Google+ Authentic Parenting: Restoring Art

Monday, June 14, 2010

Restoring Art

Welcome to the May Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, 'Kids and Learning.'

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Art" which doesn't just mean doing craft - it includes music, performance art and appreciation as well! Our bloggers have come up with many different thought-provoking takes on this theme. Please read through to the end to find links to the other participating blogs.


Image: D. Sharon Pruitt
While art is probably one of the first skills we tend to bring our toddlers into contact with, it is one of the most underestimated skills in our society, simply because - for most people - it hardly brings bread to the table. Making solid money off art - of any kind - is in our society reserved to a small elite.
Thus, as it is not part of our capitalist system, as art is so difficultly monetized and does not conform to the rules of kyriarchy, from a young age, we - as a society - start marginalizing the arts. Drawing becomes doodling, crafts become hobbies, theatre becomes pretending.
Art is limited to one or maybe a few hours in a curriculum for those who are so lucky. And parents are reluctant to send their kids to art school, because 'how will they make money off this'.

I completely disagree with our society's stance on this.
Art - in it's various expressions - might well be the single most important pass time of mankind. Not only can man express his feelings and frustrations through art (thus avoiding the therapy that is so highly attended in some industrialized countries), art also has great power. It can connect, disrupt, emote...

So instead of trivializing arts later in life, we should enforce our children's focus on them, we should encourage them to be creative. We ourselves as parents should set an example by the unbridled pursuit of our creative interests. You always wanted to be a dancer, but you thought you were too old/too fat/too clumsy, don't hold back, find a course and get to it.
Even if you're an engineer/scientist/banker/whatever, you have a need for a creative outlet. So stop finding 101 excuses and make it work today. You'll feel better and your children will learn that the arts are not just a pass time on the road to adulthood.

Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Teach/Learn
Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Art."

  • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is getting the most out of a trip to the art gallery with ideas of how to prepare children and interest them while they are there.
  • Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting argues for the importance of art and why we should be encouraging it as our children get older.
  • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources talks about how to create an environment that encourages young children to explore art.
  • Sharon at Hear Mum Roar has done a fantastic video post by getting her children to do an activity two different ways and letting you see the very different results.
  • Amanda at HomeAge has been admiring art with her daughter since she was a baby, taking her to several art exhibitions and reading books.
  • Kate from Picklebums talks about why art is important for little people and has a huge list of activities you can try.
  • The Planning Queen from Planning With Kids has tips for visiting the art gallery with kids, including links to different galleries and some ideas for activities afterwards.
  • Colin Wee at Super Parents is thinking about his son's musicality as he learns to play the violin.
  • Deb from Science@home has her children investigating materials while making sculptures and bravely let the 2 year old use a hot glue gun.
  • Lisa at SMMART Ideas has a sidewalk chalk festival in her own driveway!
  • Leechbabe from Stuff with Thing started out looking at patterns in nature, but the activity changed because she followed her children's lead.
  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has used an indoor activity, giving her children magazines to cut out and create collages.
Thanks for visiting, we hope you enjoy some of the posts in our carnival.



  1. It's sad that we attach a value to creating. I am hopeful that it will always be part of our lives, and try to get something into each of our days, and display as much of it as we can. We also try to encourage making something for all of our special people, especially if they are in need of being reminded that they are special to us. It would be nice if this was enough reason to create on its own.

  2. Great thought provoking post. Being a trained early childhood teacher I have always encouraged my children's creativity. Now that my daughter has started middle school and doing things like home ec that involves sewing, I am encouraging her to see this as a possible future direction for her creativity. She made me a fabric flower for my hair for mothers day. I love that she did it all by herself and felt confident enough to do this.

  3. Art is very often a great gateway to other areas anyway, and perhaps the easiest most natural way to start your creativity flowing.

  4. I found you through "Just a Bald Man" and this was such an appropriate post for me to stumble onto. I'm a visual artist who has taught art for children and adults off and on for about 15 years. The amazing thing that our education system seems to be forgetting is that arts teach us creative problem solving. By contrast, standardized testing can only prepare us for standardized problems and multiple choice solutions.

  5. Hi Andi, glad you like what you found here! Don't speak to me about standardized testing, it makes me itch. I find it such a silly thing that they even even start doing these things in Universities across Europe (you know, to follow the American way) but that's a can of worms I won't open just now


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