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If you are reading this article, chances are you have a creative soul and love to let your imagination soar – because – why else would you be visiting a site aimed at crafts, hobbies and other such creative pursuits?You may well be talented and artistic however, have your children inherited this creativeness and resourcefulness? And if they haven’t – are there ways you can stimulate an interest in them? Here are a few tips as to what you can do…

Encourage your children to be creative by providing them with the time, resources and the space for making art. Try to set aside interruption-free time for drawing, in a mess-proof zone – so that their creativity can run wild. Ensure that you cover all surfaces so that any splashes of paint or scribbles of crayon are ‘caught’ – because nothing squishes creativity more so than a parent saying “Don’t make a mess” every 2 minutes.

It is also very important to choose the right drawing materials as well. Many craft materials can be improvised, but when drawing tools and paper are required, opt for a small selection of good quality age-appropriate products, rather than loads of inferior products. Be sure to check safety information and follow instructions. During any ‘art-time’ children should always be supervised because many necessary materials – such as crayons – pose a choking hazard.

Surroundings: As with writing or working at a computer, good posture and a comfortable position are important for drawing. A child-size table and chair is actually preferable to an easel. If the chair is a little high, provide a phone book for a footrest. A coffee table and an inexpensive plastic chair work well. A small kitchen storage trolley is a perfect solution for containing supplies, or if space does not allow, a portable fishing tackle or tool box is a good option too. Untidy toddlers may need a drop-cloth and supervision to avoid ink-stained walls, as even ‘washable’ pens often don’t deliver on that promise!

Art Materials: Avoid cheap markers, too-hard pencils and thin paints – these types of materials are discouraging to the child and therefore  a waste of money. Provide many sheets of blank paper to inspire their crativity and occasionally invest in a canvas so that your child can paint something and chances are you’ll want to hang it on your wall!Also provide coloring books or coloring pages – of which you’ll find plenty online. Granted – coloring pages are not so great for creativity, however they do provide children with the chance to practice their fine motor skills and sometimes it’s very relaxing and just what they need to simply color in without the ‘pressure’ of thinking about WHAT to draw.

For example little girls may enjoy coloring images of Barbie and at sites like Barbie Coloring Pages you’ll find the best Barbie party invites

When it comes to drawing and coloring, at each age/stage of your child’s life provide….

Toddlers

  • Child-safe markers and wipe-off boards
  • Chalk boards and safe chalk
  • Plain paper and coloring pages

Juniors

  • Sketchbook
  • Student colored pencils
  • Washable Markers
  • Oil pastels
  • Plain paper and coloring pages

Middle School

  • Sketchbook  or scrapbook
  • Graphite Pencils
  • Watercolor sketch paper
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Marker pens, marker paper
  • Plain paper and coloring pages

High School

  • Sketchbook  or scrapbook
  • Quality drawing papers and boards
  • Graphite Pencils
  • Artists’ quality colored pencils
  • Illustration markers, marker paper
  • Pastel paper and hard pastels if liked
  • Plain paper and canvases to work on

All ages

  • Safe sharpeners, erasers, dusters, stencils and rulers
  • A  folder for storing large pieces
  • Storage boxes for smaller pieces
  • Consider photographing or scanning pieces for a permanent record.

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