The best way to support and encourage your child's interest in art at home is to make art materials accessible and provide a place where your child can work. Click here for inspiring ideas about how to make art accessible at home on one of my favorite websites, Tinkerlab. The author of this article shows how she has organized her dining room as a self-serve creativity zone. Unfortunately most of us don't have that much space. But, as the author notes, "I'm not suggesting that our plan will work for everyone, but the general spirit of it is something that I think we can all stand behind: when children can execute on their own ideas, it builds their confidence and encourages curiosity and a thirst for knowledge."
Fun Extras to try:
Masonite Board: Art can be messy--what to do if you don't have a place for mess? I personally like to use masonite boards--I have a couple of 24" x 24" for use on my dining room table when I need more room to draw and paint. I also have masonite boards for students cut to 12" x 18" for use in the art room for drawing on the floor or taking outside.
Paint Brushes: there are many kinds of paint brushes out there! Which ones for what?
Paper: My favorite paper for sketching and drawing is plain old copy paper! It's inexpensive and has a great, crisp drawing surface. Drawing and painting pads come in various sizes. If you can swing it, buy a small, medium and large pad--and don't overlook the really large 18" x 24" pad. Those big sheets of paper really let you stretch out with a big drawing and kids love the large size!
Drawing Pencils: At the art store there are dozens of pencils . . . most range from 2H - 9H and 2B - 9B. H pencils are hard and B pencils are soft. In the art room, in addition to the regular #2 pencils, students use 6B drawing pencils. 6B is easy to smear with your fingers and creates lovely light, medium and dark shadings.
Drawing Books: the students love the How to Draw books in the art room. Consider buying a couple for home. I have found them in various places such as Michaels, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and occasionally at CVS or RiteAid.
My favorite places for art supplies:
Books on Creating Art with Children: