Lessons From Family Art Night

We often have a family movie night or family game night, but for the past couple of weeks, my kids have been asking for a family art night and finally, we did it.  It was great.  We each created our own thing using materials of our choice and were able to share and display them at the end.  It was quiet, relaxed and very enjoyable.

As I reflected later about the night, I realized how much more we need to do take the time to create and so I offer you these simple lessons from Family Art Night.

1.  Just do it!  With so many things that are the “stop and smell the roses” types, you just need to do it.  It’s a message I repeat for teachers to dig into arts integration, to try something new.  For us last night, the kids said to my husband and me, “Can we have family art night, tonight?”  We looked at each other and gave the eyes to just do it.

2. It’s all about the process.  While we worked, we would all naturally comment on each other’s process: commenting on color choice, subject matter, techniques.  Watching my own kids draw and paint was so much fun.  I saw them focus, add detail, comment on their work, take risks, work through “mistakes“, and be proud of their work.  It was as if I was bringing the lessons of Studio Days to my own kitchen table!

3.  There are connections made through art.  Just being together doing something similar, yet different from one another as a family was, well, a beautiful thing.  It is one thing to watch a movie together, another to laugh and play a game, and yet another type of connection is made when you create art.  I noticed how similar my daughter’s creative style is to mine (free, yet thoughtful) and how my son’s is similar to his dad (concrete and detailed).  I got a little insight to my daughter’s thoughts as she talked about what she was doing It was just plain fun to watch my busy husband sit down and focus so hard on his work!  And it was so sweet when my kids wanted to give their parents’ work compliments and help them get the materials they need.  It was family community building at its best!

Art is powerful – in our classrooms, in our studios, in our homes.  Share your experiences creating art in the comments.


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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of www.theinspiredclassroom.com. She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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