• Accept and praise everything reasonable. If they are trying, encourage them, never criticize. Find something good about that (I think it's a) three-headed cow who is eating what looks like a small car.

  • Don't fix their art. Allow them to color their horses green, give their stick figures giant fingernails and glue hats on upside-down. The point is that it is their own work, not yours. You already know what color to make horses, how to draw a perfect stick figure and which way the hat should go (and isn't it boring to do it perfect all the time?). There is a difference between teaching a concept (gluing, cutting, painting, etc.) and correcting their mistakes. If children feel criticized, they will not be as anxious to try again.

  • When you look at a big scribble on the page and find yourself wondering what it could be, instead of saying "What is that?" with an extremely puzzled look on your face, say, "Tell me about your picture". And do your best to find the positive points on the page.

  • Expose them to several different artists. Some fun ones to study are Jackson Pollock, Vincent van Gogh, M.C. Escher, and Andy Worhol. After you look at several of their works, try your hand at using their medium (oil, watercolor, clay) and producing art in their style. If you are really ambitious, this is a good place to study different aspects of art, such as line, color, shading, etc. You can also add in interesting little tidbits about each artist's life.

Few things in life are more fun and rewarding than curling up on the couch with your kids and a good book. If you truly want your kids to learn to read well, then READ TO THEM EVERY DAY! There is no better way to teach your kids that reading is fun and interesting.
Click here to see a list of ALL the books we have read to our children.

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