Jump-Start the Arts With the Whole Family

By Ellie Miller

During these difficult times, emotions can run high. Art has always been an emotional outlet, especially for the youth, and it can be a great activity to encourage family bonding and memories. Introduce art in your home often this summer, from large projects to simple coloring, and let your family express themselves.

It’s easy to add art into the things you may already be doing this summer. Take some photos of nature while on a walk or at the beach, turn your driveway into a mural with washable chalk or make a cool dance routine to your fav summer jam! Not sure where to begin?

Start by Having a Conversation About What the Arts Mean to You

Try these easy conversation-starters.

Questions for adults to ask children:

  • What or who inspires you to create artwork? Does this inspiration ever change?
  • How do you find inspiration to create when you feeling down or uninspired?
  • When you are creating, what emotions do you feel?

Questions for children to ask adults:

  • Did you make any art when you were in school? What was your favorite type of art?
  • What was the first piece of art you remember creating?
  • Who is your favorite artist? Why?

Then, Start Creating Together

Have a family art week. Try one of these activities with your child over the next seven days.

  1. Have your child describe themselves to you, and then use only that description to create a portrait of your child. Then swap, and have your child draw a portrait of you!
  2. Pick your favorite family song and choreograph a dance to the music.
  3. Using pictures, document “A day in the life…” of your family members. Use these to discuss why each of the actions taken matter to you and your family.
  4. During the week, script and film a movie. Then for Friday movie night premiere the film!
  5. Everyone has different abilities! Take the time to research famous artists with disabilities. How did their disability encourage them create?
  6. Each family members lists the reasons why they matter. Use those reasons to create a short story.
  7. Flip through some old magazines to find images that inspire you. Collage those images to make an inspiration board – something you can look at whenever you’re down.

Taking the time to create art is a fantastic way for families to creatively communicate and foster lifelong memories with one another. This is especially true in this current moment, given the impacts of COVID-19. We encourage you to keep exploring the arts as a family this year and to participate in the 2020-2021 Reflections program. Learn more at PTA.org/Reflections.

Ellie Miller is a Programs Specialist for National PTA.

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