How to Teach Your Child Art the Easy Way

September 26, 2020

The Last Dandelion is an original watercolor painting of two children by Lynn Ponto Peterson

By Chelsea Reed

Art education for children looks very different today from recent years. Many parents are wondering what to do if their children’s schools have to teach virtual or close down. Art lessons are hands-on, so how can students learn outside of school? Fortunately, teaching art at home is easy. All you need are a few common items on hand and a little imagination! 

Here are some fun art education ideas that families can try with their children. They can adjust as needed to fit the student’s specific grade curriculum. 

Drawing is Your Best Friend

It’s amazing to see what your child can do with a simple pencil and paper. Have her practice common art techniques such as drawing lines, circles, and triangles. She can also learn how to draw the human form. Little ones can use crayons and markers in a similar manner. You’ll be surprised how many art lessons you can teach from this activity alone! The resources required are very simple and affordable. 

Experiment with Different Art Styles

Has your child ever made an abstract or impressionistic drawing before? Now’s your chance! Exploring different art styles together is as easy as a Google Image search. Have your child imitate art styles after the pieces he likes. If he’s older you can also talk about the art history behind the movement that inspired the style. 

Get Creative with Found Objects

Flag is a mixed media abstract painting in purple by Jackie Zagon

This is a great activity for beginner art students. Have your child find objects around the house that match the art color wheel and gather them in one place. How many can she find? While she collects them, you can talk about the differences between warm and cool colors. Observe how complementary colors are always opposite to each other in the “color wheel.” 

Speaking of found objects, your child can also create a collage with things around your home. She can use dried pasta, beans, glue, leaves, twigs, and all sorts of things. Some professional artists do this too! It’s called “mixed media.”

Resourceful Ideas for Clay Projects

Yes, you really can teach three-dimensional art lessons at home! If clay supplies are tricky to get in your neighborhood, try your hand at making salt dough. It’s a lot like Play-Dough and you can bake it at low temperatures in the oven. Add food coloring for different colors. Watch your child transform salt dough into pottery, sculptures, and ornaments. Older students can use fresh salt dough to create stop motion animation projects! 

Visit a Private Art Gallery

With a little creativity, families can take advantage of teaching art at home. A school may not be able to visit a gallery right now, but you can! Take your child to see art at a local gallery with the practice of safety guidelines. If this is not possible, you can go on a ‘virtual field trip’ together. Seaside Art Gallery’s website is a great choice. A lot of different art styles are visible. You may even find a “souvenir” piece to remember the occasion!

Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina  

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