How to Provide Feedback on your Child's Artwork
Children love to show adults their creations and in this process they are seeking our approval. When we see their work and respond, "good job" or "great work" or "I love it!" this ends the learning experience. The child feels like they have already done their best and won't push the project further. Overtime this can lead to a cycle of approval seeking, doing things to please others instead of creating for thier own enjoyment. Alternatively, if we provide children with constructive feedback and make observations about their work, we can help them develop the intrinsic motivation to grow, learn and push themselves on their creative journey.
Now, when you're looking at a piece of artwork like the following, it can be difficult to know how to respond.
Here are five suggestions to help you with your feedback:
1. Comment on what you see: Notice the details in the artwork, comment on the lines, colours, brushstrokes or shapes.
- "I see straight lines and squiggly lines."
- "I see you covered the entire page."
- "I see different shades of blue."
2. Ask questions: Don't assume you know anything about the artwork, allow your child the opportunity to explain their thinking.
- "Can you tell me about the picture?"
- "What were you thinking about when you were making this?"
- "How did you feel while you were creating this?"
3. Talk about the process: Give feedback about effort and discuss the creative process.
- "I noticed you put a lot of detail in this section."
- "You kept working until it was completely finished."
- "What did you focus on first?"
4. Celebrate and display the work: Celebrations lead to a sense of success.
- Find a place at the child's eye level to display the work.
- Ask them if they feel proud of thier work.
- Praise the effort, not the work.
5. Encourage next steps: Discuss next possibilities to encourage further work.
- Stretch their thinking to see where they can go next.
- Talk about other exciting projects.
- Discuss where their new skills can take them.
Keep these five things in mind the next time your child shows you a piece of artwork. With the right kind of encouragement you can set them on a creative journey filled with curiosity and exploration.