Posts Tagged ‘art and kids’

Using art to teach boundaries, respect, communication, and cooperation

July 9th, 2013

Last month’s International Parents and Professionals Community Support call was with Dr. Jane Bluestein and we talked about practical and positive strategies to build cooperation, responsibility, and mutual respect with children (if you missed this ‘must listen to call’ you can find out more here

It got me thinking about how important it is to set boundaries and clear expectations with kids. Also, the importance of very specific and concrete consequences (both positive and negative).  I find that the kids who struggle the most are often the ones whose parents flip flop on boundaries (sometimes a NO turns into a YES) or a child’s negative behavior triggers you to lose your cool or frustrates you to the point that you give in.

Summertime means more time with your family, more sibling time together, and more unstructured time. All of that can lead to arguments, annoyances, and frustrations.

You can teach your kiddos lots of great skills using art, such as respecting boundaries, communicating wants, cooperating, and learning consequences.

Here’s a creative playful CQ activity:

Get a large piece of paper and set the rules for playing together. Let your child know how long you’ll be making art and the expectations (such as helping pick-up the materials, asking for help, etc). Explain that you’ll be working together or that they will be working with their siblings. Pick a theme to create, this time of year an underwater theme or at the beach is a fun theme to explore. Tell your child that they can create on one side of the paper their own scene, and you (or their sibling has the other side of the paper) and explain that the middle of the paper is where they can create things together. Be clear that they need to ask before touching another person’s materials or going on the other person’s side. Let them know what the consequences will be ahead of time for good choices and poor choices. If your children are doing this together monitor the process, provide feedback, and explore choices.

Depending upon your child, you can provide basic materials such as markers or crayons, or you can provide sensory materials such as glitter glue, pom-poms, finger paint, or play-dough. Use this experience as a teaching opportunity to explore respecting boundaries, develop communication skills, such as asking for what you need, tolerating frustration, and organizing materials. Recognize positive choices and explore consequences of poor choices.

Every moment is a teaching moment, so help your child develop the skills to understand and respect boundaries, communicate their wants, and learn the consequences of their choices.


Creative Art Ideas for Summertime Boredom

July 11th, 2012

Summertime boredom got you down? Here are 21 creative art ideas for bored kids!

art activities for children

What happens when all the excitement of having time off for the summer turns into your kids whining “I’m bored”? You may notice that your kids are more irritable and there are more arguments and fighting, especially when you turn off the electronics!

Here are 21 creative art ideas to engage your child’s imagination, encourage positive communication, critical thinking skills, develop self-esteem and self-confidence during the summertime!

  1. Create a book of your vacation or a vacation you are planning with words and images
  2. Get big paper and trace your child’s body, and ask them to decorate their image
  3. Fill spray bottles with water and tempera paint and spray a large paper outside to make abstract paintings
  4. Get a box of sidewalk chalk and make colorful symbols and words of what you like
  5. Create a collage and tissue paper lantern out of old glass jars, glue on the paper and images, let dry and add a votive candle
  6. Make a scapbook of camp pictures
  7. Collect leaves rocks and branches to spell out your child’s name and glue it to a painted board
  8. Get a bottle of “zubbles”, colored bubbles and large paper and make abstract art outside
  9. Paint a mirror (either paint the wood frame with acrylic paint or use glass paint and paint the mirror)
  10. Make a sock monkey
  11. Use modeling clay and make funny people
  12. Make pom pom animals
  13. Use paints or markers and make a self portrait or pet portrait
  14. Draw cartoons of what your pets are thinking
  15. Create a cool kite
  16. Create vegetable stamps
  17. Got lots of school papers and returned homework and tests shred it and make paper
  18. Paint rocks with cool saying or images (or make a pet rock)
  19. Add drops of food coloring to shaving cream and mix and create swirled colored paper 
  20. Make handmade votive candles or soap
  21. Use a cardboard box and make a diorama (create a miniature house or world)

Got some creative ideas to keep your bored child busy? We would love to hear what creative things you do to make summertime a positive learning experience. Post your ideas in the comment box below!