Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.
These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.
But great family relationships don’t just happen.
Welcome to My Discovery Destination!
Discovery Family Adventures
where your family can find plenty of opportunities to
The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.
Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves
and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,
but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.
Choose from the Adventures listed below
(or design your own family adventure!)
Goal: Increase our appreciation for art and provide opportunities for kids to explore their own artistic interests and abilities.
The Adventure: Do something to help family members celebrate the arts. This could be creating a special space in the house dedicated to art exploration, a visit to a museum or other artistic event, or plan an art activity to let family members explore their own artistic talents.
Be sure to support your kids artistic interests by attending their events, hanging their art on the wall, etc.
Let kids be involved in the decision making when choosing the art supplies and events.
Be sure to encourage your kids to share their thoughts and opinions about the different types of art, and really listen to them. Validate their opinions by acknowledging their thoughts, whether you share the same opinion or not.
Giving your kids an opportunity to explore their artistic ability is important, and here's why:
- Research shows that early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain.
- Art nurtures creativity and imagination.
- Art engages kids in a process that aids in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation.
- Art helps them understand other academic subjects much more clearly—from math and science, to language arts and geography.
- Art helps kids develop creative problem-solving skills.
- Art helps kids communicate thoughts and ideas in different ways and using different medium.
- Participating in art activities will help your children gain the tools for understanding the full human experience and adapting to and respect the way others work and think.
Keep in mind that exploring and developing artistic interests can take many different forms:
- recognizing that there are different forms of art-- painting, water colors, music, theatre, and more!
- recognizing different styles of art and different time periods,
- recognizing some of the most famous artists in the different art forms, and
- exploring their own artistic interests, abilities, and creativity.
In short, it’s about preparing young minds for a future of invaluable experiences—art related or otherwise.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Visit a Museum
Attend a dance or piano recital
Attend a play or musical
Use Community Resources – the Internet, the library, local art clubs, art gallery, retail art gallery, print shops, colleges, community artists and art associations in your area.
Try a variety of activities – Illustrate a book, try some printmaking, build a sculpture, do a loose experimental work, try some precise, very articulate drawing.
Create an 'Art Space' in your home
Ready to create an Art Space in your home? Here are some ideas of what you'll want to include:
- Paper and cardboard. Lots of paper of every size, shape, color, thickness and design. Include blank paper, newsprint, mural paper, butcher paper, construction paper, scrapbook pages, warpping paper, or even paper grocery bags or old cereal boxes and other cardboard that comes into the house.
- Writing tools- pencils, markers, crayons, chalk. Big fat pencils and crayons for little hands and smaller pencils and markers for older kids. Choose lots of different colors, and make sure markers are washable!
- Modeling Material. Clay or homemade play dough—anything that can be formed.
- Scissors. Be sure to have small safety scissors and adult assistance for the tiny ones.
- Glue, tape, staplers.
- Paint & Brushes. water-base paints (tempera or watercolor) and brushes from small (¼”) to large (1″). Make clean up a little easier by adding a few drops of dish soap to your paints.
- Found Objects like buttons, beads, stamps, yarn, thread, ribbon, and so on in many an art project.
Give kids an opportunity to explore their own interests and talents
- Make connections through drawing: drawing is one of the most important activities you and your kids can do. Not only is drawing the single most accessible form of art available, it also provides the basis for other creative activities – like painting, sculpture and printmaking – but it also provides a direct link with reading, writing and especially mathematics. The connection between drawing and geometric shapes and measurements simply cannot be denied.
- Create picture stories. Everyone draws a series of images—use stick people and box-shaped houses. Once everyone has created a picture story, share the images to see if the other family members can decipher the “code.” See how many versions of the story develop.
- Fingerprint Art. Dip fingers in some washable ink and make fingerprints on paper. Then use markers to add eyes, ears, and noses to create people, cars, animals, and more.
- Encourage each family member to keep a scrapbook of drawings, postcards, clippings, doodles, and anything else that is important to them. Once a month you can have a scrapbook-sharing day.
- Sculpting. Pull out clay or playdough and create . . . the sky's the limit.
- Marble Painting: Put a piece of paper in a shoebox lid or cake pan. Drop a couple of blobs of paint onto the paper, drop in one or more marbles and let the marbles roll around.
- Fruit Painting. Provide cut-up pieces of fruit and vegetables, along with paint and paper. Have your students paint a fruit and veggie picture.
- Make figures using torn paper. No scissors, no pencils, just paper. The torn paper can also be glued on another sheet and painted with watercolors.
- Name Art. Have everyone draw their name in big blocky print with pencil on paper. Now fill the letters with all sorts of designs using markers, crayons, or oil pastels.
What to do if your child criticizes themselves
- Ask them what they DO like in it.
- Encourage them to find something positive.
- Involve them in a positive critique of the work.
- Ask 'What would you have done differently?'
- Or 'Do you think you could change the way you did that the next time?'
Remember – the best part of art is to have fun, experiment and even make a (controlled) mess!!!
One of the most important lessons you can teach your kids is that a mistake is not necessarily a mistake—it’s a happy accident. Illustrate this idea by encouraging kids to change a “mistake” into something else. No erasing allowed! This is a wonderful lesson to teach kids-- before long they will be comfortable going with the flow and turning 'mistakes' into masterpieces will become second nature to them.
BONUS: This important lesson just might leak over into other areas of life as well!!
Ready to take your exploration with art to the next level?
How about organizing a neighborhood Art show? This could include all kinds of art--
- Let kids display their drawings and paintings
- Display various art projects and 3-D projects
- Invite kids to share their favorite dance moves or gymnastic fetes
- There are sure to be a couple of kids in the neighborhood who love to sing
- Do you know of anyone who plays a musical instrument- piano, violin, flute, cello, trumpet?
Your event can be as simple as everyone just getting together and taking turns sharing their talents, or you can get really organized and send out invitations, plan refreshments, and arrange to have an official MC.
by Art Appreciation:
Check back often as we will post new Adventures every week
Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
Discovery Family Program How-To Visual
My Discovery Destination! Adventures
Sponsored by My Discovery Destination! and local businesses and organizations in your community
for the purpose of
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES and BUILDING CHARACTER.