When you have run out of ideas on ways to keep the kids occupied, set out the markers and magazines, scissors and scraps and every other odd and end you can come up with and let creativity run wild! Besides engaging your child in open-ended play, art develops their cognitive, social, emotional, and sensory-motor skills.
“Art is a cooperative learning experience that provides pleasure, challenge, and a sense of mastery. Instruction in the arts is one of the best ways in which to involve the different modes of learning; through art, children learn complex thinking skills and master developmental tasks.” (Belden & Fessard, 2001).
Here are some (cool) art books for kids that’ll help ignite their creativity!
“I love art! It’s my imagination on the outside.” begins the delightful book, Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light in which Louise loves making art work and also loves her impish and mischievous brother named Art.
To be inspired by slightly more established artists, pick up a book in the series, Get Into Art by Susie Brooks. Each page is dedicated to a different masterpiece with a reproduction, background information, questions and a flap that opens to reveal a related art project. It is a light-hearted and fun way to introduce kids to art.
Looking and seeing are two different things. A trip to the Visionary Art Museum with its whirligigs, the Baltimore Museum of Art with its Free Family Sundays or The Walters Art Museum with its drop-in art programs is a great winter pastime. My First 10 Paintings by Marie Sellier is a terrific way to show children how to look and see and is a great introduction to a museum trip.
To hone in on a favorite artist, try the Meet the Artist series which delves into a single artist such as Alexander Calder and his amazing circus, playful toys and hanging mobiles or Matisse with his fabulous cut-outs. Each book invites a hands-on approach and provides ideas for creating your own work of art.
Children love art because it gives them freedom. The US Department of Labor recently published a report concluding, “Arts education helps students develop skills needed for most jobs in later life, including creative thinking, problem solving, exercise of individual responsibility, sociability and self esteem.” So grab some art supplies and when the masterpieces are complete do as Louise does, and hang them on The Gallery du Fridge!
For more ideas + inspiration, visit The Ivy Bookshop.