Creative Arts – More Must Haves Under The Tree

In last week’s article I spoke of clay products seen at Wal-Mart, Toys-r-us, Target and other places, that sell children’s toys. It is enough to say that clay dough is one of the “must haves under the tree” for children. You now know and hopefully have planned for dough, books, and puzzles to have a place under the Christmas tree. The last “must have” is creative arts.

Creative arts come in many forms, but all share a common theme. Each one allows the child to use a medium to create an art form. These can be very simple, such as coloring books and crayons. Coloring books come in many varieties. Color by numbers, water color books, and even a 3D coloring book. 3D coloring allows a child to see the magic of coloring, by putting on 3D glasses while coloring, or after the picture is finished. It is spectacular and very magical.

There are crayons and colors of many varieties. Remember, the young ones need non-toxic, as they tend to put them in their mouths. Color markers come in scented form, as well as glittery and neon, to name a few. Paints come in powder form, to be mixed as needed, small containers or tubes. Acrylic tubes offer the most colors for multi-projects. Don’t forget the paper. Construction paper, drawing paper or plain typing paper, offer good sources for beautiful art work. Throw in a pair of scissors for cutting, ruler and pencil for drawing and you will be surprised at the outcome.

A box or bag of recycled things also make for creative art. My granddaughter collects all kinds of things to aid in her creations. They turn out to be very crafty and beautiful, making all proud. Cotton balls, cue-tips, buttons, lace and fabric scraps, bottle caps, rocks…you name it and it will work!

Remember to encourage art work to be the work of the child. Praise the work as though it is a Picasso original. Art work should follow no pattern, other than that in the child’s mind. In every child, there is an artist… it is the adults in the child’s life that halt the creativity in the child, making the child feel their creation is not as good as, or like someone else’s work.

I hope your Christmas tree will have the “must haves” under the tree this year and every year, for all ages of children. When children tire of other toys, these are the ones they love. Oh, and for Grandmas and grandpas, a box of these should be ever ready for those precious children’s visits. These always stay in my closet!

Source: Linda G. Swann, M.S. Early Childhood / SPED