Depending on their age, children can find it very hard to express themselves. They just don’t have the experience with their emotions that you do, and they just can’t find the words necessary to tell you what’s wrong from time to time.
And this can lead to a real communication issue; floods of tears, poorly tummies and restless nights, and there’s you as a parent tearing your hair out over how to help your child! But there are many good ways to get through to your little one, and one of the best is via the use of arts and crafts. And kids usually love getting stuck into finger painting or learning how to use a paintbrush!
After all, kids can draw how they feel through pictures that actually make sense to them, or they can make a big mess that represents the anger or frustration they may be experiencing. And let’s face it, art is often a lot easier to interpret at this age compared to a contemporary piece you’d find in an art gallery, so your child’s artistic ability is of a lot of help to you as well!
The benefits of art for kids
There are many benefits to allowing children to experiment with their creativity. Most of all, arts and crafts materials are incredibly accessible to children, simply because they’re easy to use and there are literally no rules! You can encourage them to let loose, and express themselves using art materials even as simple as a set of crayons.
And kids tend to respond well to being able to make a mess using all manner of sparkly pens, glitter, pipe cleaners and glue, and it can be a great way to really help to relax them as they open up. The colours and textures involved in using these materials make for a great sensory activity that draws their attention and helps to develop their visual communication skills.
It’s a safe way to experiment with their emotions
Another big reason why art helps a child express themselves is thanks to how safe the medium is. There’s very little chance your child could get hurt while painting a picture or colouring in a book, and they’re far less likely to throw a tantrum during the activity, compared to trying to participate in a sit-down talk with you.
We all know that our emotions can get messy, and they can lead to us saying silly things or hurting others, but with art, you can help your child channel how they feel into something creative and productive. It’s a good way to show them how to deal with what they’re feeling in a healthy manner and sets a good example for the future.
It’s also super fun!
And that’s why kids respond so well in the first place. Art is one of the best ways to allow your child to have fun, thanks to just how creative they can get. Even just throwing a bit of paint around can help your child to get their emotions out, and make them laugh again after a day or two of heavy tears and a frowny face.
And the fun part of making art is incredibly important. We don’t want our kids to feel like emotions are scary, or that they can’t talk about the way they feel with you. Kids need to know that their feelings aren't something to bottle up or be afraid of, and when there’s a piece of paper and some paint pots, or jars of Play-Doh in front of them, your child immediately understands they’re in for a fun afternoon!
Ducklings also has a great DIY Play-Doh recipe to try at home, which can be found at: https://www.ducklingspreschool.co.uk/artists
Art activities to try with your child
Art can be very easy to make using just simple household items. Have a dig through your kitchen drawers or your office desk to find the necessary items to try out the art activities below!
Make some Salt Dough
If you don’t have any dough in the house already that your child can use to make models, you can easily make some Salt Dough of your own with them. Kids will love learning about the process! As long as you have some plain flour, salt, and water from the tap available, you can get this recipe done in about 10 to 20 minutes.
Pass the pen
This is a great way to bond with your child over the creation of art and is usually a good way to get your child to open up about why they’re drawing certain shapes, or using certain colours. Take a pen and let your child draw something, say for about 10 seconds, and then have them pass the pen to you and you draw for 10 seconds. Repeat until you’re both happy with the picture you’ve created together!
Straw blow painting
This is a very fun activity that kids of all ages will love to do. If you’ve got some straws in the house, and you’ve got some runny paint or watercolours on hand, you can have a laugh and a giggle together overblowing the paint in different directions to create big, messy, and colourful pictures!
So, if you’ve got some paper and pens in the house, let your child have a go with creating art of their own, and check out some of the benefits for yourself.
Let us know in the comments which activities you tried at home and loved! If you're looking for more ideas too please check out https://www.ducklingspreschool.co.uk/artists also.