everyday homeschooling blog


Jan 9, 2014

Artistic Flair

MaryAnn Gaver

This winter and coming spring season, let's remember to add a little art to our repertoire as teachers. In Take Time For Art, we talked about setting aside a few moments for fun, creativity, and inspiration. I gave several (practically free) ideas of things to do in order to build kids' imaginations―whether it's drawing, painting, or simply working with color...

The whole thing about art is to make it a fun activity―something that's not stressful. I suggest that you begin with an unplugged session, free of electronics. 

Take a raw, unprocessed approach, and let the season inspire you. Step outside to notice all the colors, sounds, and smells. That's a sure way to inspire any student. Cool blues and whites of the peaceful landscape, rosy cheeks and nose from the winter chill, the smell of apple cider and hot cocoa in the winter. Or perhaps a warm breeze bringing with it the sweet smells of flowers in bloom, the green grass between your toes, and the bright yellows, purples, and reds of new blooms in the Spring. Whatever season you're in, take advantage of the sights, smells, and fresh air to find inspiration.

When we had trouble coming up with ideas for art in the younger years, we simply constructed homemade cards for family members or friends who lived far away. Each of us came up with unique designs ranging from the simple and natural to the slightly outlandish―complete with glitter, buttons, and other crafty items. "Let's not send these pinecones to Grandma through the mail. Let's deliver them by hand when we see her, okay?"

Another artistic activity is to create something out in the yard, whether it's a simple rock-lined path, or a delightful bird house. Rocks are wonderful pieces of art, and what child isn't completely enthralled with birds and their lovely array of colors? Of course, these projects depend on the weather, but the whole idea is to look around for artful opportunities.

In the blog, The Apricot Tree, I highlighted a spring day that we ventured outside to create a new little garden. 

When you're really stuck for inspiration, consider these ideas: make a collage, sculpt with clay, or (my favorite)―grab some plain white paper and design a few brilliant paper airplanes. The best part of that is taking the airplanes outside for the real test―to see how well they fly!

Have a colorful and wonderful day. And whatever you do, focus on being together and having fun!