Why Children Need Art – a Guest Post

There are many forms of art.

A guest post from Radical Grandparenting.

My friend Shelley became a grandparent a few years ago. If you know Shelley, you know she does things full force. As a mom, she entered into the world of her kids. As a grandma, she’s doing the same – entering in.

A few months ago she started a new blog: Radical Grandparenting. Then a few weeks ago she interviewed her artist-husband about the importance of art for children. Shelley and Phil have generously allowed me to share that post on this blog. Here it is.

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Why Children Need Art

Why Children Need Art: An interview with Phil Ramsey, artist of fine oil paintings and portraits.

WHY DO CHILDREN NEED ART?

Art expands each person’s visual comprehension to one degree or another. In other words, you can mentally translate what you see through creativity (whether it be through drawing, painting, dance, poetry, music, …) The arts exercise the right part of the brain and add an element of joy and interest to the life God gifted us with. Likewise, the arts force us to use and exercise our imagination.

HOW DO YOU INTRODUCE ART TO CHILDREN?

  • Get outside and observe nature then educate them about what they’re seeing. For example, dark to light contrast, colors, soft edges vs hard edges, forms as shadows shape them, what light does to an object, etc.
  • Invite them to translate what they’ve learned onto paper or canvas, with clay, in a journal, or using the many other arts.
  • Ask how did it make you feel when the sun came through the trees? Did it make you feel warm and happy? How can you express that?
  • Keep kids adequately supplied with real art supplies: paper, crayons, paint, pencils, charcoal, clay (and lots of paper towels!)
  • Make lessons and equipment a financial priority if children show interest in music, dance, etc.
  • Take field trips to visit art. Visit art museums, an artist in his studio, or the local art gallery.
  • Explain that “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) includes art. Acknowledge God by thanking Him that His creation is in color! Thank Him or the many variations in color, and that when we create, we’re imitating Him and His creativity!
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WHEN SHOULD YOU INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO ART?

Introduce children to art at a young age! Keep them off the computers when they’re little and let them use their hands, fingers, and body to feel and create. Buy chunky crayons and paper as soon as they’re able to hold them. Take walks outside and explain what they’re seeing and feeling to them.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

Engage in the arts with your children and grandchildren. Show up and participate. Celebrate God’s creation together.

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Phil has his own art business. To check out his abilities, go to www.philramsey.com.  Phil and Shelley lost a son nineteen years ago.  To follow her blog, Grace, Grief, and Gratitude, click here. For information about her book, Grief: a Mama’s Unwanted Journey, click here

 

 

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