4 tips to help children express through art

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Painting is a way for children to do many important things like convey ideas, express emotions, use their senses, explore colour, train fine-motor skills, the benefits are many.

When parents observe and listen to children painting, you may start to see the world from your child's perspective, their developmental abilities, needs or interests. Through the use of different colours, they can express themselves without the use of words.

It's ok to give children inspiration but it's a good idea to give them space to create in their own way. If your child is particularly into ponies or dinosaurs, and these are the subject of their drawing, that's a good indication that they are feeling comfortable and taking pleasure in subjects which make them happy.

If the drawing features something that you are not familiar with, it could be a sign that your child is exploring and expanding their interests. How busy a finished drawing is can indicate the levels of activity going on in a child's mind. If it's too frenetic, it might be time to get out of the house and let them run around to burn off some energy.

4 tips to help your child express through art:

  1. Create a dedicated and comfortable space where your child can get messy. Have paint, crayons, paper, scissors etc easily accessible so they explore and create as they please.

  2. Paint or draw with your child because you may learn something interesting about your child whilst they're creating.

  3. Let your child be themselves and try not to pressure them to create in a defined way.

  4. Always give positive feedback when they show you their work, even if you have the slightest of clue as to what it is. Encourage your child to share and talk about their creation. You can try asking open-ended questions like "Wow, this is beautiful, can you tell me about it?" "I really like this colour too, why did you choose it?"

Children are like sponges, they absorb an incredible amount of new information every day. Art is a great way to let them process what they have learned in a reflective way. When we encourage our children to explore art, we are giving them a safe outlet for their emotions. Happy painting!

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