"Every child is an artist," said Pablo Picasso. For parents with refrigerator doors covered in colorful renderings, few sentiments ring as true. So why not encourage your child to embrace the experience of creation by offering the tools they need to create? Along with a home kit of finger paints, crayons and plenty of paper, consider a class offered to parents and children through a local art museum or library.
The process is what's important, not the end result. Still, the outcomes are often impressive -- especially because they include better self-esteem, problem-solving and social skills. Augment the classes with a field trip to a local art museum. Many art museums have areas specially designed for children to try hands-on activities and art-related play. The Art Institute of Chicago, for example, has a permanent installation of sculptures children can explore with their hands. And the Joslyn Art Museum of Omaha, Neb., doesn't dodge young visitors' most frequent question: "Why are there naked people in art?" Instead, the museum offers free cards to help families locate and talk about related artwork.