Parenting Thursday: How to Relax while being Creative with your Child – Abstract Painting 

Creativity in parenting is a valuable tool. You can use it in many ways, from storytelling to arts and crafts. Only your imagination is the limit, really. Being creative with your child is an excellent opportunity to bond with them, inspire their creative endeavours, and… relax! The latter may sound surprising, but resting while having fun with your offspring is possible!

In this series of blog posts, I will write about various ways you can be creative with your children.

We start with abstract painting.

An abstract painting I made – random splodges. To me, it looks like a rose bush. The painting inspired one of my stories.

Abstract painting with your child is a terrific way to stimulate creativity and relax simultaneously. Playing with brushes and colours without any restrictions is fun for both kids and adults.

The hands and the brain are engaged in making a lot of mess, splashing the paint around the canvas, providing an opportunity to focus on the here and now and letting go of all the worries and stresses. The children are wonderfully engrossed in making art, smiling, laughing, and allowing their imaginations to run wild. These are qualities we, as adults, do not experience often. Joining the children and painting our own abstract pieces alongside theirs will strengthen our bond with them (as we offer them real quality time – a space to be together, talk, giggle and create) and give us a chance to loosen up and have fun.

Making colourful splashes, blobs, lines, and splodges does not require sophisticated art techniques. Instead, it lets us create unusual shapes that inspire imagination.

Making colourful splashes, blobs, lines, and splodges does not require sophisticated art techniques. Instead, it lets us create unusual shapes that inspire imagination. Unique images hidden among seemingly meaningless marks challenge the perception of what we see, stimulating our creativity. It is surprising what you can see in your abstract paintings: boats, dragons, lions, castles, bees, and suitcases, to name a few.

After the fun of creating, it is a great idea to share with the child what they and we can see in the pictures. Who knows, may the images inspire a story? Or could they be presented during an exhibition in one of the rooms?

My son’s abstract art exhibition

To make this activity stress-free, I suggest painting in the kitchen or outside, where clearing up will be easy.

What will you need?

  • Paints,
  • Canvases or A3 paper,
  • Brushes (or anything that can be used as a brush, like flowers, feathers, lollipop sticks, or hands),
  • Positive attitude.

What will you do?

  • Put your favourite tunes on,
  • Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and let go of all the restrictions and inhibitions you may have about painting (invite your child to take part in breathing exercise),
  • Look at the paints; which colour catches your eye? Start with this colour.
  • Let your hand guide you – make marks, splodges, splashes, lines, dots, and shapes.
  • Let yourself flow and have fun, don’t think about what you are painting. Just play with marks and colours. Experiment. Be silly.
  • Give your child the freedom to create what and how they want it. They will likely know what to do. If not, gently guide them with the above steps.
  • If you have a very young child, enjoy making marks with them without any expectations to make it look like a painting.
  • Let the child and their creativity lead you and the activity.

Enjoy, and let yourself be creative!