Two weeks ago I helped my daughter the high school art teacher set up her classroom. It was a lot of work, but she needed the help since she's still on crutches after her surgery. Frankly, I had fun, and I also learned something.
One of the handouts she gives kids first taking art is about the misconceptions of art, fostered mostly by adults. You see, when kids first hold a Crayon or pencil and draw, they don't know whether they have talent or not.
That judgment comes later when well-meaning adults start telling them things like: "You should have made the tree green, not black." Or, "There's only 1 window in the front of our house, but you put in 2." Kids interpret all that as meaning they didn't do it right, that they're not very good at drawing and art stuff.
Don't Lose The Vision
They lose sight of how much fun it was to just take a handful of Crayons and draw. They were only interested in the fun of drawing and creating something that didn't exist. That sense of freedom, creativity and fun is what she tries to instill in the new Art I students who usually take the class to fulfill their Fine Art requirement. Most of them choose Art I because they think it will be easier than the other Fine Art offerings.
Now, once a child shows deeper interest, then a parent should provide direction. There are a lot of websites that offer everything from coloring pages to print to tutorials on how to draw. A site I frequently use if Coloring Pages. Coincidentally, this week Kim Komando offered a How To Draw website in one of her newsletters.
Give the right kind of direction to kids, based upon their age and ability, and the freedom to just have fun using their imagination.