Ideas For A Child's Creativity


PreschoolerArt.jpgCredit: morguefile

Have you  heard these phrases?

"I can't dance." "I'm not artistic." " I can't draw." "I've never been creative."

You won't hear them from a preschooler! These are adult words. Words that somehow slipped into an adult's world. Needless ideas that can hold us back from an enriched life. Certainly not words and ideas we wish upon our children.

How can adults foster the wide-eyed enthusiasm children hold for creativity and self-expression? How can we inspire self-esteem that will follow them through their adult lives? And how can we help mold adults that are independent thinkers? We start when they are young, and we let them create for themselves.

 It is our job to give them a foundation of acceptance in their trials. Hopefully, this foundation will help them weather the storms of comparison and critique they will surely face later in their lives. Here are some tips for presenting art activities to your preschooler:


An art activity doesn't need a "right" or "wrong".  A child's art work is hers, not yours, not societies. Remember, the sky need not be blue.


Provide the materials and possibly demonstrate how to use them. Your child will fill in the blanks. Keep frustration to a minimum by controlling the number of materials, (say three colors of paints, not the whole set) and control the environment so you don't have to be constantly barking instructions to him. (Try taping a large area of newspaper down on the table for him to work on. The visual boundaries will help keep  mayhem at bay.)


Our reaction to their enthusiastic work should be meaningful to them. "That's nice" won't hold the same weight as, "You sure worked hard on that!" for a four-year-old. Try not to put a "good or bad" in the mix, it's ALL good. Try to point out the obvious, "You sure put a lot of blue in that corner!" See? who can argue with honest comments?


Paint the Patio/Porch/Fence/whatever

1 gallon plastic bucket

1 old house painter's brush

Fill the bucket half full with water, and demonstrate painting with water! Painting the fence is popular, along with painting the sidewalk. Best done on a warm, sunny day.

Wood Sculptures

random wood blocks from a construction site or wood project

1 small container 'school glue'

other small random objects (corks? Popsicle sticks?)

a cardboard square to use as a base (18" by 18" works well)

Here's an activity that benefits from taping down an area of newspaper! Using the cardboard as a base, demonstrate gluing things together and up.

The Mask

1 cheap, white full-face mask from the costume store

3 colors of cheap, acrylic, craft paints

1 half-inch wide cheap craft brush

Again, tape down an area of newspaper on the table for working. Put a glob of one of the paint colors on an old plate, and let your child have fun painting her mask. You can add the next colors when she's ready. (A blow dryer will speed drying time if your child gets impatient...)

Simple Collage

random shapes cut from a colorful magazine

glue stick

cardboard square (again, 18" by 18" keeps her busy)

Show how to use the glue stick, and let her have fun. You can hand a couple of kid's colorful felt pens at the end for adding drawings and embellishments to the masterpiece.

Have Fun!