The visual arts provide a wonderful opportunity for children to freely express themselves, and the holiday season offers many ways to engage children in artful displays. Even very young children relish the chance to take part in holiday decorating, dining, and merry-making. Children also benefit from creating art, because it helps relieve stress through a healthy outlet.
Spruce of your holiday table
Invite your children to create festive place cards. You ™ll need to provide them with stiff card stock folded down to a small tent. Set up a creativity station with colorful markers and pencils or paints. Make sure you cover the art area, so that your kids do not have to worry about art accidents! Finally, help them to imagine holiday images that make them happy. Perhaps your children love the look of candy canes, stockings, elves, candles, snowmen, gingerbread or decorated trees. They may want to embellish each letter of the names they will be writing. For younger children, please make sure that you print out the names of your dinner guests to avoid frustration.
Edible art is perfect for the holidays
Invite your children to help select colorful vegetables and fruits to make your holiday dinner extra colorful and special. It may help to show your children the many food options from which they can choose. This can be a great way to inspire your children to eat healthy and serve food that looks beautiful, too! Have a digital camera handy when it's time to present your dinner, and encourage your children to take a close up photo of a dinner plate. Challenge them to consider lighting and background.
Cookies & cupcakes can be oh so fun for children to decorate “ alone, with family or with friends! Bake plain sugar cookies or cupcakes (you can do this in advance). Chat with your children about favorite toppings “ perhaps they adore vanilla or chocolate frosting or a simple powdered sugar glaze. Explain to your children how to work with these toppings, noting that they tend to dry out pretty quickly. Once they spread some frosting or glaze on their pastry, they can select from a variety of decorative toppings. From simple, colorful sprinkles to writing or designing images in another color of icing, to using miniature candy canes or little candies, or adding nuts, marshmallows, and so forth, the creative and delicious ideas are endless!
Make a special holiday art scene
Invite your children to create a special piece of art to help celebrate the holidays. Ideally, you can provide your children with an oversized sketch pad along with lots of art materials. Plan ahead about how you can display any works of art your children create! Set up a creativity station for your children, so that they can work safely, freely and comfortably. Make sure they have pencils, markers, paints, brushes, stamps and ink pads, stickers, glue stick, scissors, cotton balls, buttons, construction paper and any other embellishments and added art supplies that will ensure a fun and creative experience. Help inspire your child by seeding ideas that can help them tap their imaginations. What does Peace on Earth look like? What does your perfect Christmas tree look like? Draw one of the principles of Kwanzaa, such as purpose or unity “ what image comes to mind? As part of your traditional Hanukkah celebration, draw a picture of what your most delicious sufganiyot (jelly doughnut) looks like “ maybe its one giant sufganiyot or perhaps it's a stack of them. Your child might really enjoy making a piece of collage-style art that incorporates twisted tinsel wire for sparkling stars or real holly from a bush to create a special holiday scene. Remember that the joy of art is in creating it, so avoid making corrections or negative judgments. It's okay for your child to experiment with color or design and then decide they may not like what they created. As they say, If at first you don't succeed (in what you envision) try, try again. Creativity is a valuable skill that every child needs to nurture! It is a gift that continues giving back through an entire lifetime.
Consider signing your child up for a holiday art class or camp.
Brought to you by Abrakadoodle Remarkable Art. 2009. All rights reserved.