Throughout history, people have always been fascinated by the arts. From a caveman painting on the walls of his home to a toddler finger painting on the walls of his parent’s home, art is an all-time favorite, all-ages activity. Spending an evening with your kids and focusing on a family art activity can be a great way to bond and create memories together. To have a successful painting night with your children, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind.
Choose the right materials
Before you begin your art session, you need to figure out what you think your children can handle; can they stay mess-free with some paint or are they better trusted using crayons and washable markers? Whatever you decide, you will need paint (watercolors or acrylics are good options) in a variety of colors, paintbrushes, canvases or paper, and something to cover your work surface, such as a plastic tablecloth or newspaper, or a large plastic or canvas drop cloth you can get from the hardware store. In a pinch you can cut apart some kitchen trash bags to cover your work area. Make sure you choose non-toxic paints that are safe for your children to use or inks that are water washable (in case there’s some splatter or spills)..
Set the mood
Create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for your painting night. Play music, light some candles, and prepare snacks and drinks. It would be best to avoid finger-foods and use cups with straws to keep paint on the canvas and not on anyone’s food or favorite cup. Stage the working area to make it a special event that your kids will look forward to.
Let your children use their imaginations and create whatever they want. Don't try to control the outcome or force them to paint a certain way. Painting should be a fun and freeform activity where kids can express themselves and explore their creativity. If your kids often get trapped in their own indecisiveness and can’t decide what to paint, have some ideas ready for them to choose from.
While you want to encourage creativity, it's also important to provide some guidance and direction. If your child is struggling with what to paint, suggest some ideas or provide some inspiration. Have some pieces of paper with names, objects, activities, and locations and have them in separate cups. When they can’t decide, have them pull a slip out of each cup as their inspiration. This can provide for some wacky combinations that’ll make them giggle but encourage them with something familiar, like “Iron Man, Trumpet, Space” You can also offer tips on technique or help your child mix colors. Show them the basics of the color wheel, like mixing pink, yellow, cyan, white, and black can bring you all the colors in the world!
Focus on the process, not the result
Remember that the goal of painting night isn't to create a masterpiece. It's about spending time together and enjoying each others’ company. Don't worry too much about the final product – the joy is in the journey. Even if you feel like your painting isn’t turning out how you expected, be comfortable sharing with them your disappointment, but that you’re also proud that you tried something new and outside your comfort zone.
Display the finished artwork
Once everyone has finished, display the artwork somewhere in your home. It could be on the refrigerator, a bulletin board, in a frame, or even hanging the canvas directly. Take a picture of it with your best camera, whether it’s whatever your smartphone has or a full-fledged DSLR. While you don’t need to share this photo with everyone around, it’s beneficial to have the art backed up and somewhere digitally to look back on. Celebrate your children's creativity and let them know how proud you are of their work.
Having a painting night with your kids can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved. It's a great way to encourage creativity, spend quality time together, and create lasting memories. So gather your materials, set the mood, and let your imagination run wild. Who knows – you may just discover a hidden talent in your child (or yourself) that you never knew existed!