5 ways to keep school age boys (and all active kids) engaged in art class

new jersey art classes for children morris countyAt a certain point, the ratio of girls to boys in art classes increases and there are predominantly girls. This usually happens in the later elementary school/middle school years. There is a misconception that boys are too active to be interested in art class, that they are not able to sit still for lots of listening. Nothing could be further from the truth! Our upper level art classes of middle school age students have a good mix of both genders, and our top level advanced class is 50% male.

Art classes can engage almost any active child, boy or girl. Here are 5 things we use to keep school aged kids motivated during class time.art class for kids

  1. bite sized pieces. Nuggets of information or directions, followed by creation time, work best for projects. If we have a long or multi-step piece, we break it down into smaller chunks, and let the kids get working sooner. It’s much easier for them to play attention to 5 minutes of lecturing and then start creating (and repeat this process) than to listen to an hour of instruction and then get started.art class elementary school age keeping kids engaged in class
  1. change the scene.   Every now and then we change the location of our classes, providing a new environment for the kids. This could be a field trip to a museum, or just working in a different room in our studio.nj kids art class and party
  1. change the physical work position. If kids seem antsy, changing position can work wonders. We bring out easels or raise the table so they can stand and work, or have them sit on the floor. We tape paper to the wall, or let them try a different chair.
  1. send them on errands. Kids just have to move sometimes, and we incorporate movement into our lesson plans. The supplies they need are kept on a table, apart from where they create, so they have to get up to get needed items. We’ll have them get up to check out a drawing from another angle. These can be done numerous times if you have a high-energy class.elementary school art education
  1. allow them to be free range. Don’t force kids to sit in one place all class. Encourage them to get up and try another seat. Walk around and see what other kids are doing in their project. Get a drink of water. As long as they are not disturbing other students, it’s fine to hop up and take a little break.

As you can see, the key to keeping energetic kids engrossed in the classroom activities is variety! By being mindful of the children’s liveliness, instructors can manage it and keep them on task.


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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