Art is color, texture, light, math, ideas, emotion and magic. Art with kids starts as finger painting, free and messy, where half the paint ends up on their clothes or the floor. Then something begins to emerge on the paper, a little at a time, in semi-random patterns and semi-formed shapes. The create images that you can recognize, while they are still uniquely their own.
Art is like hiking and dancing for me because it is fun and cheap and full of possibility. It feels better than passive TV and better than more organized and formal activities. It makes sense to me to start early. Have you ever tried to get a pre-teen to go to a museum? It’s not easy. But, if you start young and they grow up with it as a normal thing to do, maybe it will stick. If not, at least they will remember and they might come back to it later. I also want my kids to feel confident when they pick up a pen or brush or glue stick, so they are familiar with the process, they don’t need to know all the answers and they find the joy easily when they create.
Some of the best art is created on kitchen tables with a box of crayons, but Austin also has many opportunities for kids to see and do art outside the house, where they can be exposed to new ideas and interact with other kids. Austin Kids Draw brings to you:
See Art lists kid-friendly places to see art and Do Art lists places your kids can get their hands dirty, literally, making something beautiful. I hope you enjoy these pages!
(My three girls made the painting above for me for my birthday. Noel had the idea and picked the colors, the little girls used their hands and feet to draw. Our backyard deck still has little bits of purple and red paint and I like it that way.)