Not sure why offering your middle schooler ample artistic channels is good for their creative development? Or maybe you’re wondering were to start and are in need of some ideas? I’m sharing both in this post!
The “why” of teaching art and the “how” it’s good for creative development go hand-in-hand.
Studies have shown that a variety of mental habits develop while studying or doing art that are NOT developed in other areas of their education.
What does this mean? That art is essential to proper mental development. Some sort of art – the study of it or creating it. It also means that art is a necessary subject that every student should be exposed to because they develop skills through art that they will not develop on other areas of study.
Some of the *mental habits* developed are visual-spatial abilities – which are used in many of our day-to-day life tasks. Like using a map, driving and merging into traffic, becoming familiar with new spaces (like a new home, building, library), packing (like determining if something will fit into a box or if a box is the right size), using a mirror (coming your hair for example while looking in the mirror) – all these involve spatial ability. Many careers rely heavily on this skill set – Natural Sciences, Engineering, Architecture to name a few.
Art also enhances, or develops the mental habits of: reflection, self-criticism, a willingness to experiment and learn from trial and error, it enhances fine motor skills, lateral thinking (*solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.), hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, complex analysis, and critical thinking skills.
Sources: Wikipedia, Winner and Hetland 2007
In full disclosure, this post is sponsored by Atmos Flare 3D Pen, but all opinions expressed about their product (and in this entire post) are my own. I have been compensated for my time.
Ample Artistic Channels
There are several different artistic channels that your middle schooler can get on board with to develop artistic skills. Think clay art, drawing, painting, sculpture art, abstract art, 3d art, digital art, and I’m sure there is plenty more and ample options below each of the ones mentioned. Here are two that I have made readily available to my middle schooler. Through these, her art skills and creative thinking have developed amazingly! I love seeing her tap into her creative thoughts to bring things to life!
3D Pen Art
The Atmos Flare 3D Pen has been a pretty neat addition to our art class this year. I’ve seen these online and in watching online conventions of new artistic technologies coming out. It’s really neat and uses an ultraviolet light to cure the resin. In less than a few seconds after squeezing it out of the pen the resin sets, that’s how you can make cool and funky designs. It uses a UV light to set the resin, so if you don’t click that button on top to activate the light – you’ll just squeeze out goo! Trust me, it happened to us LOL! (scroll down for a video we made of our project!)
Each extra ink you order comes with two tips and one…..declogger? it’s the one in the picture with the little pin in the middle. It’s to open up the tip of the pen tip if you happen to set it aside and the resin dries, covering the hole. Each ink bottle also comes with it’s own lid so you can easily replace the lid if you don’t use the whole bottle in one sitting.
Check out this quick video for a fast-paced look at what the pen can make! Pictures of the final product follow below! :)
- Practice before you start your project! It takes a moment to get used to the pen and how it releases the resin. But after a few moments trying it out, you’ll be able to guage the amount of pressure you need to apply and the speed at which your hand needs to move so the resin releases smoothly and doesn’t get clumped.
- If it gets clumped, don’t keep squeezing. Just pull back gently, wipe off the tip, and try again! If you pull back too hard you could rip apart your work of art!
- Buy extra ink from the AtmosFlare site! You’ll want this because once you start using it you’ll just want to keep going and making more things! We ordered a good extra handful of ink and had so much fun!
- Check out some videos they have available on their site!
This school year I picked up these art books for my middle schooler. She has wanted to learn how to draw better and I wanted her to begin to work on her artistic skills. So, a total win-win for us both!
Check out a couple of her first creations.
With a quick search on Amazon you can find each of these.
Painting is a passion of mine. I’ve loved a paint brush, canvas, and paints since I can remember. Just give this girl a canvas and she’ll go to town! My kids on the other hand, not so much. But I still create instances for my middle schooler to work on her painting skills. Do I expect her to create a masterpiece of art that’s museum worthy? No. But I’ve found that by helping her work through different stroke tecniques and learning to paint with different paint bases, and on different surfaces – she develops new skills and these are reflected in other artistic areas too.
We have several art kits like this one, which is basically paint by numbers. The cool part about these is that 1- your teen will end up with a pretty sweet piece of art, and 2- creating that piece of should help them realize that they can easily create fun images with three things: paint, paint brush, and a canvas.
Get Your Own AtmosFlare 3D Pen
You can purchase your own AtmosFlare 3D Pen by going to their website, Amazon, or BestBuy.
Atmosflare is going to give a pen to 30 winners!! Just follow the directions on the widget below for a chance to win!
AtmosFlare Instagram Challenge
iHomeschool Network has been hosting an Instagram Challenge from February 22 to March 6.
- Upload an image on Instagram by March 6, 2016 that connects to one of the daily themes. Use the theme word in your caption so everyone knows the connection.
- Use the hashtag #ihsnet and mention @atmosflare in the caption.
- Follow @atmosflare on Instagram