Many parents are discouraged from encouraging arts creativity in their children because they feel limited by their minimal arts experience. Try some of these fun arts activities with your children to encourage their creative growth in art, music, and theater.
1. Have a puppet show.
Whether you choose to make your own puppets with brown paper bags and paper scraps, or buy theater puppets from the local toy store, engaging in a puppet show with your children will encourage them to develop their imaginations, learn about dialogue and verbal interplay, help them develop linear story narratives and perhaps even encourage music skills through improvisational songs. Work on writing skills with older children by encouraging them to write a screenplay, complete with foley sound effects and even a music soundtrack.
2. Have a variety of noisemakers and inexpensive instruments around the house.
When your children are young, be sure to have a box full of fun noisemakers and instruments, from hand made tambourines and shakers, to pots and pans with drumsticks, to inexpensive toy instruments from the store. For older children and teens, have a spare guitar, drum set, or keyboard around and encourage them to jam out to their favorite music tunes. Even the video game companies have realized the importance of music, play, and the imagination, with Wii’s new Wii Music, Guitar Hero, and even computer music programs like Mac’s Garage Band.
3. Visit the park with a set of watercolors and an art sketchbook.
Give your child an art sketchbook or journal and encourage them to paint nature, life situations, or anything in their imagination. Watercolor sets are inexpensive, very portable, washable, and lend themselves to easy renderings of nature. The art medium is very forgiving, and is not as frustrating for younger budding artists. Remember to encourage the art of your children, and do not be negative and critical of their art attempts. Leave the criticism to their high school and college art teachers down the road. Your job as a parent is just to encourage their creativity and provide them a safe place to develop their art.
4. Go to local music concerts, art shows, and theater plays with your children.
Nothing will encourage your children more to engage in the arts than seeing a live music performance, speak with an artist at art show opening, or watching an exciting theater play. Community arts groups often have events for little to no cost, and sometimes professional arts venues will have discounted or free tickets available for school children and teachers.
5. Play a large variety of music styles in the home.
Most children are only exposed to what is heard on the radio or internet, the music their friends listen to, and music in video games and television. While there is some music of merit in the mix of popular culture, most of popular music is intricately chained to the sale of products often unrelated entirely with the music artist. Play a music variety in your home and encourage your children to listen to world music, jazz,classical music (and more than just Beethoven and Mozart), musicals (besides High School Musical), folk music, avant-garde music, traditional music of different cultures (East Asia, Latin America, etc.), and local musicians that have not made the Top 40.