Ulyana Zavyalova

PhD in materials chemistry
International Encaustic Artists (IEA) member

Art for and with kids

Art for and with kids

  Doing art together with kids makes fun and helps them to develop creative thinking, concentration and self-confidence. Even if first drawings of your child seem to you strange and “technically wrong”, show respect and real consideration for kid’s work. Here i’d like to share some tips and ideas from my experience with children.

Hand- and footprints as memory-artwork

You can do yourself an unique memory-artwork even with your little baby. You need just a piece of carton or canvas of proper size and with interesting congenial background. For baby’s prints I recommend to use skin-friendly colors like gouache or special body-paints. Don’t forget to date and subscribe your artwork when finished. It is also advisable to cover it with varnish for protection from damage by incidental contact and light abrasion. TIP: Walking is one of the most exciting developmental milestones. You can create an artwork with baby’s first steps as memory of this huge step towards child’s independence. Just lay down prepared in advance canvas with congenial background; carefully dunk your baby’s both foots in proper paint; and use both hands to support your toddler and let him make some steps on the prepared paint background. Thoroughly clean baby’s skin from colors when finished! If some prints appear to be not so clear-cut, you can gingerly correct them without changing their form later. TIP: With young children one can do funny artworks with optical illusions of footprints made by fist and fingers, as shown in the picture “Footprints in sand”.

Collage made of original childrens’ drawings

In the age of 4–7 years children have a phase of intellectual realism. Little artists reflect their own reality according to subjective ideas and imagination in their drawings. That is way especially in this age kids’ non-verbal “messages” and self-expressions are very important for good communication between children and their parents. TIP: Together with child try to combine some of his original drawings with a certain subject into one complex art-composition. Such kind of collage is a great occasion for art discussions and reflections and aims to increase children’s motivation about painting.

Funny forms and figures

Kids often can view the world from an absolutely new point of view. Creativity means also willingness to make something uncommon and exceptional. I was often surprised by ability of my 5–year-old daughter interpret me sense and find figures in every scribbles-blots-splashes images. Strange kids’ drawings and experiments with various ways of color application resulted in some funny picture themes..  

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