By Andrea Tomkins
I am a fan of purposely directionless art, and by “directionless,” I am referring to that random combination of kids, blank paper and pencils or crayons. It’s healthy for kids to go crazy and create things that aren’t based on someone else’s design (I’m thinking specifically about colouring books here), and I think just letting them draw and doodle and scribble whatever they want is a great way for kids to learn to be creative. That being said, it is interesting to give our little people a tiny bit of direction and see where it leads. Who knows, it may surprise you!
This week I asked my youngest to create a family portrait of our family using modelling clay. I love how it turned out and I had to share this simple idea with you.
What you’ll need:
Younger kids would probably find it fun to use Play Doh instead (and I bet the results would be hilarious), but older children might find it challenging to nail down some of the finer facial details like noses and eyebrows.
Directions are super simple: Make the body, head, arms and legs. Don’t forget the hair! Accessories are fun too. For some reason Sarah made me with a yellow hat. I still can’t figure out why. I see Daddy has a trucker hat. (No, he is not a trucker.)
You don’t need to restrict your projects to portraits. How about creating some imaginative monsters, fairy furniture, animals, flowers, or alien bugs? Anything goes here, but it’s smart to use the child’s interest as a starting point.
The next time your child asks what you can make together, you’ll have a fun assignment ready for them!
Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. She’s a freelance writer who is often found with camera in hand or scribbling madly in her notebook. She is passionate about arts and culture, travel and healthy living, and gets an extra big thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999.