8 Ways to Inspire Creativity and a Love of Art in Kindergarten

6 min to read
Two students working on creative work projects

Art and creativity play a pivotal role in our lives. Whether it’s the movies we watch, the activities we do for fun, or the subjects we are learning in school, art is all around us. And more so, the benefits of art for kids are innumerable. Read on to learn more about how to teach online art for kids in kindergarten and early elementary school and encourage your child to develop their own style of creativity. 

Why is Art Important for Kids?

Art is invaluable to young students and their developing mind, especially during their early development (approximately ages 3-8). The practice of creating art, especially in these early years, helps children develop numerous life skills that will benefit them for years and years to come. 

Whether it’s through creating, observing, or experiencing, the importance of art in child development cannot be overstated. 

Benefits of Art for Kids in Early Elementary School

Some of the proven developmental benefits of art for kids include: 

  • Encouraging creativity
  • Developing a stronger sense of self 
  • Assisting physical and kinesthetic development (fine motor skills)
  • Recognition of likes and dislikes, as well as notable skills and abilities 
  • Offering an outlet for self-expression
  • Opportunity for development of key cognitive skills
  • Encouraging the development of neural connections

Types of Art for Kids

The word “art” can conjure up many different images and meanings, but the reality is, there are generally three types of art: visual arts (such as photography, painting, drawing, and filmmaking), performing arts (such as singing, acting, dancing, music, performing) and applied arts (such as pottery, sculpture, design, creative writing, and more).

So, there are a number of different types and expressions of art that your student can explore. 

8 Art Projects to Do with Your Elementary Student

Looking for a place to get your kids started engaging with art? Check out these suggestions for art projects that kids can do at home (for fun or to supplement an online learning curriculum) to cultivate creativity, including some fun art games for kids online.

1. Draw a scene from their favorite book or movie

A great way for kindergarten artists to start exploring their creativity is by drawing. If you are reading a book for storytime with your kindergartener, challenge them to visualize and draw out their version of a recent chapter. You can also do the same thing with a recent movie or show that they have watched. 

Better yet, buy them their own special sketchpad and colored pencils and encourage them to keep it with them, and draw whenever they feel like it! 

2. Take music, voice, or dance lessons

There are more options than ever for taking online or in-person art classes, even just for fun! This can be especially helpful for introducing a child to the performing arts. Whether it’s learning to sing, play a musical instrument, or a style of dance, there are many offerings of online art classes for kids that focus on these mediums – and they can all be done from your own living room! 

3. Explore sculpture with modeling clay

Another fun artistic medium for kindergarten students to explore is sculpture. And there are so many fun ways to do this! Pick up some modeling clay at your local arts supplies store and give your child some free time to create. 

4. Introduce watercolors and painting

Painting is an easy, fun, and aesthetically gratifying way for your kindergartener to explore colors, mixing, textures, and other elements of the visual arts. From watercolor flowers to dot art to faux stained glass, there are so many different projects for your child to explore. If you want to give them a better starting point (and some painting techniques), consider seeking out an online art class for kids for painting or watercolor. 

5. Use household items to create crafts

Regular household items such as paper towels, toilet paper rolls, and paper bags can be colored, painted, and glued together to create all sorts of unique sculptures and designs. Coffee filters are also a great item to use to inspire creativity – try making a coffee filter rainbow or coffee filter butterfly

6. Tie-dye shirts together

What better way to explore fashion, design, and creativity than by tie-dying shirts together? Purchase a tie-dye kit from your local craft store and a few white tee shirts. Let your child explore their inner fashion designer and create their very own wearable art.

7. Put on a play

Encourage your child to step into the role of “director” or “actor” by putting on their own original play. Even performing a song from one of their favorite movies or musicals could also help them explore the performing arts – by putting them center stage!

8. Go to a ceramic shop together and create your own pottery

Seek out a local pottery and ceramic studio near you and introduce your child to the applied art medium of pottery. These shops are so easy to find these days and can offer a fun “field trip” that you and your kindergartener can do together to create or paint your own pottery. 

How to Inspire Creativity in Children

So, how can you help inspire creativity and motivate your child to engage in artistic projects like the ones mentioned above without forcing them into it (or worse, taking over their project)? 

According to researcher Mitch Resnick, the Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT, the best way to do this is by cultivating a “fertile environment in which their creativity will take root, grow and flourish,” rather than “teaching” a child how to be creative. Since creativity is innately unique and personalized, your outlook on creativity and art may vary quite a lot from your child’s preferred way of creating – which is why it’s important to cultivate rather than teach.

Some of the ways that Resnick suggests that parents and teachers can help inspire creativity include:

  • Showing examples of art to spark ideas
  • Encouraging playtime, being silly, and “messing around”  
  • Providing a wide variety of materials, mediums, and tools
  • Emphasizing process, not product 

With these tips and ideas for fun artistic projects, you’ll be able to help your child embark on a lifelong journey of creativity and appreciation of art. Learn other ways to encourage your child’s natural sense of curiosity in this article, 5 Strategies to Inspire Curiosity in Students

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