Creating BIG art with kids-
When it comes to making something *together* with your kids, is bigger better?
One of my goals with my kids has been for us to take time to collaborate on art together. All too often, this has created a situation where we’re each irritated and feel like everyone is crowding out our ideas.
Making Big Art Together is the Solution
The way I create with my kids will evolve as they get older, but in this young children stage, I’ve found that we are happiest creating together when we have a lot of space to work with. No bumping elbows, and room enough to work on our own ideas as part of the whole, instead of having to do so much tricky negotiating about how each part of the project should look.
For instance, we loved painting the tree house together. We were all working on creating a beautiful, colorful space, but with four walls to work on there was plenty of room for each of us to get creative. I heard each child compliment the others work as we painted and chatted in artsy companionship.
Another successful creating-with-kids moment was recently when we read the book “Little Cloud” by Eric Carle, and then made a big painting to illustrate the story.
With a huge piece of paper to work on, each person had enough room to experiment and paint. We had just read the same story together, so we had common ground to work from as far as what we were making.
The end result was a satisfying art project that encompassed the best parts of creating with kids.
If you’d like to experiment with creating art with your children, you might try making something really big together and see if that helps you all enjoy the experience.
Simple ideas for BIG ART to create with kids:
- Make a giant sidewalk chalk picture.
- Paint or draw together on a piece of poster board. (Or we have a couple of these huge drawing pads we use.) You might try doodling, painting after you’ve read a story, or making a mandala together (often a doodling approach works well so no one is “ruining” someone else’s painting.)
- Arrange rocks together on the garden
- Make a collage together- Eric Carle books are very inspiring for this, but you could also simply start gluing away with your child and see where it takes you.
If you’d like more ideas about big art, you'll love this post from hands on : as we grow
Here are some ways we talk as we create together:
I like to ask my kids for their input, letting them be the expert and teacher, “What do you think of this? Should I move it over a bit?”
I remind them, “We’re working on this together, so we’ll all have different ideas, but we can put them together to make something beautiful, that’s what’s neat about collaboration.”
Also, “In art there aren’t bad ideas, simply different ideas- we all see things differently and find different things beautiful.”
And finally- if they try to take over what I’m doing or take over the whole project, I might say something like, “You have space to work on this too, I’m painting right here, you can paint over there.”
OK, Wednesday is Kid Get Crafty Day. Get inspired and then go make some big art!
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