Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


Art from the Heart: Paint Collaboratively with Your Kids

Have fun creating art together, just in time for Valentine's Day

Making art together is never a waste of time

I've got a creative challenge for you and your kids.

All you need is a permanent marker, some watercolour paint, a couple of paintbrushes, water (in a cup), and some heavy paper (watercolour paper or poster board).

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Grab some colourful paints.

First, draw some fanciful heart shapes on the paper using a black permanent pen (a Sharpie marker is great). Don't stress too much about how the hearts look and if you find you need some extra shapes, throw in a few circles, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Then, casually invite your child to help you fill in the blanks.

Make a collaborative work of art with your kids.

Take turns dipping your brushes into bright bold watercolours as you work together to create a truly collaborative painting. Follow his or her lead and you'll find that your "work of (he)art" will include some fabulous colour combinations.


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If the paint is hitting the paper, you've won. The idea is not to manage or criticize one another's efforts, but rather to go with the flow and see what develops. This part is hard. Especially for someone - like yours truly - who likes to be in control. But, if you can resist the urge to direct what's happening, you will settle into a peaceful groove with your kiddo as you dip and dab, side by side.

Dip into bright colourful watercolours.

You're not just creating art, you're creating memories.

Collaborative art!

At the end of the process, you'll have created much more than a work of art. And - if it works - try out some other ideas. I'd love to see what you come up with.