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Invitations To Create

Imagine your child walking into a room to see a few art materials thoughtfully arranged on the table. This curious display is fresh and intriguing, drawing your child to sit down and engage. This is an invitation to create!
Invitations are a great way to deepen your child’s art experience. You can use them to introduce new materials and tools or to encourage new ways of using familiar materials. For children who tend to shy away from art, a thoughtful invitation to create just might lure them in!
Setting up an invitation to create is easy and takes less than 5 minutes. It should be done while your child is out of the room so that he can discover it on his own. I like to set up invitations while my kids are asleep so they can work on them in the morning. After school is great too!
Here's how you do it: Take a few minutes to arrange some materials on your table (kitchen table, play table, etc.- wherever you want your child to work). The materials can range from simple to complex and can be familiar or completely new items. Present them in an interesting way that looks purposeful and inviting. Only use a few different materials each time.

Here are 10 invitations to get you started!
  1. A piece of paper cut into a large circle | markers | chalk | crayons (in the same color)
  2. A piece of paper cut into long strips | colored pencils | stamps
  3. Masking tape | items from the recycle bin (paper rolls, empty box, plastic tray, etc.) | scissors
  4. Stamp pad | paper | wine cork
  5. Yarn | scissors | scratched CDs | nuts and washers (from your hardware toolbox)
  6. Play dough | toothpicks | beads
  7. Colored tissue paper | glue | cardboard | crayon
  8. A red apple | paint paper | various shades of red paint | paintbrush
  9. Leaves | sticks | flowers | paint paper | tempera paint
  10. Styrofoam | wire | pipe cleaners | bamboo skewers | beads

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