Joy - K grade Baylee - 5th Aiden - 1st Shane - 5th


The real product of art education is not the works of art, but the child. Studio Habits of Mind are looked at as the the foundation of a progressive arts education. Studio Habits help student think and work like artists and emphasis modes of thinking that are crucial to students' cognitive development. The skills highlighted in these Habits easily transfer to situations outside of the art room as they are adaptable to almost any learning situation.




Children start learning even before they are born. No wonder parents are called children's first teachers! Parents make a powerful difference in what children learn and how they think – so spark your kids’ creativity by encouraging their curiosity, using common everyday experiences to inspire new ideas, building their confidence and using their art to spark conversations.

Encourage their curiosity. Ask questions.

Kids are naturally curious. Children know instinctively to ask questions. Children often ask better questions than adults. Listen and build on their curiosity. Continue to inspire their imagination with simple questions, while encouraging them to think of the answers or solutions. Ask your child to imagine and wonder, “What it?” “What if you could have a dinosaur as a pet?” “What if we took a vacation on another planet?”

Weave creativity into common everyday experiences.

Creativity can happen anywhere. Use common everyday experiences on teach creativity – in the car, on a walk or when you’re cooking together. Bring crayons and paper along when you go out to eat. Encourage your children to draw a story about a restaurant on Mars and share it while you’re waiting.

Build their confidence

When children are encouraged to look at things in many ways and believe in their ideas, it gives them the confidence to express what they’re thinking. Encourage your children to take the lead in coming up with new ideas. If they ask you to “make it for them,” reply that you’d love to see what they create. Children’s fresh and unique styles should be valued. Use any moment as a teachable opportunity to stretch your child’s thinking and encourage their creative expression. Support your child’s interests. Stretch what they know or know how to do.

Art sparks communication

Art helps children communicate their ideas. Children’s drawings are their first written communication years before they can read or write. Art opens the window into what your children are thinking and feeling. Talk about what you observe in your children’s art as they draw and paint. Let your child tell you the story of their art. “Tell me about your drawing?” is a perfect question to spark conversation.

You can also help your children become creative, confident, and competent learners by...

Setting the Stage

  • Provide art materials and art projects
  • Set up an Art Center in your home
  • Talk with your kids about their art
  • Encourage kids to be problem solvers

Speaking to Young Artists

Talk with children about art. The art they are creating and the art all around them. Notice the way art is used in everyday life.

Art all around us.

Ask kids how design affects the:

  • homes we live in
  • cars we drive
  • clothes we wear
  • books we read
  • movies we watch...

...and our appreciation for the awesome natural beauty found everywhere!

Introduce art vocabulary to children. Look for lines, shapes/forms, colors, textures, patterns, repetition, and balance. Share opinions and what personal preferences are based on. Urge children to consider ways they could change the design of man-made items. Look for lessons from nature that could improve human designed items.

"Look what I made!"

When children say, "Look what I made!" show your interest. Encourage them to describe how they created their art. Children are eager to show adults their creations. How can you respond so they are motivated to explore the arts further?

  • Remember to reflect their enthusiasm.
  • Take their work seriously!
  • Encourage children to be confident about their art.
  • Inspire them to improve their skills with practice.
  • Encourage them to try new ideas and different approaches.
  • Their imaginations will soar. Positive, encouraging responses will help artists of all ages feel they are creative thinkers and capable doers. Usually just one positive comment or open-ended question will open up a fascinating conversation!

Trying these great conversation starters!

Here are some great "discussion starters" that will encourage children to open up. Try some of these statements and questions and get that conversation going!

Show appreciation:

"Thank you for showing me your creation." "I'm so glad you want to share your art with me."

Demonstrate genuine enthusiasm:

"What an imaginative idea!" "You're starting to use colored pencils in a different way than before!"

Describe what you see (artistic qualities):

"It looks like you used lots of red here, and a little blue in the bottom corner." "The lines you drew move all around the page." "This reminds me of (another artist's style or a child's earlier work)." Especially with young children, avoid asking "What is it?" Their creation may be an experiment in pattern or color, and not a picture of the family dog!

Ask how the child achieved an artistic effect:

"I'm wondering how you got these little pieces of clay to stick out like that." "Please explain to me what you did."

Dig a little deeper:

"Tell me more about what you've done." "I'm curious how you got this idea."

Comment on how the child worked:

"I saw you concentrating on your painting." "You had a smile on your face the whole time you were drawing!"

Sometimes, suggest extensions (after showing support and hearing the child's explanations):

"I wonder what would happen if you tried..."

An encouraging adult can make a world of difference. Support your children's innate desire to learn and to express ideas.


A. Pintura: Art Detective

Become a detective and identify the artist of a mystery painting. Teaches the concepts of composition, style and subject needed to solve the puzzle.

Art Express

Contains a nice variety of fun and educational artistic activities for grades 1 through 5.

Cartoon Critters

Offers dozens of cartoons to print and color, and coloring books with pictures that you can color online. Also includes graphic step-by-step instructions on how to draw cartoons, online games you can play, and crafts.

Color Matters

Budding artists and anyone interested in color will want to see how color affects our mind and body, its use in design and art, plus lots more. Explains additive and subtractive color systems, how the eye sees colors, and how other cultures view and use colors.

Drawing With Shapes

Easy-to-follow lessons teach young artists how to draw animals, cartoons, monsters and more, using circles, squares, and other simple shapes. Also included are coloring pages, an online drawing app, and games.

Haring Kids

Artist Keith Haring was devoted to kids. At this site, he shares his vision of art with them and inspires them to discover their own creative side. Activities include games, puzzles, pictures to color, stories and more. Lesson plans for each section are available to teachers.

Inside Art

A game which explores a painting from the inside out. You 'escape' from the painting after answering ' Who? / What? / Where? / How? ' questions.


You'll find lots of great ideas for quality art and craft projects at KinderArt. Be sure to check out the sections for younger children, and seasonal crafts too!

Learn About Color

How many colors can you make by mixing red, yellow, and blue? Color William, the hippopotamus, to find out.

Learn How to Draw with Gary Harbo

If you want to learn to draw cartoons, take a look at this site from childrens' book author and illustrator, Gary Harbo. Each month you'll find a new cartoon that you can draw by following 10 easy steps.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Explore & Learn

Includes art games like "What is it?", activities, interviews, stories, art in the classroom, a FAQ about the museum, and more.