After my last post about tandem drawing with my son, I heard from several of you who also have kids who aren’t naturally drawn to art projects, or who even say they “hate” art, like my son has done in the past. It was good to know that I was not alone! Even though I did everything “right”, such as emphsizing process over product, asking questions instead of saying “good job!” and strewing the table with inspiration, my son just never took to art activities.
Knowing many of you were in the same boat, I decided to gather some of our past ideas, as well as ask some of my friends if they have any other ideas for kids such as ours. The result is this collection of art projects and activities is geared towards inspiring reluctant artists. It goes without saying that eager artists will also enjoy these projects.
I hope you try some of them and tell me how it goes!
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Ideas that have worked for us:
Get something delivered in the mail! My kids adore when something is delivered to them. Doodle Crate has a ton of discovery boxes which feature science and art projects.
My son really loves tracing his handprint and then coloring it in. He also loves when I trace his body on a large piece of paper. I think he likes the sensory component of feeling my hand drag along his outline.
Making giant comic strips — so big you need to roll out the paper on the floor!
Zentangle is an open ended art activity that my son has loved.
Mix engineering and make a draw bot! We made a draw bot from our beloved Tinker Crate. The kids could not get enough of this idea.
Try a drawing game with one of your child’s interests. On Instagram (find me here!) I shared how my son and I played a Star Wars drawing game. We took turns drawing Star Wars characters — one person started the drawing while the other would try to guess who it was before the drawing was finished.
Make an article of clothing! Every year we make a “summer of fun” t-shirt. This year, my little Star Wars fan loved drawing all his favorite characters so he could wear them.
Drawing with melted crayons. My son thought it was great fun to try and melt the entire crayon on a hot tray.
Try tandem drawing! I even have a video of how it works.
Sit down and start a conversation while you work on a coloring page. You may be surprised at what topics your child choses to talk about. I certainly was when my son and I worked on this campfire coloring page.
My older child has not been as resistant to art, but because he loves math so much, we have done a number of math art projects, which has been quite inspiring. Find our math art projects here.
Watch some of our favorite art projects in action:
Ideas from others:
I must try this runway active art project, my son loves ripping stuff up. Via Mama Smiles.
Disguise art as a science project with LEGO car art. Via STEAM powered family.
Try sculpture type art with leftover styrofoam and straws (or toothpicks). Via Fantastic Fun and Learning.
Teamwork Drawing Activity. Via My Mundane and Miraculous Life.
“Help! My Child Hates Art!” by Mini Monets and Mommies
Creative ways to engage with great works of art from Art Curator for Kids
How to talk to kids about their art via The Artful Parent
What kind of art projects do your children like to do?
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