August 16, 2017


I think I might start a series of blog posts over the next year called Dear will be things I wished parents knew or did more of to help their students be more prepared for success in the art room. So here is the first installment.
(If nobody cares for it..then it might be my only installment! ha ha)

I'm in my 21st year of education, and I've seen many changes over that time.  One thing I've noticed is that students have less control & strength in their hands.  Their grip on their writing utensils are often weak and improper, their handwriting skills are not as strong, and their line quality in drawing has diminished.  The world of tablets, game systems, and watching TV seems to have replaced drawing, coloring, crafting, and creating.  I don't want to come off as an old fuddy duddy reminiscing about the "good ol' days", but there were tangible benefits to those activities.  I spent hours as a child coloring, creating chalk draw cities on my sidewalk for my Hot Wheels, and crafting with my mom.

I know times have changed.  In many situations both parents work or a single mom is doing her very best to provide for her family & raise her children.  It can be challenging to find time to do all those hands on activities.  However, just a few minutes, a few days a week coloring with your child will truly help improve those hand skills/strength.  Plus, they really love that time being close with you as color & create.  I know many art teachers are not fans of coloring books, but I feel that they are such a positive reinforcer of  needed skills.  They are affordable, easy to store, and come in a variety of styles & themes that will surely capture your child's interest!  As a father of three young children, I know that I should probably be spending more time with my own kids coloring.  The benefits go beyond the artistic & is such a great opportunity to slow down and talk with your children & have them share about their days, hopes, dreams, fears, friends...and a host of other things!! 


  1. Totally agree! Plus use play dough, scissors, glue, etc. this will be my 26th year teaching. I also have seen a decrease in fine motor skills!

  2. Absolutely agree! Keep the series going please! And thank you!

  3. Hello! I just made the move from 6 years of middle school art to now K-5 and I have noticed this sooooo much in just 6 days. I let my kindergartners color in coloring books the other day and the amount of scribbling is insane. Even with older kiddos too as they do some marker work.