Leah Soifer and her two-year-old daughter Miriam participated in the Mommy & Me class at the Painting Workshop. Soiffer says Miriam has since played more with crayons and chalk at home. “I was able to see a lot of benefit and growth in her,” says Soiffer. She has enjoyed watching her daughter develop her creativity at such a young age: She hopes Miriam will ultimately learn that the process of art is more important than the outcome.
Dr. Ytterberg seconds that, asking parents to remember that children should ultimately engage in artistic activities because they are fun.
Whether or not parents don smocks themselves and join their kids at the easel, Dr. Ytterberg suggests they do make art supplies easily available to their children, not worry about making a mess, and display their children’s artwork at home.
“I think every kid has a little artist in them,” says Janine Lezama, who has worked at Gardner’s studio since 1995. She and Gardner believe parents play a key role in bringing out that little artist. She emphasizes that if a child sees his mom or dad excited about art, the child will be more likely to give it a try.
“It’s important that children feel that their parents value the activity of making art and that the parents actively engage with the child about the child’s wonderful artwork,” says Gardner.