arts and Crafts for Kids

Creative Arts and Crafts for Kids:

Cultivating Creativity in Your Children

By Cindy L. Adkins

If you have young children, it is likely that there seems to a shortage of hours in the day to multi-task your way through it. Nonetheless, as you cleverly arrange bath time, nap time, story time, and every other word with "time" attached to it in a day, that precious commodity seems to slip away from you while there is barely a minute left for "me" time, right? So, how will you find a moment to help your children cultivate a new activity that equals "shared" time for all of you?

Creative time with your children can be as short as fifteen minutes and as long as a half hour depending on their ages. But, you must remember that while they score highly on the cuteness factor, they may be low on attention span. So, plan and modify accordingly.

Many parents think that it is necessary to enroll their children in a community art class. Not so! If you prepare in advance, it will make the experience more enjoyable. There are very few necessary supplies and the best part is, they can be used over and over again. There are other parents who feel it is the school's "job" to teach this subject, and therefore, better left to a teacher. But, in those classroom situations, your children do not receive the same kind of attention because of class size and teacher/student ratio. So, sharing these moments could be important for both of you.

When working on art, you might consider having your children wear aprons or over-sized t-shirts so that work on the project transpires without your worrying about paint or ink spoiling nice clothing. This will save you work in the long-run. At a later time, when you ask, "Where are your aprons?" it will be understood that it is art time again and they can anticipate the fun time you will have together

But, how do you begin? I would suggest that you start with an abstract piece made with watercolors, tempera, felt-tip markers. First, determine if you want them to make something for their own rooms. The most important part of the process is the ability to have fun. Use the available time to share conversations and help your children to be engaged in the activity by asking such simple questions such as, "Do you like that color?" and giving them encouragement as they go about their task.

Sharing this time with them can be quite insightful. In the process of painting, if you ask, "What is that?" when gazing at a blob on the page, the answer you receive may surprise you. You could receive an answers such as, "I don't know" to "It's a frog." While children learn and create and explore, parents likewise become more attuned to what is actually gone on inside of them. Valuable insights can be gained at times such as these.

Once their works of art are completed, put them in some place safe to dry and let your children help you with clean-up. This will set an early pattern of working together and then tidying up when finished. Later, when you frame the pieces, it would be the ideal moment for positive comments, such as "Look at the beautiful picture that you made!" All the while, your little ones will build confidence and look forward to recreating this special time again.

Cindy L. Adkins is a New Orleans-based artist who enjoys inspiring people to use their own creative talents. She believes that the creative process grows even stronger when shared with others. To see her artwork, please visit

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