So you might be thinking ‘how can I help my kids during this worldwide pandemic’? The first most important advice we would give to you is firstly, don’t panic! The possible fear that your kids see in you, will end up being reflected in them and this is what you want to avoid. As your kids are growing up, they are very easily influenced by everything you do and how you act. We don’t want to worry you, just to emphasize the importance of staying positive, not only for yourself, but for your kids and your whole family! Yes, it’s true that this Corona virus has affected all of us and most of us have never experienced anything like it so it may be difficult to adjust to life at home. However, there’s plenty of family fun for all of you to enjoy to take advantage of this free time- this will all be over before you know it, so concentrate on having quality time with each other!
Face painting to lift your kid’s mood
Don’t kids just love getting messy!? Face painting is a simple yet really fun activity for children. The safest way is the best way of course and we have written a blog about how you can make your own face paint without harsh chemicals that can have bad side effects for your children when they get older.
Another activity you can combine with face painting is storytelling. You and your kids can create a story together, for example a story about animals, and then create a lion face painting on your kid, a tiger face painting on yourself and other animals on other family members in the house. You can all act like the animals that you have painted on your face and create a very imaginative story which is great for the development of children as they have to use their minds more and express themselves.
Making art using paint in your child’s daily routine
Creating textures with paint:
Of course, the ordinary way kids usually paint is using a paintbrush. However, we are sure you can find lots of products around the home that maybe you don’t have a use for anymore that can be used to creating paintings. One example is using a sponge and cutting it into different shapes and sizes to be able to dip it in paint and create stamps on some paper or card. The texture that the sponge creates will make quite interesting textures and patterns.
Find any disposable objects around the house that you can use to make prints like plastic forks, straws, Q-tips etc. For example, if you have some bubble wrap, your child can paint a layer of paint on the bubble wrap and press it against some card to create little circles or bubble shapes.
Painting with a guide:
One great way to practise painting is if your kids have a guide to draw on. For example, you can buy a colouring book that has black outlines of different objects and shapes that your kids can fill in with paint. If you don’t have a colouring book, you can draw something for your child in black pen- so for instance you can draw the outline of a large flower and your child can fill the insides with different coloured paint- one colour to fill the petals, another for the stem and so on. They will practise using a steady hand and since they have to concentrate keeping inside the lines, they focus more to colour it neatly and improve their artistic skills. This way of painting will help your child no matter what age they are. Of course, if your child is a lot older, they can paint more intricate complicated objects/outlines, with a lot more detail.
Painting in nature:
If you have a garden in your house, that would be perfect! You can find tons of things in your garden with beautiful textures such as twigs, leaves, stones etc. Send your kids on an adventure, picking up what they can find! Of course, make sure they don’t start picking flowers from the stems, if you have them in your garden. Kids of all ages generally love to be in nature and this is a great thing as it takes them away from the daily uses of technology. They can do anything in nature! You can set up a playing mat for babies in the garden and let them explore, while painting at the same time. If your child is older, like around age 6 and above, they can wander around the garden and look for objects to paint, or be inspired by it them. Another fun thing to do is find items around the garden such as conkers, stones or pinecones and get your kids to paint different colours on the items, wait for them to dry and keep them as a decoration in their bedroom or putting it in a box of collectables that they can keep for memories as they get older. As always, remind your kids to wash their hands when they finish as there are germs outside. If you want more ideas, have a look at this blog!
Painting with the body:
Very quick easy way to paint and extremely fun for babies and toddlers but your older kids can also enjoy it! All you need to use are your fingers, toes, hands or feet. It’s another way to get messy and entertain yourselves. Your kids can dip their fingers in the paint and create fun patterns on a piece of paper, or they can brush their whole hand or foot (the palms only) and press against the paper to create their own handprint or footprint.
This will be a beautiful memory to look back on when they get older, and can be interesting and nostalgic to see how much they’ve grown up!
Drawing tips & ideas to help develop your children’s skills
Drawing through storytelling:
Reading is one of the best things for the child development as they can be inspired and broaden their knowledge as well as stimulating their creativity and imagination. It can make them independent as they become able to read by themselves and gives them some alone time to relax and enter a world of their own! Combined with drawing, reading stories and storytelling can be a very exciting activity for kids from around age 6 to 9. Rob Biddulph is a well known author and illustrator of kid’s books such as ‘Kevin’ and ‘Odd Dog out’. He also has many videos on YouTube where he sometimes posts a drawing tutorial of characters from some of his books. You can watch them with your kids, whatever age they are and they can learn to draw fun characters!
Jon Burgerman is another example, similar to Rob Biddulph. He also has lots of videos with tutorials on ‘daily doodles’ and many other creating/drawing kid activities. He has a picture book called ‘SPLAT!’ and in this video, there is a very simple art activity that is related to the book which only needs a pen and paper!
Drawing with chalk:
Drawing with chalk is an exciting way to experiment, especially for a baby or a toddler since it is at this stage where they are beginning to be able to hold things. Of course they won’t be able to hold a pen or pencil very steady and also since they are thin and can be sharp, they can be dangerous for them to use. Chalks are big and chunky and can fit easily in their hand. They are also soft and colourful and keeps them occupied. You can set up some newspaper on a soft blanket or cushioned area on the floor for your crawling babies or toddlers to play around with paper and chalk.
Alternatively, they can just experiment on the newspapers and you can just watch them, supervise them and see how creative they can get. Another bonus to using chalk is that it’s not very messy and easier to clean than paint!
Getting to know all the senses is crucial in children’s development. They use the senses to explore the environment around them and they learn the best and retain the most information when they engage the senses in the activities they do. This is continued in their lives as they get older, all the way to their adult life. The more we use our senses, the more experiences and memories we create! One of the ways you can include this in your child’s activities is through art. Rather than drawing on plain paper, you can find things around the house with interesting textures that your child can draw on and feel with their hands at the same time. Materials like felt, corrugated cardboard, tissue paper, foil etc. are great to use with different art media like chalk, crayons, pastels, paint etc. This will create very interesting results and once your child is finished, you can frame their artwork and put it on their wall for you to admire and for them to see what they have accomplished!
We hope you found these tips helpful to get your kid to practise their drawing and painting skills and will keep you all occupied, while having fun being creative indoors at the same time!