Habitot Children's Museum

SPRING-SUMMER HOURS
April 1 - September 30
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
Private Rentals Only

Closed on Sundays though Septmeber!

FALL-WINTER HOURS
October 1- March 31
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30

THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
State Farm Insurance
Berkeley Agent, Gary Eason
http://garyeason.net/



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Habitot is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that relies on community support



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Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org


Every Child is an Artist
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Every child has a natural impulse to create art. Especially for young children, art making not only inspires creativity, it also builds physical dexterity, math and science concepts, spatial awareness – in short, art is good for their development in so many ways.

If you are one of those many parents who isn’t sure where to begin or how to best nurture little artists, relax! It really is as easy as making art supplies available and getting out of the way. Creativity is meant to be fun and freeing, and the process itself – not the product – is the true gift of art. Whether you are a professional artist yourself or your can barely draw a circle is irrelevant when making art with children. What is most important is simply to be open to the joy of creativity and to allow your child to embrace that joy herself.

Here are some tips on making art with children:

  • Remember: The Process is more Important than the Product. Focus on open-ended, process-driven projects rather than projects that have a specific outcome in mind. It is more important (and more fun) for young children to explore materials than create a final product. Hold yourself back from pushing them to learn what you think is the ‘right’ way of doing something – they will get there in their own time – and try hard not to insist that their art look a certain way for your benefit.

  • Embrace the Mess. Kids are washable! Having fun, learning, and creating memories is more important than clean hands and clothes. If not when they are toddlers, when? Prepare for a mess by dressing your child in old clothes or covering your table in newspaper. If you simply can’t embrace the mess in your own home, bring your child to Habitot where she can make a mess that you don’t have to clean up.

  • Keep art supplies available at home. If markers and paper are out and accessible, kids will use them. Same with play dough, paint, tape, scissors, anything. You don’t have to have a “project” in mind. Kids have fun and develop creatively when they have the freedom to explore art materials and ideas in their own way. Kids love creating sculptures out of ‘found parts’- toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, corks, plastic meat trays, leftover fabric, toothpicks, string, used wrapping paper – you name it. Ask your child to tell you about their art/sculpture, you’ll be amazed at the imagination going on in their heads!

  • Let your child take the lead. Show your child how to use art materials, but don’t get stressed if they don’t want to follow the ‘expected’ ways of using them – they might surprise you with what they can do with a paintbrush or a crayon. Sometimes novel uses of materials can lead to incredible results.

  • Think outside of the crayon box. Don’t be limited to crayons and paper for art making – push yourself to use unexpected materials in your creative endeavors. Make a collage with flower petals, make paint stampers out of bubble wrap, create a newspaper sculpture, or paint old shoes. When you look at your whole world with creative eyes, the possibilities are endless.

  • Let go of your own inner critic. Kids pick up so much from our attitudes toward things. If you are too self-conscious to have fun making art, it is likely that your child will be, too. When you embrace the joy of art making, your child will feel free to do the same.
 
Resources:

Creative Art With Young Children... It’s the process not the product!
Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady.
www.ooeygooey.com/handouts/art.pdf

Seven Good Things for You to Know About How the Arts Help Children Grow
Anna Reyner, M.A. Early Childhood News.
www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=257

What do you wish you had known about making art with children?
Tinker Lab website.
tinkerlab.com/what-do-you-wish-you-had-known-about-making-art-with-children/

 
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