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Tips for Teaching Young Kids to Paint

Teach young kids to paint in Oregon.
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Introducing young children to painting helps stimulate a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Whether it’s improving motor skills or building self-confidence, kids need art for their educational development. However, while painting is certainly a fun and rewarding experience, helping younger children learn the basics can be challenging. At Golden Road Arts we’ve taught many kids how to paint and would like to share some of our top tips.

How to Teach Young Children to Paint

Providing the necessary materials, some basic guidance, plus lots of encouragement can be enough for some children to develop a love of painting. For others however, you just might need a few extra steps until they get their bearings.

Use the Appropriate Art Supplies

You don’t need to use art supplies designed for advanced painters (more expensive brushes and paints, for example). Instead, choose an inexpensive watercolor paint set, a brush set with different-sized brushes, palettes for mixing colors – and of course a large pad of watercolor paper.

Encourage Artistic Experimentation

Give kids the freedom to experiment with different colors, styles and brushstrokes. The ability to repeatedly try new ideas is essential for inspiring your kids to love art. If a technique is proving too difficult, let them return to it when they are ready.

Start With Simple Painting Techniques

Give children a solid painting foundation to work from, including how to hold a brush and make different strokes, and the importance of applying different amounts of pressure to alter the texture of the paint. You could also introduce the basics of color mixing and how to blend colors smoothly.

Set Up a Dedicated Painting Space

Young kids will inevitably make a mess as they go hands-on with mixing paint and practicing brush techniques. If possible, set aside an area with a table or wooden board and some space to paint.

Create Good Habits

Good practices can absolutely become part of a painter’s routine and contribute to their development. “Must do” tasks to introduce from an early age include cleaning brushes and tidying up the workspace after painting, setting aside time each week for practice and so on.

Design Fun Painting Projects

Dedicated projects provide some direction while allowing opportunities for experimentation. A few fun examples are landscapes with a blue sky, sun and grass, texture paintings with salt, even an abstract splatter design.

Take Children to Art Galleries

Visiting a local art gallery encourages children to discuss painting techniques and movements. Thinking and communicating about art history is simply part of a quality art education for kids.

Teach Kids to Paint With Free Art Lessons

At Golden Road Arts, we develop fun and educational art tutorials for elementary and middle school children. If you’d like to help younger children learn the basics of painting and other art skills, you may browse our collection of instructional and art literacy classes. Watch free art lessons now.

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