Self-expression can be a real struggle, for both adults and young children. As your child learns how to communicate their feelings, use art as a tool to help!
Here are a few tips to empower your child to express themselves through art:
- Use supplies that are open-ended, like blank white or colored paper, rather than a coloring book with lines and shapes. The pre-determined characters and images limit capacity for self-expression.
- Let your child tell you what they are drawing, rather than asking pointed questions like “Is that a dog?” Make nonjudgemental observations like “I see a lot of color” or “I see you’ve used colored pencils rather than crayons this time!”
- When starting an art project, keep in mind who is leading the project. Is it adult-oriented, requiring a lot of supervision and help? Or can the child take the lead and make whatever they’d like? Both are fun projects, but very different in terms of self-expression and creativity.
During your next art project, consider giving your child materials with no purpose other than self-expression. You never know what the finished product might be!
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