While most people would agree that art appreciation is important, it certainly isn’t something that everyone is born with. That’s why it’s never too early to start teaching kids about art. Though a day at the museum might not be their idea of fun, these tips will help foster an interest in art that will grow throughout their lifetime:
Look for art in everyday life.
Kids are most interested in things that they can relate to their own life. Art can be found anywhere you look, so think of connections that will be easy for kids to understand. The next time you have tomato soup, talk to them about Andy Warhol. Point out the folds in their blanket and relate them to the folds in the drapery of a statue. Art history is important, but it’s more important to look for beauty and order in simple things. When children can begin to see how art surrounds them, they’ll have a deeper understanding of its value.
Visit museums regularly.
The best way to give kids an understanding of the art world is to take them to a museum. Talk to them about the way works are arranged and how they relate to each other. And make sure you ask questions too. What do they think of certain works of art? Can they see how they’re similar to or different from other pieces? Also, be sure to discuss proper museum etiquette. A Donald Judd sculpture might look like intriguing playground equipment, but that doesn’t mean that you should touch it.
Have plenty of supplies on hand so that when your kids are suddenly inspired by Jackson Pollock, they can go crazy with the splatter painting. If they’re really into playing artist, encourage them to create mini-exhibitions with a theme. Even if your kids never pick up another paint brush after age 5, this kind of project develops awesome creativity and critical thinking skills.