You talk to your child, read to them, and go for long walks after preschool pickup. But what about art? If you don’t make art with your child, take a look at the benefits of painting, drawing, sculpting, collaging, and crafting together.
What did your child do at daycare or preschool? If your question gets absolutely no answer, art can help. Instead of a steady stream of questions or unanswered prompts, bring out pencils, crayons, markers, or tempera paints.
Sit down with your child and ask them to draw or paint what they did at school. If they’re still resistant, get more specific and work together to create:
- A daycare day collage. Page through child-friendly magazines as you look for pictures that describe your child’s day. Help your child to glue the pictures onto a piece of poster board.
- A favorite toy painting. Ask your child to choose a favorite toy or play object from their daycare day. Work together to paint a picture of it.
- A description drawing. Have your child describe a specific activity or part of their day as you draw it for them. Your child can then add extra details to the drawing.
Along with discussion starters, parent-child art activities can also provide easy alternatives to the screen at the end of the day. Read on for more information on art-making activities versus TV, tablet, or laptop time.
Your child made it through the entire day at preschool without a TV or smartphone app. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), preschoolers ages two through five should get no more than one hour of screen time per day. Instead of the screen-time, try some together-time.
Why are art activities better for your child than time spent on your smartphone or laptop? Parent-child art is:
- Hands-on. Screen-time is a passive activity. But whether you paint, draw, sculpt, or try another process, art is active. Hands-on activities engage your child’s mind and body. This helps to develop cognitive and physical skills such as critical thinking and eye-hand coordination.
- Imaginative. Create your own imaginary world — with your child.
- Explorative. Go on an artsy adventure with your child as you explore different processes.
Not only is art an alternative to the screen but, when done with a parent, it’s also a social activity. This means you get to spend quality time with your child after your work day and their school day is done.
After a long day of preschool fun, your child is ready to spend some time with mom, dad, or their other at-home caregiver. Parents spend more time on child care than in previous decades, according to the Pew Research Center. In 1965 mothers spent an average of 10 hours per week on child care. But in 2016 the total jumped to 14 hours a week. Likewise, dads also spend more time on child care tasks now.
If you, like many other moms and dads, wants to spend more time with your children, art is an easy way to bond. To turn your child’s after-school art activities into together or quality-time:
- Block out enough time. Choose an amount of time equal to the art activity you select. Messy activities (such as finger painting) may require more time.
- Turn off your phone. Give your child your full attention.
- Get collaborative. Create art together — as a team. This may include a collaborative mural or a painting you both contribute to.
Extend the art activity, and the time you spend together, with a post-process discussion. Talk about the collaborative activity, ask your child to talk about their art, and compare how art-making differs when you work with another person.
Art happens everywhere — at home and at school. Is your child ready to start preschool? Contact Advantage Learning Center for more information.