Unschooling has its advantages for families who wish to create their own curriculum, set their own schedules, and nurture a customized learning environment. Whether learning about nature through hands-on exploration in a garden or traveling to gain insight into history and culture, there are never-ending ways to soak up knowledge while unschooling. Each learning area of focus offers new skills to learn and experiences to discover.
One of the learning areas that both parents and children seem to enjoy is the creative arts. This can include practicing various skills such as painting, knitting, sewing, jewelry making, model building, drawing, sculpting, collages, mixed media arts, and much more.
This article will outline the top four ways that including creative arts in your unschooling curriculum can be helpful and engaging for the whole family.
All Ages and Levels Welcome
Because kids of all skill levels and interests can try their hand at the creative arts, it becomes a fun way for kids of any age to explore artistic talents, develop fine motor skills, and practice patience. Regardless of their age, children can often participate in these creative art projects at the same time because they can be suited for kids in all stages of development. Additionally, older children often love the opportunity to help younger children and can offer encouragement. Art projects make for a memorable and often relaxing
No Perfection Needed
Because creative art projects don’t have set “rules”, it’s a wonderful chance for kids to explore their individuality. They don’t have to focus on their project being perfect or looking like anyone else’s but rather, can learn to incorporate art as one method to express their emotions, mood, and life experiences. Because kids can “color outside of the lines”, creative art projects also teach them to exercise ingenuity and their imagination. Many children experience art as a relaxing medium that can help with mindfulness and reduce stress. It also can become a tactile experience that children may enjoy.
Art Makes for a Great Group Lesson
For those families that enjoy unschooling meetups, planning a creative art project can be an efficient and fun way to engage an entire group. As mentioned before, usually, kids of all ages can join in on the project and can work together or independently. Another idea is to have an art showcase after the project is done, where each child can highlight their project and what they learned. Not only can this experience help them feel proud of their work but also gives them the chance to practice life skills like public speaking and communication.
Art Teaches More Than Creativity
Many art projects can incorporate lessons in other subject areas such as Math, Science, and Language Arts. For example, “blackout poetry” combines both poetry and art in one. Math and Geometry can be utilized in artistic projects such as model building, architecture and design, and visual arts like creating mandalas and fractals. Art history is another subject area that can pique kids’ interest in the arts and introduces them to techniques and artists that span the globe.
Examples of Creative Art Projects
The sky is the limit when it comes to planning creative art projects for your unschooling family. Talk to your children to get an idea for what kind of projects interest them and consider letting them select from multiple ideas. They can even help search or shop for supplies, which allows them to feel much more connected to the project. Your local library will likely have numerous books that offer wonderful creative art project ideas.
Some examples of art projects for any age include:
- Making slime
- Salt dough handprints
- Nature journal
- Pressed flowers and leaves
- Paper airplane folding
- Making rain sticks
- Straw weaving
- Paper mache
- Salt painting
- Finger knitting
- Balloon bowls
- Making soap
- Painting rocks
- I-Spy bottles or lava lamps
- Tie-dye t-shirts
- Fairy gardens
- Ribbon and button bookmarks
No matter the creative art project you choose, art allows kids to experience learning by engaging all of their senses. It can quickly become a favorite way for unschooling families to incorporate fun, knowledge, and learning all in one!