As we once again enter a period of extended lockdown, I’m still offering online zoom classes that are designed to help keep kids entertained, educated, and exploring their creativity and artistic potential!
My work usually focuses on drawing and colour painting, but as this list of lockdown activities shows, there’s so much you can do with your kids when it comes to arts and crafts.
During the lockdown, some of the biggest museums and art galleries across the world have been finding unique ways to allow people to access their resources — as well as creative programs that will help families keep themselves entertained.
One of my favourites is from the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York, and their MetKids program allows you to:
Explore the museum using an interactive map
Watch behind-the-scenes videos from the kids that helped set up the program
Travel through 5,000 years of art in the time machine
Discover a number of exciting creative projects to try out at home
Pallant Art Gallery
With a standout collection that showcases the very best of modern British art, the Pallant Gallery is usually home to a collection of standout contemporary British art. In this spirit they’re also running a wonderful selection of online resources that you can try out at home.
Kids can try out the “Stepping Through The Open Door” project, inspired by John Armstrong’s surreal landscape drawing, which helps them to create their very own door to another world. Or, they can make their own pop art-inspired optical illusion bookmark.
William Morris Gallery: Learn At Home
Since lockdown began, the William Morris Gallery has been running its own learn-at-home program, and there is now a wide range of previous classes to choose from, as well as upcoming classes that you can look forward to. Including drawing activities, crafts, and even a make your own mermaid workshop!
If there’s one thing every parent is looking for in lockdown, it’s something soothing and relaxing that can occupy kids’ time, and help them learn along the way. Thankfully the BBC now has over 100 episodes of Bob Ross’s soothing and gentle painting videos available on Iplayer here.
With his famed easy listening voice and careful approach to instruction, these videos can be a great introduction to the world of watercolour painting as well as a calming way to spend the time.
Youtube Draw along
If the idea of the Bob Ross videos piques your interest then there are plenty of other draw along videos that can be found on Youtube, covering a wide range of styles and techniques from sketching, to painting, to illustration.
If you’re looking for something fun and quirky for the whole family, then why not try the Art For Kids hub channel, or for a chance to learn cute illustrations and cartoon-style drawing, try the Muffalo Potato channel.
Finally, one of my absolute favourites is the weekly draw along from children’s illustrator Rob Biddulph, all of which you can find here on his youtube channel.
For the adults this one is likely to be a bit of a nostalgia trip, recalling those early days of 8-bit video games and MS Paint, but for the kids, pixel art is a really accessible and fun way of creating some pretty interesting art using just a laptop or tablet.
For beginners, I think Pixel Art Maker is a great program you can access in your browser. If you want to create something a little more detailed (and utilize animations) then Piskel is your best choice.
A lot of my classes involve drawing animals — it’s a great way of developing skills and creating something that feels alive and dynamic! But there are limits to how far still reference images can go in helping you create something that has the right feel. Luckily, there are a number of zoos across the world that are keeping up live streams.
Like this one from the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Not only will these streams be great reference points for your children’s art, but they also make for a fantastic education and entertainment tool.
Explore The World Around You
The best resource any artist has is the world around them, and I also think that’s true for parents in lockdown! Spending time in a nearby park, river, woods, or even your own back garden.
Being out in nearby nature won’t just help you and your kids relax and have some fun, they can take rubbings or make drawings of what they see and find, giving them room to let their imagination guide them.
Roblox is more than just a hugely popular collection of online games — it’s an amazing educational tool that really works to bring out creativity and develop skills in kids. Since the pandemic began, they’ve been expanding their teaching resources and educational games.
Through Roblox kids will be able to design their own game worlds and maps, igniting a creative spark whilst teaching them coding and design basics.
Stop Motion Animation
Even in the modern digital world, stop motion animations remain one of the most popular and entertaining mediums — and it’s far easier to do at home than you think! As this Post explains.
Stop motion animation will provide a fun project for you and your kids to work on, as well as giving them a blank canvas where the only limit is their imagination!
Yes these are challenging times, but art can be used to help entertain and educate your kids.
If you’re interested in signing up for my Art Telly classes, just click here to register. I look forward to seeing you all virtually in the coming weeks!