Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What is Free Art? And why does it make kids happy?

Today I was inspired to write about the importance of activities that encourage creativity.
As a beginner homeschooler, I am trying to figure out my homeschooling philosophy.

  • What do I want my kids to learn? 
  • What do I want them to accomplish? 
  • What type of environment do I want to provide for them?

The answer to all of these things stems from a love for creativity.
I personally believe that all the great and beautiful things in this world have come to pass due to innovators, independent thinkers, and artists.

I want my children to love and enjoy FREEDOM.  The freedom to think, create, and be themselves.
I want my kids to love who they are and grow up with confidence and happiness.

Which is why I like to provide what I call "FREE ART."

FREE ART: It is an opportunity to use arts and crafts supplies to make your own unique creation, without any direction or guidelines.

For my preschooler, it is difficult to provide lots of supplies, so I usually provide a basic set of supplies. For example:
 - Paper, scissors, a pencil, and glue
 - Paper, different colors of paint, and brushes
 - Pipe cleaners and beads

I provide the supplies to my daughter and tell her "Create something that makes you happy."
Marley always loves these opportunities. She gets to work pretty quickly and usually spends a good half hour to an hour at the table. She often asks for extra supplies. I try to provide them but sometimes it's tough to do so, and she learns to work with what she has. I always ask her what she created and I praise her for the beautiful creation. Sometimes she tells me something that sounds like gibberish. I smile and tell her, "I am so proud of you that you made something which makes you happy."

I've noticed Free Art makes her very happy and calm and oddly she usually wants to take a nap afterward.  Win for mom! Haha.

FREE ART facilitates these important life lessons:
1) Be resourceful with the items you are provided.
2) Your mind is capable of amazing, beautiful things.
3) You don't need direction or guidelines to accomplish goals.
4) You can be your own leader.
5) Freedom is a blessing.
6) Aim to create your own happiness (instead of what makes others happy).
     And one of the most important lessons learned...
7) Your parents love who you are and will support you in your goals and dreams.

Below is a sample of Marley's FREE ART from today. Paint and paper used to create a layout of Disneyland.  She told me she was making new rides for Disneyland.  One was called "The Circus Ride."  I was quite pleased with my little architect/designer.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney