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What to do with a creative child...

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Personally, I believe that all children are creative in one way or another but I'm talking about this:


A child that draws, cuts, colors, tapes, glues, creates, etc. the entire day. My daughter spends whatever time she is not busy in school creating. She loves to draw. She finds trash around the house and creates things with it. She spends HOURS doing crafty and creative things. How do I nurture that when I'm not a very artsy fartsy person? How do I help her delve more into her passions or do I just leave it alone?


I've thought about getting her the draw-write-now books, but I worry that she will get lost in their technique and forget her own. Thoughts?


So, I'd love to hear from all of those parents that have artsy children and what they have done to support their children in said artsy endeavors.

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Buy supplies but don't be surprised when they aren't used like you expect them to be.

Set limits on space, and then bend your rules when your child's creations overrun the house.


One of the best things dd13 did was to start a Webkin condo system. She has a lot of Build a Bears so she had several condos (the white boxes BAB come in) that were unused. She started creating houses for all her Webkins with the boxes turned on their sides. She created amazing things like curtains, TVs couches, beds with bedding, elevators etc. They were elaborate and amazing. It gave her a great outlet for her creativity and a use for all the 'junk' she collected. When she finally stopped building I think she had a 5x5 condo built (25 BAB boxes). We asked and were given extra boxes at BAB for free but she has 50 registered BABs so they know us there. LOL When she took them all apart, she saved one and it is still in her room. She decoupaged one BAB box with paper to look like leaves and it holds her stuffed owl.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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I bought good quality art supplies (pencils, markers, watercolor paints, etc). I gave her a couple of things to draw and suggested she try to draw those. She did. She loved that. I also found an art teacher that really could encourage her and assist her in her drawing talent. Later we found a carving class teacher. She enjoyed that for a time as well. Then we found a sculpting teacher, and she enjoyed that.


I still try to provide her with quality art supplies. She finds things and makes wonderful things out of them. I also make sure to provide her with other basics (mod podge, hot glue gun, etc). I try to make sure she has time to create - which gets harder as they get older.

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Buy supplies but don't be surprised when they aren't used like you expect them to be.

Set limits on space, and then bend your rules when your child creations overrun the house.


This. She sounds happy- I'd let her be right now, and maybe give various art/craft books for Christmas or b-days.



That is so cool! I used to make dollhouses out of boxes and scraps of wallpaper, carpet, etc. I love the owl box idea!

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I buy very large amounts of paper from discount school supply. I buy the newsprint and I buy different sizes. I buy 500 sheets of each size. I buy it once a year at least. I have lots of supplies easily available. Oh, a vinyl tablecloth spread on the kitchen floor is a lifesaver.


I buy stuff like rolls of aluminum foil and pipe cleaners and lots of tape...you can buy coloured tape from discount school supply as well. my goodness, my kids were blissed out by the coloured tape! they make stuff like aluminum foil sculptures etc.


I don't buy glitter or paint. Sorry, I just do NOT like to clean that stuff up.


But, they are allowed to play with food coloring and water in the bathroom with cups and balloons and plastic bags etc to their hears content. Right now, my 7 year old has very pink hands and feet from some food colouring experiment.

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I invest in art materials and instructional resources as if they were math or science. Meaning, I give the art as much focus as I would a "core" subject. For my DD, they are the core subject. I let her watch the video instructions, look at the books and we do courses like Meet the Masters together. But I also give her full creative freedom on her own time, plus lots of stuff to use.


DD uses the learning resources, takes what she likes and incorporates it into her work and leaves the rest. So, she has been influenced by instructional materials, but not to the extent that it changes her personal style.


I also ask for Hobby Lobby gift cards for Christmas. Lots of Hobby Lobby gift cards. :)

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I was much that way as a child, and as soon as I was old enough my mom let me take outside art classes.


My favorite one and the place I stayed for years was a studio run by a professional artist. He spent 8 weeks going over basic drawing techniques and tips and then you had room to explore your media of choice and he would help with learning to use them, technique and give advice. It was essentially an open studio where you enrolled in a particular class time to make sure he was available to help everyone, but then could come and work independently other times during the week as well.


It was also a class with all ages, so at 10 I was working alongside teenagers, moms, and grandfathers, all making art in a supportive way.


For now I agree to providing the space, materials and exposing her to lots of examples, ideas, art books and magazines, and letting her have at it.



My son likes to draw and gets really uptight about the results, so I am working hard to encourage failure! ;)


The point isn't always to end up with something beautiful, but rather the process of creating that is so important.



Also, I really encourage you to buy her quality materials, drawing on good paper is a totally different experience than drawing on cheapo printer paper, likewise, the higher quality paint and pencils give much more consistent and satisfying results than the really cheap academic ones. You don't need Artist grade paints, as some of them are really toxic, but a high quality student grade is always a good choice for any supplies.


I LOVE the draw write now books, learning to see the basic shapes of things is so very helpful, and can take a lot of the learning curve and frustration out of drawing. I taught my son how to divide the human face into its basic proportions and that there were basic rules for it all goes, and that those rules change with age. His portraits improved drastically, and he attempts them much more often with the added confidence of knowing where to begin.

Edited by jeninok
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My 9 yr old is same way. I just encourage him any way I can by providing supplies of all kinds. Right now we are attempting to make friendship bracelets and had our first attempt at baking clay charms we made for necklaces. I like doing crafts I'm not very good at them, but I always go online and print how-to

stuff for us to follow. I always make him an art box for Christmas which contains a wide range of supplies to create with.

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I have just bought lots of art supplies. I am a stamper/scrapbooker too, so I have a lot of tools for them to use.


I buy supplies from Michaels and AC Moore with coupons and when things are on sale. They have acrylic and watercolor paints, pastels, oil pastels, chalks, charcoal, drawing pencils, color pencils, watercolor pencils, markers, paintbrushes, portable table-top easels, stand-up easel, etc.


I have a shelf of drawing books, painting books, crafty books.


When they were younger, they had stickers and used construction paper a lot. They have access to my cardstock, and they have paper for purposes like acrylic, watercolors, etc. I also buy cheap canvas when I can.


They also eye wiggle eyes, pompoms, pipe cleaners, paper plates, stuff like that.


They go in spurts with things. For a while, it will be a painting spree. Then drawing. Nathan is into comic drawing right now. Before that, it was acrylics. Ben build a battery robot with batteries and crafty stuff. When they were young, they cut out several letters and acted out The Lettry Factory. Ben cut lots of string one time and made the entire alphabet. They cut out outfits of construction paper for their stuffed animals.


Shoe boxes are good for dioramas. Ben has found cute Mario diorama stuff to print out online to use in his.


I really don't do any of these things with them. They do make cards with me sometimes, though. There are two things I never feel guilty buying -- books and art supplies.


The boys also took a pottery class through the rec center that was very reasonable.


I post many of my boys' projects on my blog.







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Some favorite books around here:


Hands down best book for boys!

Design Your Own Coat of Arms: An Introduction to Heraldry (Dover Children's Activity Books)



Ed Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing Book



Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas



Drawing Dragons



I realize some may appeal more to boys. :)

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I have stub of " stuff" I let the 5yo use. I get the 14 yo all the paint, canvass and clay she wants. we check out library books and go to art museums. I have not an artistic bone in my body. I work on the theory they will do what they are driven to do. I admire. Much like I sit through their plays, concerts and dances all created by them.

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Lucky for you, you won't ever need to be artsy-fartsy. In fact, she'll take up your slack for your younger kids too and be in charge of all household artistry.


Only help them all to understand what a fun job it is to pick up the little bits of paper, string, yarn, and tape that will be forever plaguing your floors.

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