Art Ideas for the Single Dad
Dave a Single Dad from Phoenix, Arizona writes. . .Dear Art Teacher on the Net, Please help! I am a part time father of 3 girls ages 5, 11, and l4. My 5 year old is a very happy well adjusted and creative child and would rather spend her time with me drawing, paint- ing or maybe just making something out of toothpicks than going to the park or movies or the things that Dads seem to do with their children. The problem is that art in general and art that kids would enjoy is just not my field! I am TOTALLY lost when it comes to thinking up things to do with a 5 year old child. I have tried all the computer programs to the tune of hundreds of dollars, but with her it's just not the same as creating something with Dad. . . . . . .Thanks. THANK you Dave, your question has inspired me to create a site devoted to Single Parents. You sound like a great father! What a tribute to you that you have create an environment of fun in your quality art time together. Your letter illustrates the importance of doing art together. Children love the time spent with a loving parent, and children gain confidence in their art and social skills during this project time. Let's See-Art Ideas for a 5 year old. . . Children of this age like lots of hands-on projects that require physical activity. Art projects need to be interesting but not too time consuming. The best projects for her are one's that involve you and your positive feedback and reinforcement. Try the Projects below, and let me know how your daughter likes them. #1-Father/Daughter Hands Early American Sampler Trace your hand and your daughter's onto a piece of fabric. Use white tailor's chalk to trace your hands. After cutting "hands" from fabric, glue hands to a black piece of felt, and fold top of felt over l" and glue, creating a slip for placing a dowel for hanging. #2-Many cultures of the world including Africa and Australia engage in body painting. Children love this non messy hand and arm body painting. First, trace the outline of your daughter's arm and hand onto white construction paper. Next, ask her to create designs using wax crayons. Outline the arm and hand drawing with wax crayon also. Now using black or brown water color paints, ask her to paint over the wax crayon. You will have an authentic faux tribal arm and hand painting that can be cut out and glued to a colorful construction paper, and your daughter has learned the technique of wax resistant painting. #3-A great inexpensive investment is wooden shapes sometimes known as "Woodsies," or "Woodl's." The shapes are wooden circles, squares, triangles, and ovals of various sizes. You and your daughter will enjoy putting the various shapes together to create animals and fun designs. The wooden shapes are small enough to be glued together, painted, and glazed and make great refrigerator magnets, and decorative pins. You can buy magnets and pin backings in the craft stores. #4-A great project that will take you outdoors is rock painting. Find an unusual rock and imagine what kind of creature it might be. Just a little paint and imagination and it comes to life. #5-Another outdoor project is shadow drawing. It just takes a piece of paper and pencil. Hold the paper under a leaf or interesting branch shape and just trace the shadow that it makes. #6-Textural rubbings are also of great interest to children this age. Again, it just requires a sheet of paper, and pencil, and a hunt for interesting textures. Just lay the paper onto the texture and then use the side of the pencil to create the rubbing. After several textures are collected ask her to create, cut out the rubbings into various shapes and put them together into a textural drawing. #7-Speaking of drawing. One of the fun experiences of childhood is drawing a parent's face. It just requires a little patience on your part as the model. You can use this exercise to show her that her face is symmetrical, that her pupils line up with the corners of her mouth, and the inside of her eyes lineup with the outside of her nostrils. She might even be surprised that her earlobes create an even line between her nose and mouth. Good Luck and Keep up the Great Work!