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How to Be an Artful Parent

by Jean Van't Hul
January 1, 2022

How to be an artful parent. Here are 11 ways to be the artful parent you want to be, lay a strong creative foundation for your family, and raise creative kids.

children decorating cakes

Updated April 2021

The thought of being an artful parent can sometimes feel overwhelming – some days just regular old parenting can be hard!

But being an artful parent doesn’t have to feel that way, in fact you are probably already doing lots of things that foster creativity in your children and enrich your family’s creative foundation.

Here are 11 tips to encourage you to be the best Artful Parent you can be!

How to Be an Artful Parent

child smelling flowers in water

1. Encourage open-ended exploration period

Of everything, not just art. This includes ideas, construction, toys, art activities, and pretend play.

printing with flowers

2. Assume your children are highly creative (they are) and treat them as such

Talk to them as creative beings and offer creative activities and opportunities, both those that they love and those that stretch them.

kids painting at a table - kids art spaces

3. Model creativity

And if you don’t feel creative, you know the saying – “Fake it till you make it.”

father and child painting together

4. Connection is key

Set your phone down and put away your to-do list as much as possible when you are with your kids. If you’re addicted to either or both, pick up a copy of Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford.

Shadow Puppets

5. Look at the world in new ways together

Try a new lens for viewing the details around you, such as a loupe, binoculars, a microscope, or a telescope. Experience different viewpoints, through museums, books, travel, hands-on activities, and interaction with others.

Quote about Boredom and Creativity

6. Let them be bored

Or at least don’t always jump in with an activity or screen time just because the kids say they are bored. Sometimes the best creativity is on the other side of boredom.

spin art is fun action art

7. Offer creative activities, materials, and opportunities regularly

This can include art invitations, strewing, projects to do together, child-led art in their own art space, open-ended toys to play with, and more.

making pizza

8. Artful parenting and living encompasses all aspects of life

It’s not just about doing art activities. It’s cooking together, gardening together, reading beautiful books, conversing, playing games, going on nature walks, holding hands and connecting.

child walking in the woods

9. Celebrate the seasons and holidays throughout the year

Notice the changes in the world around you day to day, week to week, month to month. Pay attention to the little things – the bird song in the morning, the patterns of light and shadow in the newly-leafed out trees, the scent of the flowers.

playing musical instruments

10. See each child as a unique being with his or her own interests, learning style, and personality

Nurture the individuality, rather than expecting your child to conform to who you are or who society expects him or her to be.

Allow Children to Be Happy In Their Own Way Quote

11. Be the best parent you can be

And don’t beat yourself up when you fall short of your ideal. Every day, every moment, is a fresh opportunity to parent the way you want to.

Cardboard rocket ship with kids

Okay, my friends. This artful parenting business is a work in progress, even for me. You and I both know that we don’t need to do all that all the time. The last tip there—be the best parent you can be—is the most important.

Artful Parenting 101 Online Courses by The Artful Parent

Want help fostering your children’s creativity? I have three online courses for parents who want to raise creative kids. Click here to buy now or learn more.

More Ideas for Fostering Kids’ Creativity!

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