Expressing artistic talents in children

by Katelin Whiddon

Children generally enjoy some form of art — from painting, drawing, music, dance or other arts. Unfortunately, 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.

Music is one of the first forms of art we introduce to our children. From hearing music in the womb to singing to our babies as we rock them to sleep, music is introduced to children from the beginning. Young children love to sing. We teach our children through song — i.e. the ABCs, days of the week, etc. Allow your children to sing; have a talent show at home, or just allow them to pretend they are on stage singing and praise them for their talents. As they feel more comfortable singing at home, they will be more likely to perform in larger groups as they get older.

Playing music is another great art. Introduce your children to different instruments and help them learn what different instruments look like, how you play them and what sounds they make.

It made my former “band-geek” self very happy to hear my daughter identify a trombone from a song and pretend she was playing it correctly! If you don’t have any instruments, make them!

You can use rubber bands, paper towel rolls, bowls/spoons and numerous things you already have to make instruments of your own. 

Dance is another fun art for children to embrace. There are many organizations that offer dance classes in Faulkner County; but even dancing at home is inexpensive and fun. My children love to have a dance party with my mother-in-law. She and my girls put on tutus and dance in the living room to music and have a great time! It’s become a tradition for them and will always be a fun memory. 

The use of color is one of the most common forms of art children use. Coloring begins at a very young age with a doodle and progresses to staying in the lines and creating original works of art. Let your children color with crayons, markers or even finger paints (they make markers and paint that only show on special paper to prevent messes for younger children).

My girls love painting on canvas. Hobby Lobby sells inexpensive canvases in two packs and each can be hung by a single nail. Our home office holds a few paintings from our children, and they are treasures to us!

Another inexpensive way to make art involves shaving cream, food coloring and a cookie sheet. Dispense shaving cream onto a cookie sheet and add a few drops of food coloring. Your children will have so much fun spreading shaving cream around and mixing colors.

The best way for children to learn what their interests and talents are is to let them try them. It is very inexpensive, if not free, to try these at home to help foster the arts in your children.


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.