So you want to do an art activity with your child, but have no art experience. You feel inadequate. How can you possible teach your child about something you don’t feel comfortable with?
Not a problem. You can do this simple art activity. All you have to do is find some art work for your child to view. Simple enough. There is art on the internet, at the library, at the book store, etc.
The age of your child does not matter either. You can modify and make the activity as complicated as you wish.
So, what is the activity? I am almost embarassed to say, because it is so simple. The activity is to ask your child to tell you a story about the art work they are viewing. You could say your child is creating an “art story”.
A small child could verbally tell you a few lines about a particular art piece they are looking at. An older child could do this activity as a written assignment actually writing a short story or essay about the art.
The purpose of the assignment is to get the child to learn how to perceive art. The child will learn to notice details, to look into the work with a purpose. The child can try to relate to the artist.
Creating an art story can also give the child a chance to use their imagination. Your child can make up anything they want to say about the art work. Your job as the parent is to listen and if you wish to keep a record of what your child says.
For example, let’s say your child is looking at the colored pencil drawing above. An older child might say something like this:
A young family with two small children live in this house in a quiet tree-lined neighborhood in New Orleans. The children often sit on the doorstep waiting for their father to come home from work. As they wait their mother trims and waters the nearby flowers.
This ornate door is shut to the outside world with the curtains drawn. Why? Because the family just got news that there has been a death in the family. The family is new to the area and mourns in seclusion. No one knows their pain.
A younger child might say:
A little girl named Sarah lives in this house with her kitten.
Another option is to make up a story as a team. If you have children of all ages, you could let one child build the story on what each one says. So, you could verbally create a story with each child adding their own twist or turn to the imaginary tale. You, the parent, can also participate. So, take a little time to find some art, look at the art with your child, and see what interesting stories evolve.