I can already hear you saying, “But I don’t have an artistic bone in my body.” No problem. Children absolutely love to explore with art materials whether or not they complete a finished product. Just provide some supplies and turn them loose. The result will be the sheer joy of creativity.
To begin, we grandparents need to build a supply of arts and crafts items and keep them handy for the times the grandkids come to visit. In general, you’ll want to have a supply of writing utensils and plenty of paper. See the list below for a well-stocked art station.
Free Exploration: It is calming and healthy for children to merely explore with artistic endeavors. They may enjoy creating with clay or play dough. They may love to see paint go on paper, or use markers to create bright patterns. The joy is in the process and not focused on completing a finished product.
Kids love to create around the themes of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other holidays. The characters or topics are familiar and well-loved and because families enjoy these special times, children love to create items related to them.
Holiday art can be free exploration or the projects can be specific with an expected outcome. Be sure to display these treasures for all to enjoy. Children love to see their work on refrigerator doors and walls.
Extending a Story
When you and your grandchildren find stories that capture their imaginations, especially when the characters are lovable, you might suggest creating an art extension. “Let’s make a picture about this story,” or “I wonder if we can do a three dimensional scene of Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ House?” Children will often get very excited about relating to a favorite story in this fashion. Allow them to come up with the ideas and ways to express their enjoyment of the story.
Creation of Gifts for Others
Children love to make cards, pictures and other artistic treasures to give as gifts to the ones they love. They’ll respond to your invitation to make cards for birthdays, pictures for Grandpa to celebrate his latest fishing trip, and for their own peers on special occasions. Just make the suggestion, supply some materials and let the creativity begin.
Showcasing What They’ve Learned
Sometimes it’s appropriate for children to create a display on a certain topic of study or interest. Maybe your grandchild has learned a lot about local birds or has gathered a collection of shells from the beach. Putting these objects and information into a poster-like display is a meaningful way to share the new knowledge gained.
Once you’re aware of the learning and enjoyment potential of arts and crafts projects, you’ll want to offer them on a regular basis when the grandkids come to visit. For ideas to get you started see the following arts and crafts websites.
Arts and Crafts Supplies
all kinds of paper
paper towel and tp rolls
glue or glue sticks
stapler and staples
paints and brushes
yarn or ribbon