Family-Friendly Art Activities at Home April 1, 2020

Families and educators, look no further for in-home art activities! MFAH teaching artist Rebecca Braziel, mother of four, shares her easy, art-centered curriculum. Find your inspiration for the projects by searching the MFAH art collections.

For families at home right now, what are four different, engaging activities that can be done with children?

1) Applied Learning Based on Objects in Your House My kindergartner was learning about patterns, so we made patterns using blocks, and then drew those patterns.

2) Creative Writing Using the Senses To practice writing sentences, we sat outside and spent a few minutes listening, looking, and smelling. Then we wrote sentences about what we observed. Last, we drew a picture representing each sentence.

3) “Careful Looking” Activities One of my favorite things to ask children when they’re looking at art is simply, “What do you see?” They are used to being told what things are, so they seem to blossom once given the opportunity to contribute their ideas. For example, look at a work of art on the MFAH website and ask your child to simply describe it. “What do you see? How does it makes you feel? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?” Simple questions go a long way, and parents don’t need to have the answers.

4) Music and Dancing Music really sets the mood, so it’s a great tool for letting kids know it’s time to get up and move around, or it’s time to relax. Our current playlist for dancing includes “Animal” by Neon Trees, “Swan Song” by Dua Lipa, and “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons. For relaxing we listen to “Wonderwall” by Zella Day, “Come Out and Play” by Billie Eilish, and “Cursive” by Billie Marten.

Additional Tips
• When making art at home, I like to commit to one activity that we’ll all do, but at varied degrees of difficulty. I try to make it feel like an exciting event. Everyone uses the same supplies: The baby may be scribbling with a pencil and paper while the older kids work on drawings. 

• Have an idea of what you want the kids to do. Think ahead of time about what the activity will be.

• Parents, always remember that children learn from watching you, so give a quick demo of whatever you’re asking them to do. And have fun!