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How Do I Engage My Child In Art Class

It may be difficult for those with no artistic experience to engage their children in art classes and make each experience meaningful. No matter what your background is, there are several simple steps you can take to ensure that your child is getting the most out of every art session. This article outlines 13 steps that can help you and your child get the most out of art class.

1. Encourage them to explore

It is imperative that parents and carers encourage their child to explore different possibilities in art. This can range from using certain materials, to manipulating their pieces and progressing onto more advanced elements of art.

Encouraging their child to explore different methods of art allows him or her to gain a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the art form. To begin with, it is good to provide the children with a wide range of materials to explore with. This can unveil hidden creative talents and inspire children in all forms of art.

For example, providing a variety of drawing materials such as pastels and oil pencils, as well as painting materials such as acrylic and watercolour, can help children explore different mediums. It is also worthwhile to provide various paper surfaces including parchment, card, and paper, as well as different techniques such as texturing and glazing.

With enough exploration, children can discover their individual creative identities and apply them to their artwork. It is also beneficial to allow the children to manipulate their artwork without fear of criticism. This tactic can provide an unparalleled level of creative response and understanding that would otherwise not be developed.

Such activity is particularly effective when parents are present and interacting with their child during the process. With guidance and encouragement, children can feel safe in expressing themselves and exploring different possibilities.

2. Provide freedom

It is important to provide the children with a sufficient amount of freedom while participating in art class. If there is too much structure, then the children will feel restricted and will, in turn, limit the possibilities of artwork.

When parents and carers give their children enough creative freedom to explore and create, it can foster an environment conducive to learning and self-expression. Firstly, it is important to avoid over-guiding and providing too many instructions to the children. Doing so can limit their creative output as they will become reliant on your instructions and thus, rely less on their own cognitive processes.

Parents should embrace their children’s interpretation of an assignment or project instead of expecting them to produce something that is entirely their own. Secondly, it is beneficial to provide the children with sufficient time to explore, create and process the art. If directions and instructions are rushed, this can emphasise the idea that the class is more structured than creative.

Moreover, giving children ample time to focus on and reflect upon their artwork can encourage positive growth in the class environment.

3. Model and encourage curiosity

As a parent or carer, it is important to model and promote curiosity within the environment of art. Curiosity helps ignite the children’s natural sense of exploration, and can lead to more in-depth thinking and personal reflection.

To best model and promote curiosity, parents should come to art class with an open and accepting attitude and be willing to accept different interpretations and conclusions. When in art class, parents or carers should discuss their own personal interpretations of the artwork with their child. They should also encourage questions about the artwork and be open-minded to the answers and thoughts of their child.

These conversations will help the children to gain a better understanding of the art and to appreciate different interpretations. Engaging in conversations about the artwork will also help children to develop their critical-thinking skills and their ability to observe, analyse and evaluate. Parents should make sure to listen to the answers of their children and not simply provide the answers themselves.

It is also beneficial to introduce additional research materials, such as books and articles related to the artwork that they can review together.

4. Allow opportunities to fail

Allowing a child to experience failure within art is necessary for both the creative and cognitive development of the individual. When mistakes are made, understanding and reflecting on the mistakes is essential for learning and progressing.

When mistakes are made in art class, it is important to have a positive attitude and to empathise with your child. The mistakes should be seen as a part of the learning process instead of an issue to be done away with. It is also beneficial to provide the children with strategies they can use to make better decisions and improve on their artwork.

It is also important to ensure the balance between acknowledging mistakes and providing constructive criticism. The emphasis should be on problem-solving, as opposed to focusing on the mistake itself. When mistakes are highlighted, ensure your child feels that a solution is available and that his or her efforts are still being acknowledged.

5. Introduce new materials and techniques

Introducing new materials and techniques to the children encourages them to explore further and to develop their creative techniques. For example, introducing the children in the class to innovative tools for creating art can provide them with a greater sense of mastery and understanding of the subject itself. It is also recommended to discuss with them ways of adapting different techniques and materials in art, such as mixing paints or building a 3-dimensional sculpture.

It is important to provide the children with both the necessary material and with the appropriate guidance to execute a new technique. Parents and carers should also be conscious of their children’s skill sets and capabilities and introduce appropriate materials and techniques that suit their individual capabilities.

Furthermore, introducing new materials and techniques can serve to expand children’s understanding beyond traditional methods. This helps children create artwork that is more interpretive and expressive, and helps them develop their craft. Introducing the children to materials and techniques that are more advanced can also help prepare them for higher levels of art, such as examinations and competitions.

6. Provide positive reinforcement

Offering positive reinforcement is a key strategy for motivating a child in art class. It is important to provide both verbal and visual acknowledgement for the accomplishments of the children. Parents should provide their children with remarks that focus on their efforts and not the outcome of their artwork.

Compliment the children’s desire to extend themselves and the effort that they have put into their projects. Positive reinforcement can also be provided through providing visual tools, such as photographs and illustrations, which illustrate the steps in artwork.

This can help children to visualise and understand the process better, and can provide them with a tangible form of recognition. Furthermore, providing visual tools also helps to increase motivation and engagement, as children can see and understand the work they have done in an organised manner.

Parents should also make sure to give children the opportunity to showcase their artwork in an environment that is comfortable and safe. Presenting their artwork in a stage outside of the class, such as a family gathering or a school exhibition, is beneficial for connecting the child’s achievements with a larger social context.

7. Promote creativity

Encouraging creativity is an important factor in developing a child’s artistic skills and expression. In order to best promote creativity in the classroom, parents and carers should begin by providing the children with a nurturing environment. Parents should be understanding of the various interpretations and conclusions the children may have.

Laying out specific tasks for the children to complete can also help promote creativity within the art classroom. For example, you can ask children to create a visual representation of a certain concept or idea.

Doing so sets the stage for creative exploration, as children feel free enough to play with ideas and concepts. Parents should also make sure to allow enough time for the children to explore different possibilities. Parents should also encourage children to take risks and try new approaches to artwork.

Open-ended projects that allow the children to interpret their own assignments are particularly beneficial for creativity. This can help children break away from traditional art forms and explore new possibilities and avenues of expression.

8. Promote self-expression

In the art classroom, it is important to focus on self-expression, rather than on skill. This emphasises the message to the children that critical thinking and personal expression are more important than creating a properly-rendered masterpiece. Art is a form of communication, and as such, should be used to convey something meaningful to the child.

To best promote self-expression, parents should provide their children with enough creative freedom. This enables the children to explore their own comfort zone and develop an understanding of their own style.

Parents should be encouraging and provide the children with enough guidance and direction to help them reach the desired outcome. Parents should also expose their children to artwork of professionals and examine their interpretations.

Discussing how the artwork expresses certain emotions or ideas can be beneficial in helping the children craft their own messages. This activity is important for helping the children to understand the concept of self-expression more clearly.

9. Foster group dynamics

In art classes, it is important to foster group dynamics and provide a platform for social interaction within the class. This will help the children to develop better communication and collaboration, and also help cultivate understanding and respect for one another.

Additionally, in fostering group dynamics, it is beneficial to encourage children to work in pairs or groups. This can help to increase the amount of visual stimulation and provide more opportunities for the children to ask questions and express themselves. Furthermore, when working in pairs or groups, the children are more likely to take risks and push boundaries, as they feel a sense of security in being with their peers.

In addition, it is important to ensure that the group dynamics are comfortable and accepting. Parents should be attentive to any issues of bullying or favouritism. This ensures children can feel safe and secure in their learning environment and can focus on expressing themselves without fear of judgement or exclusion.

10. Establish clear goals

Parents should establish clear goals and objectives with their children to ensure their development in art is progressing. This will give the children an understanding of what is expected of them, and encourage them to focus their efforts when participating in art class.

When establishing goals, it is important to consider age-appropriate targets. Children may not be ready for examination or competition level artwork, so it is important to focus on the Big Picture and establish achievable goals for the individual. Parents should also make sure to provide frequent feedback on their child’s progress and to adjust the goals accordingly.

Finally, it is important to be patient and encouraging when tackling tough goals. Children should be encouraged to take appropriate risks and to focus their efforts on the current project. Prolonging the task and trying to complete it all at once can result in disappointment, as the overall goal may be too far out of reach.

11. Provide art-based activities

In addition to standard art class instruction, it is important to provide the children with art-based activities outside of the classroom to better nurture their growth and development. This can range from visits to museums, galleries and other exhibitions, to activities such as building a project or sketching outdoors.

Visits to galleries and exhibitions can provide children with plenty of visual stimulation and give them ample opportunity to discuss and evaluate artwork. Artie activities also provide the children with an opportunity to practice their skills outside of the classroom, and can potentially motivate them to achieve more with their artwork. It is also important to take the children’s age into account when organising creative outings and activities.

Younger children may be more interested in activities such as group-dynamic games or painting outdoors, whilst older children may prefer to visit galleries or museums. Parents should provide these activities according to their children’s interests and abilities.

12. Seek out resources

In providing the best possible art education, it is important to seek out resources to complement the instruction in the classroom. This can range from online articles and websites to videos and books. Seeking out these resources increases the chances that the children will be exposed to more ideas and possibilities in art.

When introducing these additional resources, parents should make sure to discuss the content with the children. This helps to ensure that the children can better comprehend, appreciate and process the information.

Moreover, the discussion also helps to connect the resource content with the child’s individual style and interpretation of the art. Parents should also be proactive in introducing their children to professional artists and attending art events.

This can help the children to expand their knowledge about art and to see first-hand how professional artists work. It is also important to pay attention to the feedback your child receives from professionals, as this can help guide their practice and development in art.

13. Use technology

Using technology to complement the instruction in the art classroom can be a great way to help children understand the concepts and techniques of art. Technology such as iPads, computers, and virtual reality headsets can be used to take the artwork of the children to the next level.

Introducing children to art apps can help to supplement the activities done in the art class and provide additional visual stimulation. When using apps, there are certain safety tips that parents should be mindful of, including setting up an age-appropriate level of access and parental monitoring systems. Technology can also be used to connect the children with other artists and art teachers from around the world.

Utilizing platforms such as video conferencing and social media can create meaningful and interactive conversations about art. This helps the children to connect with other artists outside of their local community and gain a greater insight into their practice.


Engaging a child in art is an effective way to develop an appreciation of artwork and to nurture individual and creative expression. With the right guidance and support, parents and carers can help to get the most out of every art class, fostering a safe and nurturing environment in which the children can learn and explore. This article identified 13 steps parents can take to ensure their child is getting the most out of every art class.

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