Art for children

by Katelin Whiddon

Children generally enjoy some type of art – whether it is painting, drawing, music, dance or another art form. Often, we don’t allow our children to embrace the arts as they should. There are so many fun and easy ways to allow children to express themselves in the arts.  


Children involved in the arts usually show more creativity, perseverance, confidence, accountability, problem solving and performance in academics. Dancing, painting, music and theater are just a few of the different forms of art we can engage our children in. 

My children are particularly interested in drawing, coloring and painting. We recently got to know an incredible local woman, Jan Mallett, an artist who has done work in a variety of businesses and homes. She has taught classes at schools and businesses, and now works with adolescents in the Faulkner County Juvenile Detention Center, providing art therapy and allowing young people to express themselves in art. 

Jan recently created a few paintings and murals inside our house as well as repainted some on the outside. She has a special knack with my children also. My oldest daughter typically takes quite some time to warm up to people but she has an unusually strong draw to Ms. Jan.  

Jan has the most kind and patient spirit and allows my young children to help with her paintings. They are so proud of the artwork in their home and it gives them a sense of accomplishment.  Jan has allowed them to add their own special touches to the paintings and incorporated their favorite colors and objects into the art as well. (Jan can be reached at 501.472.6147.) 

Finding fun ways to experience art may allow your children to discover what particular art forms they enjoy. There are numerous businesses and other individuals that teach painting classes, do painting birthday parties, etc. Check with local centers to inquire about trying out their classes. 

The best way for children to learn what their interests and talents are is to try them. Encourage your children to branch out and try new things. Instead of sitting them in front of a television set or video games, find ways to introduce arts in the home with your children. 

Letting them get a taste of a variety of arts may help them find their love.


A native of Conway, Katelin Whiddon is a family nurse practitioner at Central Arkansas Pediatrics. She and her husband, Daniel, have two daughters. A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, she has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.