The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Encouraging your child’s inner artist

School is almost out and, if you are anything like me, you might be wondering what in the world you are going to do with your kids all day.

Every summer, I stock up on art supplies to keep little hands busy and to encourage the inner artist in my children. One of the benefits of fostering your child’s inner artist is that there are no rules. They can think outside the box and color outside the lines without any limits. They can create a snowman wearing a swimsuit or draw a flying cat, allowing their imaginations a place to play. Art also gives children a way to make sense of the world and express their fears, anxieties, curiosities, and hopes.


There are several ways encourage your child’s inner artist. One is to provide the tools needed to do so. At our house we have a small table setup right next to our “art center” (aka a portable plastic 3-drawer organizer). It is filled with wonder-filled tools like crayons, markers, scissors, glue, watercolors, construction paper, coloring books, chalk, stamps with ink, and Play-dough with cookie cutters. All of the art supplies are kid-friendly (ie washable) so that they don’t have to ask permission to get into them. My daughter, who is eight,  has a more “advanced art center” in a canvas bag in her bedroom closet with beads, thread, a crochet kit, etc.


One of my kids’ favorite tools are Window Crayons from Crayola.  They feel kinda sneaky being able to draw on the windows.


Another great way to encourage your child’s inner artist is to have a standing art easel (the one shown here is from Ikea for $15).  Children can use a whiteboard or chalkboard to draw or write at their leisure.


To get your child excited about art, they can start by decorating their own art smock with puff paints and a mini-apron (found at most craft stores).


You can also allow your child to explore the fun of photography by giving him/her disposable cameras to take on vacations, trips to the park or nature hikes.  Doing so will, literally, give you a glimpse of the way they see the world.  They can then create their own simple scrapbooks with the photos they’ve taken.


Encouraging your child’s inner artist doesn’t have to cost a lot either. You can gather random items around the house (empty toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, milk jugs, etc.) for your children to create artistic masterpieces.

So before you start panicking about what to do with your children this summer, remember that encouraging your child’s inner artist is beneficial to them and just might buy you a few minutes to create your own artistic masterpieces (or just get in a shower-ha!)


P.S.  In June, I’ll be discussing creative ways to showcase and store your children’s artwork.  So stay tuned!

About Kelli

Kelli France is a busy woman! Her degree in Elementary Education comes into play as a mother of three, children's photographer, and online mentor to photographers. She loves what she does because it gives her a creative outlet. Kelli also likes to read (including lots of parenting books!), rock her aerobics class, and enjoy weekly date nights (for her personal sanity) with her husband. She currently resides in Colorado Springs.

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  • kirwin @ Graceful Creative

    I’m a big believer in time for kid’s open-ended creativity. We have a small cupboard, that holds all of the kids’ art supplies. They can grab anything they need.

    One idea that works well for smocks, is a man’s buttondown l/s shirt (one that dad doesn’t wear anymore.) You can cut the sleeves, and the shirt will protect the child’s entire outfit. Plus, the kids like wearing Daddy’s old shirt. I used to keep a bunch of these in my classroom, back in my teaching days.

  • Marci@OvercomingBusy

    At our house, I set up an area in the unfinished basement near the lookout windows with a easy to clean rug, old bookcases, my hubbys old drafting table, an easel, a small table and lots of art supplies. They are free to be creative and messy!

  • sharon

    great post! here are my kids creating – we do a lot of it at our house:)