Do you take time every day to enjoy art with your family? If not, there are many reasons that you should! Exploring fine art, music, books, architecture and other forms of art promotes activity in the brain and builds self esteem, cooperation, problem solving and communication skills. By teaching your children about art from an early age, you open their minds and eyes to many different cultures and experiences, helping them make connections to the world all around them -- and you may even inspire a budding artist or designer in the process! Read on to discover seven ways to incorporate art into your family lifestyle, starting today.
1. Start a Family Book Club
Regardless of age, everyone in the family will enjoy and benefit from starting a family book club. Whether you read a book together aloud or read it separately and then meet each week and discuss the characters, landscape, plot or make predictions – your family will delight in this time together. Since the family will already be sitting down together for a meal at dinnertime, use this time to have your weekly book club meeting. This is perfect because your family is not only eating together, but discussing wonderful books at the same time.
2. Play I Spy (Art) Each Day
Whether you drive, bike or walk your child to school each day – use the time together to play an art version of I Spy. Playing this simple game, while using art and architecture as the focus, will have your child looking for and seeing art all around, regardless of where you are when you play. You can find art in nature, in the city, on the freeway, in the grass, or in the dirt. Making a game out of it, makes it fun to seek out and share this everyday brilliance together.
3. Add Art Time to Dinner Time
The next time that you serve dinner, spend the meal talking about the culture, language and history of the food that you are enjoying. For example, if you are serving Italian food for dinner, consider discussing the people, the language that they speak, where they are located and any other information that you find interesting to your family. This is a great way to add a little art history lesson to your daily routine.
4. Share a Random Act of Art Kindness
Everyone loves a surprise. Ask your child to create a small piece of artwork – a simple painting, clay or paper structure, or a miniature flower arrangement. Then, ask her to choose someone in her life to share a random act of art kindness with. Once she picks a person, place the surprise gift on that person’s desk or front door with a note that says, “You have been hit with a random act of art kindness, from your secret admirer.” This is great fun for children to leave as a surprise on Grandma’s bed, a teacher’s desk or a neighbor’s front door.
5. Dance with Your Children
Children love music and they love to move their bodies. Regardless of the type of music or dance that you enjoy, simply turn on the music and let yourselves go. If you and a child are especially interested in, or enjoy a specific type of dance, consider taking a dance class together or visiting a local theater to watch that type of dance being performed. This is a great way to bond with your child, sharing something that you both find special.
6. Take a Class Together
Taking an art class as a family is a fun way to learn a new art style together. My son and I have taken many art classes together over the years and it’s always something that we look forward to and still talk about to this day. One of our favorite classes was a pottery class. We learned how pottery clay is made, we learned different tools and techniques to use, we created pottery art, and then were able to take our pottery projects home after they were fired in the kiln. To this day, we look at the creations that we made and the conversation always begins, “Remember, when we took that pottery class? It was so much because…”
7. Turn a Museum Trip into a Scavenger Hunt
Many of your local museums will have everything that you need to turn your museum visit into a scavenger hunt for the children. This is a great way to introduce your children to museum art, with the added fun of a game. If your museum doesn’t offer a scavenger hunt, consider making one yourself. Visit the museum’s website to find out what exhibits are on display. Then give each child a notebook with the clues that your child will have to follow to find the correct exhibit. Remind them to keep track of the exhibits that you visited and encourage them to sketch pictures of what they saw.
How do you incorporate art into your family’s daily lifestyle?