We got a little off track with art. Here’s how I know. When I went to compile our portfolios awhile ago, there wasn’t hardly any art. And when I went to list the field trips, there weren’t any to art museums in two months. Shocking.
Christmas helped force us back on track. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there was a flurry of art as the kids made cards, picture frames and two calendars for grandparents and great-grandparents. To get them motivated, I left an “art challenge” out in the mornings several times. I left all the materials – paper, paint, pencils, etc. – along with an explanation of the challenge on one of the little white boards and an inspiration page from an art book to get them started. This worked so well that it led to two things. First, I started leaving “morning work” out everyday. Second, I have kept including art challenges in the morning work. Beyond setting out the materials and putting the challenge on the board the night before, this is so easy. And perfect for my children who think that one should get up before the sun.
We have a number of art books, but there are two that we keep returning to for ideas. One is Art Lab for Kids and the other is The Usborne Big Book of Things to Draw. I like the variety and simplicity of the projects in each book.
We’re also trying to make more time to see art again, so the Husband took the kids to the Ai Weiwei exhibit and I took them to the building museum. Then, as the National Gallery’s Artful Conversations program started up and we headed to a co-op field trip, we found ourselves at the National Gallery twice in one week! Sometimes my kids frustrate me, but I have to say, they are some of the best museum going eight year-olds out there. They probably have a greater appreciation of modern art than many adults. So in a matter of a month, I felt like we got completely back on track with art.