Kid Art: Free Art

Surely you’ve heard that kids need free, unstructured play time each day. Time to use their imaginations to change building blocks into princess towers and sofas into rocketships [at least around these parts]. A few months ago it occurred to me that I’ve never extended this idea to our art projects. I saw a real opportunity to give a little control of our art creation over to Lucy. [This is like the opposite of what pinterest tells me to do.]

So I started by giving her a blank sketchbook journal and a set of colored pencils [I really, really like these.]

kid art: sketchbook

Seriously. I could not pick my favorite page if I tried. I do love that I can see some important milestones in here: she’s starting to draw people [I see eyes and legs], she makes “lists”, she draws shapes, and she can describe and recount what she drew later.

kid art: self portrait
Self Portrait, ca. 2013
Lucy Baker (2009-)
Marker on Paper (8.5 x 11 in.)

Here’s her latest self portrait. I asked her about it and she said, “This is me. I have eyes.” Deep.

Landon seemed super tired at naptime today so I crossed my fingers it would be a long one and got out the paint supplies. I gave Lucy a blank canvas and no direction.

free paint

free paint

She had such a great time whirling and twirling the brush around.



free paint

I loved that she kept sticking her little tongue out.

free paint.

When her art heart was content we put some white paint towards the top of the canvas and used a bench scraper to pull it down the canvas [I scrape most of Lucy’s projects because otherwise they’d take a super long time to dry and they’d be super goopy.] Also, by scraping it I can reuse the canvas when our next inspiration strikes.

free paint

I added some visual interest by scraping in a few different directions. [Don’t mind the weird afternoon shadows. After cleaning up the paint mess this is the best picture I could muster.] It’s maybe no masterpiece. Nothing crazy special. But it gave her an hour of complete bliss. She enjoyed it so much it was her answer to Chuck’s “What was your favorite part of the day?” questioning. And, honestly, it’s fun to watch her work. To watch her expressions while she creates.

free paint

I have big dreams to add some text but Chuck says he likes it just the way he is. Anybody out there have a vote?

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5 thoughts on “Kid Art: Free Art

  1. I like the script. I’ve changed my opinion. Word it! :)

  2. Sara Robertson says:

    I’d add the text. Then it’s a family project inspired by “L”. I love the tongue when she’s concentrating.

  3. caseyneeb says:

    Great idea to scrape for better drying and reuse! Makes me more likely to give a kid a canvas (which, in this house, yes, does turn into a scenario much like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” …). Yay for creative kids and creative moms :)

  4. lana parmenter says:

    I love this baby girl! She is such a lucky girl to have you as her mama.

  5. Reblogged this on evangelizing the [digital] natives and commented:
    Art class at home!

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