Do you know what makes me very happy during the day?
Watching my kids create.
If we want minimal use of screen time, we have to provide alternatives. Art is a wonderful option. We found a $34 Usborne Art Skills book for around $4.80 used, labeled very good condition, from the Amazon site. I've found that the used book companies who advertise on Amazon actually have better service than Amazon itself. And the books labeled very good condition always come looking like new!
At seven and nine years old, the boys were able to open this book (open in front of Paul above) and do the suggested techniques independently. With a two year old running around, it would have been hard for me to direct them. I was thanking my Lord for this book, and for the boys' enthusiasm! My Paul, especially, needs to create. Art is inside that boy--waiting to be expressed!
If you start searching now, in a few months you'll have quite a nice library of art books on hand. You will be very pleased with your investment. The Usborne company is outstanding, and you can start with their inexpensive paperback drawing books shown above (I Can Draw Animals; I Can Draw People)
I am learning to distinguish between arts and crafts. Ideally, kids should experience both. The points listed below, found here, are good general distinctions between art and craft:
Art is a form of work that expresses emotions and expressions.
Craft is a form of work, which has a physical form just like in moulding and carving.
While Craft is quantified, Art seldom is.
One can create duplicate craft forms, which is not possible with art.
Art forms move people emotionally, whereas crafts attract people.
Unlike craft, art is known to come out of the heart and soul.
Crafts are a product of the mind.
In art, it is the emotions that flow out whereas in craft no emotion is involved.
Art comes out from a person’s innate talents whereas craft is the result of experience.