Whether or not your child's destined to be the next Van Gogh we can't say, but every great artist does start somewhere. Even if your kids have no artistic aspirations, getting them involved in the creative process from a young age helps develop their imaginations, their critical thinking abilities, and their fine motor skills. To help you introduce your children to the world of painting, sculpture, crafts, and drawing, Evan-Moor has developed some high-quality books that are visually appealing and easy to use.
ArtWorks for Kids and How to Teach Art to Children are both full-color texts for students in grades 1-6. ArtWorks for Kids includes a number of hands-on activities (from modeling with clay to paper crafts to mosaics) designed to foster creativity and abstract thought. How to Teach Art to Children is an introduction to the elements of art, with instructional activities built around form, shape, color, lines, etc.
The Draw Then Write books (one for grades 1-3, and another for grades 4-6) focus on verbal creativity and drawing basics. Each book includes 30 writing/drawing topics which include animals, machines, etc., and which are presented in three difficulty levels for easy customization. Students follow directions to draw a simple picture, and then either complete factual sentences about the picture, write their own sentence, or write a paragraph.
None of these books are in-depth art courses, and none of them cover art history or appreciation. In the elementary years, however, kids simply need to become acquainted with the creative process before moving on to more detailed analysis or practice, and these are great introductions. Kids will love the activities, and parents will love how easy they are to complete. And while you might not have a da Vinci on your hands, you'll never know unless you give them an opportunity.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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