Children love to make a mess. Anyone with small kids knows the familiar feeling of fingerprints on the windows, felt pen on the walls and spaghetti bolognese on the floor. Depending on your mood, this can range from funny to frustrating. But a great way to channel your children’s natural enthusiasm for mess is to encourage them to colour, draw, paint, model, anything creative where they be as messy as they like without destroying your house in the process.
According to Earlyarts children really benefit from exposure to arts of all kind from an early age, so visiting galleries, enjoying theatre and giving them the chance to see cultural activities will support their development in a fun and exciting way.
Getting creative with art materials is a big part of this development, but one which most kids will find much more engaging than learning spellings or times tables.
Outside and in
If you have a horror of paints and plasticine in your house then why not get your kids outside doing their crafts, so you won’t be looming over them worrying about your carpets constantly? Or look in your local area to see what kind of activities are on at community centres, libraries and other social venues? There are usually plenty of these kind of events around, particularly during school holidays, and it’s a good chance for your children to mix with other kids at the same time.
Arts and crafts also make fabulous rainy day activities. There’s only so much television you can all watch. Yes, you’ll have to grin and bear watching them get grimy in the house, but stick down some plastic sheeting, stop worrying about the carpets and just let them have fun! It’s always wise to have some rainy day craft materials in the house, which you can get online from places such as http://www.jacksonsart.com/. Stock up on paints, pencils, paper and chalks and then let your kids have free reign as they choose what to do.
Many very small children start of just scribbling with a crayon and you should encourage this as much as you can. They aren’t going to colour neatly in the lines straight away, but you’ll be amazed to see how quickly they progress. In the same way, a scribble of pencil soon becomes recognisable as a person, and you’ll gradually notice the extra detail they add as they grow. A head with legs sticking out of it soon has a neck and a body, a face soon has ears and eyelashes, and they start to notice things like eye and hair colour.
Kids love to know that you’ve noticed them and it’s a happy household which has children’s artwork adorning it’s walls, fridge, cupboards and noticeboards. The splodges of paint on the floor and the drawing on the wall at that telltale height will suddenly start to become less of a problem and more of an indication that your kids can be messy, creative and simply enjoy being children.
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