Practical ideas for the Art of Childhood

Almost any daily activity with a little forethought can be part of an artful childhood (see The Art Of Childhood). The trick is to be intentional and to think ahead. Learn to view your own life as an artwork in progress and your child as both a canvas and a brush. Dip that kid in the ink of life, and let him have at it.

Creating An Artful Childhood Through Daily Activities

Camping – family identity, the ability to start a one-match fire, and a love for burned hot dogs

Gardening – self-sufficiency and a concrete number of rocks moved that represent the value of a dollar

Chopping wood – real work and the ability to keep a thumb out of the way of a sledgehammer

Nature drawing/ tree rubbing – an appreciation for the natural world and the difference between poison ivy and poison oak

Sewing – following directions and the ability to curtain an otherwise drab first kitchen for under five bucks

Bread making – an explanation of sin/leaven and the passing on of a family bread recipe

Hand-print painting – document growth and the uniqueness of the individual

Daily table centerpieces – the ability to make something from nothing and the incorporation of art into daily life

Use of cloth napkins – waste not—want not, teaches ironing skills, and transfers a sense of “you’re worth it” to the children using them instead of paper each day

Asparagus planting – multigenerational heritage, reaping what we sow, delayed gratification

Cookie painting – creative expression, following a recipe, and the joy of a job well done

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is thankful to God for the gift of life and for the joy of sharing it with her knight in shining armor and four delightful kids. The Millers are currently traveling the world on bicycles, living in a tent, and learning to create international art as a family.

—Originally published in the “God’s Word Does Not Return Void” issue (May/June 2009) of Homeschooling Today magazine

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