Encouraging your child to do art is a great way to not only hone their creative skills but also fast-track their intellectual development; creativity, emotional development, and intelligence have a strong and well-known link that requires constant encouragement.
The best way to get your budding artist started is to get them the right tools, and the good news is, these are easy to find. Here are some common types of stationery you can give your child to bring out the Van Gogh in them.
Your child’s first artistic tools will be their bodies, from finger-painting all the way down to their feet. As much as possible, always (and I mean always) check with your pediatrician whether it’s ok for your child to start working with non-toxic and water-based paints, and always closely supervise your child when working with any kind of coloring materials.
That being said, once your child understands the concept of placing paint or color onto a surface, let them go wild! Stifling their art skills at this point can only do more harm than good, so just make sure you designate ‘areas’ in your house where it’s ok to draw on surfaces, and areas where it isn’t encouraged at all.
Stamp sets, whether they’re alphabet stamp sets or animal stamps, go a long way into training your child to see visual patterns, especially if you use colorful inks along the way. Stamp sets will encourage your child to fine-tune their painting/drawing skills so that they can attempt to create their own stamp designs.
It’s also a good way to teach kids about their basic alphabet or counting skills, as the visual and kinetic element of stamping out letters and numbers are an effective way to leave an indelible mark in your child’s development.
Pencils and Pens
Colorful pencils and even ink pens are a great way to get your kids started on their creative journey. After finger-painting and encouraging your child’s primal art skills, level them up with pencils and pens to transition them towards building their fine motor skills. As much as possible, get your child the right sized pens that are appropriate for their age.
Yes, those large, comically-sized pens you sometimes see in your pediatrician’s office actually do have a purpose, and that’s to train a child to slowly get the grasp of, well, grasping objects! As they get older, their pens get smaller and their motor skills get sharper, but it’s best to do this in a gradual process.
As soon as they’re able to master both their painting and sketching skills, reward them with a blank slate, literally: drawing pads allow your child to channel their inner artist more effectively, and it allows them to view their progress from day one onwards. It’s a good way for both you and your child to keep track of their artistic skills, not to mention a good way to get them from drawing on walls!
Buy blank, large drawing pads so that they have enough space to experiment with different art ‘styles’, but spice things up from time to time by getting different-sized pads just to encourage them to try out different ways of creating art.