Even though we know every child probably won’t be the next Picasso or Monet, we all want to encourage creativity in our kids, particularly when it’s such a fun way for them to develop cognitive, social and motor abilities.
We recently sat down with Theo Mandziy, professional artist and Elementary Art Coordinator and Teacher at Australian International School, to find out how parents can bring the joys of art class home for their kids, and we’re loving the creative ideas and tips he’s shared with us, mamas!
First off, if you’re wondering, Why should I encourage my child to make art? Let us count the ways! Making art builds children’s self-esteem, as it helps them express their thoughts and feelings. It also gives them the autonomy to decide which media and colours they’d like to use. Research has also found that, through the exploration of materials, kids build knowledge of objects in the world around them.
Theo recommends setting up an “art corner” at home to help keep the creative juices flowing. He’s developed a handy “Art Recipe for Creativity” that mixes subject matter (“People”, “Places and Spaces”, “Events”, and “Imagination”) and media forms; it’s fantastic for generating endless project ideas when your brain’s running on empty (or is that just us?).
Kiddos (and parents!) can match up the two groups to create any number of projects – see where your imagination takes you! As kids grow older, you can even build on to the recipe with more complex media (e.g. 3D sculpture) and subject matter:
If you’re looking to pick up the items on Theo’s list, check out our downloadable art supplies shopping list here. Art Friend is a great spot with multiple locations, and Spotlight is also good for your arts ‘n’ crafts. A few great online shops include Tinkle Arts ‘n’ Crafts and SG Art Supplies; both deliver to your doorstep within 2-3 days. IKEA and Daiso can also be good for cheap basics.
In addition to making art, Theo suggests asking your child’s teacher if you can participate in their class’s museum field trips and classroom art activities. Even better, explore art together with your child on a family outing to a museum or art galleries. The Singapore Art Museum holds weekly workshops for 4-to-6-year-olds, 7-to-12-year-olds, and 13-to-18-year-olds with all sorts of fab hands-on projects.
As parents it’s our job to model for the kids and make art a part of daily life. For example, draw the grocery list for the week, rather than writing it out. As Theo says,
“Art needs to become a part of a child’s life. In our digital age and with such attention placed on other subjects, art has really taken a backseat. It is so important for parents to encourage creativity and art in their child’s life!”
Thanks so much Theo!
About the artist: Theo Mandziy has been a Visual Arts educator for the past 20 years, spending 18 years educating students at the Australian International School, and has trained in painting, printmaking and sculpture. Theo is also a practicing artist and painter who has conducted many successful exhibitions in Australia, Asia and Europe. His solo exhibitions in Singapore have featured at the Australian High Commission, Ministry of the Arts and ReDot Gallery.
Meet Theo and find out more about Visual Arts at the Australian International School at the next Open House, Wednesday 15thApril register here.
Australian International School
1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556818
Tel: (+65) 6883 5155