Do you remember the experience that pulled you into the art world? Maybe it was a sculpture park near your home, weekend trips to the museum with a favorite relative, or even crafting with googly eyes and glue sticks.

Today’s crayon-wielding kids become the next generation of artists, curators, and collectors. We have an important responsibility to open these doors to the arts and allow kids to discover the art world through exploration and creativity.

With that in mind, we came up with some ways to harness youthful creative energy and give kids a deeper appreciation for art.

Let Their Minds Wander

Remember in art class when the teacher would introduce a new project and then spend half of the class explaining how it should be done? If you’re introducing your kids to a new craft, let them get hands-on as soon as possible. Instructions and guidance is important, but for younger kids, art is more about discovery than methodology. Get them started with some ideas and materials and let them run with it.

Take Them to Museums—and Be Patient!

Museums are a great place to introduce kids to art, but don’t overwhelm them by dragging them through every exhibit. Let them explore at their own pace. Ask them questions and take time to talk about the pieces they’re interested in.

We also love this unique museum activity from Oren Miller at the Huffington Post. When you get to a museum, start in the gift shop and let your kids pick out a favorite postcard of a work exhibited there. Then, go on a hunt and try to find it! This allows them to take a memory with them, and makes the discovery of art personal and exciting.

Stock up on Craft Supplies

Kids are the original masters of found-object art and can repurpose almost anything into an unusual project. Just make sure they have the basics like glue, paper, and paint. A few empty boxes and a marker is all a kid needs to imagine their very own art museum or make-believe gallery! Keep an eye out for interesting materials and stock up on items that can be used for multiple projects.

Create Sculptures from Public Art

Sculpture offers a uniquely hands-on way to introduce kids to the idea of art as a permanent and important part of life. Public parks often place murals and sculptures near playgrounds for this very reason. Try to make a point of observing these installations and asking what they think.

You can also ask them more specific questions and have them translate those answers into their own projects. Ask what they like about the sculpture, or what would make it better. Then, have them explore that further at home with kid-friendly mediums like Sculpey or even Play-Doh. Also, don’t be afraid to share your own insights and opinions, opening up about how you experience artwork will only encourage your kids to share more.

Bringing art off the page and into your kids’ hands lets their imagination run wild.

Put it in a Context They Can Appreciate

At times, art can be a little inaccessible for kids. So a good way to get them interested is to relate it to something they’re passionate about. Andy Bauch’s Lego art is a great example of art that can be appreciated by all ages. Do they love Minecraft or My Little Pony? Suggest a project that incorporates a specific interest and they’ll dive right in.

Work Together

Start a group art project and work alongside each other. If there’s a project that is a little over their head, but you know they’ll love, tackle the difficult assembly and let them take charge of the more fun steps and decoration. Take time to appreciate their unique touches to your shared project to build their confidence. Then show it off together!

Are you crunched for time to spend with your kids? Let Artwork Archive handle the business side of things so you can spend more time exploring the art world with those you love.