Being a parent of two children ages 5 and 8, I have a firsthand experience with children's art. While I don't consider myself an artistic person, I am very creative. I'll stand tall on my soap box and claim that fostering creativity in today's children is very important, and we can do that through art. Children today are given too much structured play and activities, and not given the room to be creative. I stopped buying my kids coloring books because they would rather have blank paper to create their own work. We go through reams of paper, but I feel it's a great investment in them. I always have a variety of craft supplies on hand so that creative art projects can be done at a moment's notice. I found that big newspaper roll ends can cover a large area of floor and we can create a city with roads, buildings and such. My husband built a huge sandbox for our kids, and I save containers and random tools for the kids to create new things every day. Boxes are a favorite toy in our house. My kids will fight over a big box, making it into a car, airplane, house or fort. Small boxes are used to store "treasures" or build leprechaun traps. Camping trips are made into adventures where we find leaves and flowers to put on a sticky paper to create a nature art piece. I don't want my kids to lose that sense of creativity. I hope that they will look at the world and it's possibilities.
I truly believe that art can build strong creative thinkers. We need to bring up a new generation of people who think outside the box. In our depressed economy today, we need people who will look at things differently and bring new ideas. It will be the creative entrepreneurs that will rebuild our economy with a fresh outlook.
My kids like to do some of the art projects on Noggin's website. While looking for more information I found a fun website that displays children's art. And Kinderart had great art and craft ideas for children that I will have to try sometime. One of the women on the Kinderart site had a great quote. Jantje said, "Let children try. Let children fail. Let children succeed. Give them the freedom and they will create."