“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have,” said author and activist Maya Angelou. But finding time for artistic pursuits often gets sidelined by homework, activities and other responsibilities. Hofstra Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts Education Evangeline Christodoulou offers some ideas on bolstering your family’s creative side.
Incorporate Art into Your Traditions
Start by displaying family art all around the house. “Your creations make wonderful memories, inspire creativity, and provide rich experiences for your family,” says Christodoulou. Bring art into family gatherings by making invitations, cards for seating arrangements and napkin rings for the table. For meals, have your children design menus, either digitally or by hand.
Schedule an Art day
Set a time where everyone can get together and create art — either make the same project or put out various supplies and tools and let people choose what to use. “Go shopping all together and let everyone have a say in what art materials to buy,” said Christodoulou. “That is a lot of fun right there!”
Inspire with a Stimulating Living Space
Designate a room or even a small space into a permanent art studio. Set up a table, chairs, and plenty of art supplies organized in containers. You can use blackboard paint to create a place where everyone can draw. Christodoulou’s kitchen door is painted with it and her family always has fun with the area. “It is a wonderful conversation starter as we always have a drawing, a list [or] a quote on it,” says Christodoulou. “Our guests even have fun with it. We keep a container of chalk next to it so it is easily accessible to all.”
Plan Artistic Outings
Give your family all types of experiences, even if it’s something you don’t usually do — make trying a new thing every few weeks a goal. Go to art shows, gallery exhibits and theater and dance performances. Visit museums … many have hands-on art programs for families (The Hofstra Museum of Art offers ARTful Adventures, for instance, see more: Family Fun at the Hofstra University Museum of Art).