Help families make the connection between art and writing with these ideas:
- Set up your own art-writing center at home. Choose an accessible shelf for storing materials, such as washable paints, watercolors, markers, crayons, glue sticks, and child-safe scissors. Add drawing materials (recycled papers are great), old magazines, wrapping paper, and greeting cards to cut. Scraps of fabric, ribbon, and wallpaper are also perfect for free-explorative art.
- Display your child's artwork on the refrigerator but also in other rooms of the house. Use an old or new picture frame (poster-style Plexiglas frames work well) as a special way to honor your child's work, just as you would do for any artist! Once a month (or week!) ask your child to choose a piece she wants to celebrate. Ask her to help you frame and hang it on the family- or living-room wall!
- Collect your child's artwork in a personal album made from a "magnetic" or sleeve-style photo album.
- Experiment together with one of the "elements" of art, such as color, shape, line, texture. This focus will not only enhance the art experience but introduce your child to the vocabulary of art that will lead to writing.
- Decorate cards and letters for family and friends.
- Create books together. Write down stories your child dictates about a trip, a walk, an emotion.