Tips For Creating With Kids

Because I love to create, I'm intentional about making time for my kids to create. Spending time DIYing is one of our favorite things to do together. I always receive compliments about how much people love how I create with my kids, so I threw together some of my tips for a successful creating session with my girls.
PREP - Prep is key to enjoying time creating with kids. Lay out a drop cloth, have paper towels and wipes handy, strap younger kids in high chairs (if using tray, cover with garbage bag), and messy clothes (or no clothes) for everyone. Snacks and music are always a good idea to prolong the DIYing.

CHECK YOUR EXPECTATIONS - be okay with a mess, focus on enjoying the process, and don't expect a masterpiece from every creating session. Many times I have to remind myself that our materials aren't precious... It's okay to use up a lot of paint or go through a million sheets of paper. Expect some projects to take multiple sessions. Our DIY christmas ornaments took a couple days to make (clay one day, paint another) so starting early and planning for multiple sessions made the project more enjoyable.

LIMIT COLOR PALETTE - Choosing an analogous color scheme (colors next to each other on the color wheel) keeps your child's art from becoming muddy. I generally like to choose a couple different blues and greens so they have a lot of shades to pick from. As my kids get older, they get to pick more colors.

CONSIDER COLLABORATING - Some of my favorite creating sessions were when we work on something together. These usually result in a fun piece of art to enjoy and a longer creating session than when we're working on our own solo projects. When working on a piece with your kid, follow their lead so they can stretch their creativity, mirror their strokes, and keep up the encouragement.

MIX IT UP - Work with a variety of medium. Sometimes we'll start out working in watercolor and end up drawing with markers. I introduce different medium as they start to get tired with something (usually when they get super messy) and they will continue on creating. Introduce them to different things like clay, water color, acrylic paint, pastels, etc. They may really love something random and we'd never know if we didn't try out a bunch of different things. I also love to let the girls work on larger projects like furniture painting or our cottage makeover.

DOCUMENT - Snap a couple of photos at the beginning when they start... or throughout the process. I love cutesy end of DIY pictures, but generally when we're finished, the girls are finished and won't even stop for a quick pic. The in process pictures are some of my favorite pictures and sometimes an in process art piece ends up so completely different than the finished piece.

CELEBRATE THEIR WORK - Compliment their technique and imagination, discuss what they like about it, and display their work! Building confidence in their artistic ability is a huge boost for the enjoyment of future creating sessions. I love hanging the girls stuff around the house in frames, on our fridge, on our calendar wall, or gifting it to family members.

ENJOY THE PROCESS! - I know I already mentioned this, but it is the most important tip so I'll say it again. Enjoy the process!!! If you want to instill the love of art and creativity into your kids, you want this process to be enjoyable. A lot of our artwork gets scrapped, but we enjoyed our time creating so we call it a success. 

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