• Encouraging Art and Creativity in Your Home

    From Scholastic Online


    Here are some suggestions for fostering your child's creativity and love of art, and for supporting art education at school. These come courtesy of the National PTA and the Getty Center for Education in the Arts, as part of their joint "Be Smart, Include Art" project.

    Talk about art. One of the best ways to get your child excited about art is to be enthusiastic yourself. Talk about the history of a special work of art in your own home — a quilt, a piece of pottery, or a painting. Talk about things you see as you walk through your community.

    Provide materials. Encourage your child's interest in art by providing materials and a place to create art. Crayons, modeling clay, scraps of yarn and fabric, different kinds of paper and found objects such as shells, twigs, buttons can be used to help your children make their own art. Making art can be messy, but it is important to encourage a child's creativity.

    Encourage creativity. Help your child come up with original ideas and build upon them. You might do this by reading only the beginning of a story, then asking your child to draw a picture showing how the story might end. Or make a squiggle on a piece of paper and ask your child to use it as the beginning of a drawing.When your child creates a work of art, accept the child's work and his or her viewpoint of it so that you encourage the child to explore art further. Be positive and give praise sincerely. For example, point out a detail that is creative. You can always comment on something in the work, such as its design or its originality. Ask the child questions about the artwork.

    Stimulate interest. See if your community has a local art museum or cultural center and whether classes or programs for youth and families are available. Watch for special events such as art fairs.

    Ask your librarian for help. Go through the books with your child. Then visit an art museum.

    Local Museums:

    Hudson River Museum – Yonkers
    511 Warburton Avenue near John F. Kennedy Memorial Drive
    They offer many family programs on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm, including activities for children of all age levels (young children as well as programs for children ages 7+). Some of the programming is Science and Art based.

    Katonah Museum of Art – Katonah
    134 Jay Street between Reservoir Road and Pine Hill Drive
    The Katonah Museum of Art offers children and adults creative opportunities to explore the world of art. In the galleries, the Learning Center, and the sculpture garden, our unique programs spark meaningful connections, and KMA Community Days offer artful fun for all ages. The museum also offers programs on school vacation days for special art activities inspired by the exhibition. Each day different projects are offered using a broad variety of materials.

    Neuberger Museum of Art – Purchase

    SUNY Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road


    Fall Family Day

    Saturday   October 01, 2016 | 1:00 - 4:00 pm

    The Neuberger Museum’s seasonal family festivals offer creative afternoons of exploration and experimentation for visitors of all ages. Their team of artists will guide visitors as they experiment with a wide range of media and techniques inspired by their artists and exhibitions. This event is generously sponsored by Neuberger Berman.
    General admission: $10 per child, adults free



    http://artfulparent.com/ - a Blog offering a variety of information about art projects, materials and resources for families. I particularly like her articles on art materials for children, including ideas for materials for kids at various age levels and materials that can be made together at home (like homemade sidewalk chalk and bathtub paint)

    CasaMarias.blogspot.com – A Reggio Emilio approach to early childhood art education – ideas for activities that reuse and recycle materials

    Tinkerlab.com – A blog by a mom that shares activities for exploring and encouraging creativity, curiosity and creative thinking



    The Art of Teaching Art to Children by Nancy Beal

     In this accessibly written guide for classroom and art teachers as well as parents, Nancy Beal shows how to release children's marvelous gifts of expression. Beal believes that children must first of all be comfortable with their materials. She focuses on six basic media: collage, drawing, painting, clay, printmaking, and construction. – Amazon

    Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages by Susan Schwake 

    The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity – Includes over 60 Art Projects for Children Ages 1 to 8 by Jean Van’t Hul

    Art Materials:

    - Dickblick.com (several store locations in NYC and one in Paramus, NJ)

    - Jerrysartarama.com (cheap art supplies online)

    - Michaels Stores – a good assortment of basic supplies and you can generally get coupons!


    While I prefer traditional artmaking with young children (crayons and some blank paper go a long way!), the iPad also offers a lot of ways to digitally make art. Here are some of the best apps I’ve seen:

    iPad Apps:

    Paper by 53 – Free – use your finger or a stylus to write, draw, outline or color


    Sketches (iOS app) is elegant and a good tool for older kids. It has no stamps or distractions, so it helps them concentrate on drawing.

    Paint Gallery (iOS app) has tools like pencil, brush and shapes but the best part is it has a color fill tool too. 

    Scribblify (iOS and Android app) has a huge range of brushes, backgrounds and colors that encourage kids to play with color, lines and symmetry. 

    Sketchbook Express Autodesk SketchBook® Express for iPad is a fun and intuitive drawing application.

    Art Gurus From the teacher's hair to the artwork on the walls, kids get to decide what the classroom looks like in Art Gurus.