Inside: Creating art together, even something as simple as a watercolor painting, is a fantastic way to reconnect with your kids.
It’s nothing special and at the same time it is everything that is important. This is our new favorite thing to do– painting together. One sheet of white paper, one cup of water, one set of watercolor paints, two paintbrushes. We start at opposite ends of the paper and before long our colors and patterns blend and our arms weave in and out of each other. The end product is of nothing– but its beauty takes my breathe away all the same.
It’s our new favorite thing to do together.
When is Creating Art Together a Perfect Way to Reconnect With Your Kids?
- After they have had a hard day.
- After you have had a hard day.
- When you want to talk about something tough.
- When you just want to know how their day was.
- When you want a simple, messy-free activity after dinner.
- When you have fought with each other.
- When your child has a problem they are working through at school or with a friend.
- When you want to talk about something fun you are anticipating like a big trip.
- When your kid says they are bored.
- Ok.. pretty much any time is a good time to create art together.
Why Is Creating Art Such an Effective Way to Reconnect With Your Kids?
So, I am not a psychologist or a child therapist. I am not even a former preschool teacher. However, when my 4 year old and I started creating art together, she started sharing details about her life that normally she doesn’t share. Normally, when I ask her how her day is, her response is something along the lines of:
- I don’t know; or
- Do you have a snack for me?; or
- You’re a poopyhead Mommy (for real)
When we create art together though I get the good stuff. We talk about things like:
- Chloe was mean to me. She said I couldn’t come to her birthday party (a very big deal for a 4-year old).
- Ms. Sara said I am the best worm catcher in the class.
- When I go to heaven will I get to play with Kelby? (our beloved black lab who died last year)
I think that creating art together is non-threatening. It can also be meditative. As in, when you focus on creating something beautiful, even if it doesn’t ‘make sense,’ you mind goes on auto-pilot and you can process the events of the day and reflect. Even kids can do this.
Creating art together is such an affirming way to participate in your kid’s life as well. For that time– be it 10 minutes or an hour, you are working together to create something.. together. You aren’t sitting nearby observing your child play. You aren’t distracted by social media, or cleaning the house, or any one of the hundreds of other pressing concerns. You and your child are in your own creativity bubble.
That creativity bubble is not only good for the emotional and mental health of both of you, it is also an amazingly effective way to strengthen your connection to each other.
So, what about this method?
I love doing watercolor collaborations with my daughter? Here are are few reasons:
- It is ridiculously simple. You just need white paper, watercolors, two paintbrushes, and a cup of water.
- It is intimate. One piece of paper. She starts at one end and I start at the other. As we paint we talk about the colors we are using or the patterns we like. My daughter might ask me to paint some hearts (even though she knows how to paint hearts). I might start a dotted line and she might create a parallel line in a different color. But we are close. Really close. Close enough that I can count her eyelashes and we are breathing each other’s air.
- It is virtually mess free. Really– this is almost completely mess free. I suppose you could use crayons and be even more mess free. I really like watercolors though.
- It doesn’t take a ton of time. Typically our watercolor paintings take less than 15 minutes to create. That is easy enough to squeeze in while you wait for dinner to cook, or before bath time, or pretty much anytime.
How do you do it?
It really is quite simple. To get the best experience though, I definitely recommend using one sheet of paper and painting together.
- Gather supplies: Watercolors, two paintbrushes (at least), white cardstock, a cup of water, and a paper towel.
- Position the paper and paint between you and then just start painting.
That’s it. When you are done, you can hang your collaborative painting on the refrigerator or the back of the door as a reminder of your time spent together.
As for the talking and reconnecting? Trust me.. that part will come too. But I can’t tell you what that will look like. Those secrets are for you and your child to explore on your own. I bet it will be fantastic though!
Thanks for reading!