Here’s my story: In our family, I’m the only person ‘vocal’ about my inclination to the visual arts (I’d said ‘vocal’ ‘coz I know some in my family are talented yet they just keep it). Not only does my family hear me saying it, they see me of course. And so are my nephews. My little cute and energetic nephews see me…. and my crayons, pencils, paints, papers, arts&crafts tools etcetera. Oh yes, I love them but whenever joyful drawing sesh (session) turns to major kiddie-brawl (with my tools all over the place, yo), I kinda wished my art is a secret.
But I would never do that, IRL, ‘coz I feel I was born to do this, and when it comes to children, dear heaven, must find ways to make it disaster-proof. In this post, I will share my and le’ nephews journey to our successful art sesh + tips to make it work, peacefully! 🙂
*notes on photos
Every time my nephews come to the house with smiles ear to ear, I know it’s another art sesh. Most especially when they bring books or magazines with photos of their fave character, it surely is a ‘please-draw-me-this-and-that-this-and-that-that‘ time for me!
Way back, during my first few stints teaching the kids I tried to make it traditional. Teaching methods somewhat in school format. Ya’know like, ‘I’m the teacher, this is the lesson, listen to me’ type of instruction. However, it didn’t successfully work out (‘coz the kids wouldn’t pay attention to me, I was frustrated, they were impatient, we couldn’t snap out of it!). I realized for several reasons: 1st. they are my nephews not students,( and I should’ve loosen up a bit & treated ’em as former). 2nd. they see me as their aunt, not their typical school teacher. 3rd. they are kids who just want to draw and not to be lectured about the history of drawing (did I just do that? arhg!). 4th. they are kids, I repeat, they are KIDS, not aged enough for my cookie-cutter art workshop.
Thankfully, I learned my lessons and still improving. Now, our art sesh became
student-centered nephew-centered sessions. It’s not what-I-want, it’s what-kids’-want / need. And we work it as a team. If the resources make it possible then we’ll work it out. If not, then we figure it out! True enough, they had fun, I had fun and WE all learn. We all are happy. ( Although, kiddie-arguments still present, it has become manageable and my patience, still intact. phew! )
When kids enjoy, there’s no room for a kid-fight. Just make sure they have individual tools so they won’t argue over it, in case, think of a solution (e.g. one kid use crayons first then other kid next) and teach them the value of sharing and give-and-take. For sure they will listen. Haizt!
Working with kids 7-up is fine but what about my toddler and kindergarten nephews, eh?
Important for me: I have to give them extra attention, supervision on the use of pencils (sharp edged tools), crayons (those they might swallow) and please keep scissors, cutters out of reach!! When it comes to drawing instruction, I just let them express what they want, usually thru scribbling and observational drawing. As well as keeping them engaged with the activity thru story telling (let ’em talk) and positive (genuine) affirmations on their works (wow! very good, nice!).
I truly adore kids’ innocence and charm. It shows in their drawings and the story they tell. How they love the cartoon characters, the TV shows and most especially when they happily talk about families. They don’t get tired on doing something they love. They are passionate about life, no qualms, just pure fun. And they love you back unconditionally. These are the things adult can learn and relearn from children.
Here are the kids’ output:
YEheeyyyyy!! Very good! :D. I’d say this art sesh is successful ‘coz we have achieved our objectives:
- Kids demonstrate their drawing/sketching and coloring skills.
- Appreciate art, of course!
- Creative thinking! yey!
- Kids’ output, wonderful!
This is our story: The kids and I love art! See you on our next sesh. 🙂
Every child is an artist. – Picasso