Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Artistic Gene Carries On ...

Houston is a painting machine. This was his first painting experience and he absolutely loved it. I was amazed at his attention span with this project. He painted for a good thirty minutes before stopping to take a dip in the kiddie pool. He then went back to it several times for five or ten minutes at a time. I read the article "Small Hands, Big Art" in the july-august issue of Mothering Magazine while I was on my flight to Chicago last week that inspired me to start some art projects with Houston. We've done some pasting and drawing but until a couple of days ago he had yet to experience painting. I'm considering starting a toddler art class here once a week. Anyone interested? I'm thinking of putting together a calendar and planning what project will be done each week. That way moms can decide what they want to bring their kiddos to. The woman that wrote the article has a pretty good system going and it sounds like the moms and kids both have a good time. She has everyone bring a big t-shirt to use as an art smock and everyone donates a few dollars for supplies. She has an area set for them with a short table so they can stand while they paint/draw/paste/etc. She referenced a couple of books about kids and art that I want to pick up sometime soon too. One thing I found really interesting was her reference to these books of how kids are ready for art long before parents usually think they are and what art skills help develop different brain skills. Now I just need to find a long table with short legs. I've got the backyard space and the wash bin and chunky paint brushes and some paint to get us started. I went into a Joann's Etc while we were in Tampa and was in absolute heaven. I wish we had one of those stores here. You should have seen the children's craft section. I could have spent a fortune! I only bought a couple of items but I did get lots of project ideas from browsing around in there that I plan to put to use.

The books, in case you are interested, are:
Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art, by Susan Striker and First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos, by MaryAnn F. Kohl with Renee Ramsey and Dana Bowman

After painting and swimming we cooled off with some yummy cantelope from the garden.