Add a Creative Space for your Family

Artistic efforts by children have been shown to improve their reading and math skills as well as their scores on achievement tests later in life such as SAT’s and ACT’s. Unfortunately, limited budgets have trimmed art budgets for many school-age children, but you have a chance to create opportunities for art in your home.

A dining room can become a temporary art studio with the right supplies. If you’re concerned about spills, stick to crayons or colored pencils like the family in the photo above. Some colored pencils have watercolor capability – dip them in water to create art that’s more like painting but with less chance for a mess.

If your dining room table may be damaged by your art plans, invest in an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth or head to your nearest fabric store for a length of oilcloth to cover the table. Either can be cleaned easily with a sponge.

For younger children, look for a corner of the family room or dinette with enough space to set a child’s table and chairs. Set up a shelf nearby with a collection of paper and art supplies. This proportional work space can invite children to bring art into their everyday lives.

To encourage your children to experiment with art, have a place for hanging their finished work. The most common option is the refrigerator, but you may want to hang a cork board as a changing display of current projects. Another option is demonstrated by the photo above. A simple line hung along a hall or family room with clips to hold the pictures allows you to showcase the family art.

Providing an opportunity to experience art in your home can help your child develop, but it is also a great way to get the whole family involved in a fun activity.