Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  The door to possibilities is imagination.  It’s the “what could be” dream.  And art is the creative language that encourages and expands imagination.  Painting, drawing, sculpting and other art forms help people process feelings and emotions by focusing attention and concentration; adults can reduce stress and anxiety or express joy and passion through art; children can communicate internal feelings when they can’t find words.  And the simple act of creating something personal can bring a sense of self confidence and pride. But the primary killer of creativity for both children and adults is fear of failure and ridicule.  Creativity is a vulnerable choice so foster it with care and give it importance.

This summer, plan fun and exciting art activities for the kids.  I’ve listed several ideas that might help stimulate your artistic imagination.  Have fun!

  1. Raised salt painting: heavy paper (card stock), white glue, table salt, water colors/brush.  Squeeze a design on the paper with the glue; pour salt on the glue; with a brush and water colors touch the salt and watch the color spread.
  2. Water color resist: heavy white paper, white crayon or oil pastel, water color/brush. Draw a picture or design in white on paper.  Paint over design/picture with water colors and see the design appear.
  3. Shaving cream marbling: pie plate, shaving cream, acrylic paint colors, heavy paper. Fill pie plate with shaving cream, drip drops of paint into cream and swirl with a chop stick or small spoon; lay paper on cream and press down to contact with cream.  Lift off paper and scrape off excess cream.  Let dry and then draw picture with a sharpie on paper.
  4. Rock painting: river rocks, acrylic paint, brush. Paint rocks like animals (ladybugs, cat faces etc) or make designs with different color dots. Dry
  5. Clay sculpture: self-hardening clay, paint. Make coil baskets, snakes, beads for necklaces, etc. let dry and then paint.
  6. Tissue paper collage: heavy paper, different colors tissue, starch or diluted white glue, brush. With a pencil, lightly draw an animal or design, tear tissue into smaller pieces and apply to drawing. Dry
  7. Batik oil pastel painting: brown wrapping paper (grocery bag), oil pastels or crayons, watered down black acrylic paint. Draw your picture on the brown paper, color it in with oil pastels or crayons (press firmly and cover design).  Crumple the paper, unfold it and with watered down black acrylic, paint entire paper (the black will go into the creases and make it look like batik).
  8. Paint anything with acrylic paints…kids and adults love to play with color or copy a favorite simple picture.

This summer, have fun with the kids…try something new and let your imagination fly!