NEVER EVER critique a child's art. They are not mature enough, not established enough in who they are to hear the negative. They will personally identify with it and personalize it.
No other place is as safe as free flow creativity. Have a few inexpensive canvas on hand. This of course can occur in a wide spectrum of budget. I use the simple canvas boards. No bother to jesso the canvas. The texture is as important I think for them to feel what they are doing. The interactive play of stroke and response awakens fine motor skill. I say this because one of the special needs of my 9 year old son is just that fine motor. He worked so hard on this painting 'Market Place".
|My Son's 'market place' the story he tells is of a child having to pay taxes to a king when going to the market|
|Now this one is one done some time back. I found my son outlining it this morning.|
Keep on hand a supply of acrylic paints. Water base is a must for oils are not for kids. They can be toxic when mishandled. A note on the paints. Use a per-ma marker and wright the color on the lid. Now store upside down. At time of use they will shake easily and the colors are fast to spot. Kids have little time to waste while your looking for a color. Their minds move fast.
These paints are also mixed media. Use of the markers aid in the fine detail that a young hand may not be able to master a brush to create. An inexpensive set of brushes (marked as KIDS) can teach application. They are shown the different uses of each brush tip. They use the wrong brush and it is the perfect moment to show then which one might serve them better. They then want to use it, as a posed to "I'll do it my way", that defensive human stance. Speaking of emote they are taught that there are so many differing expressions that can be perceived from any one work. It will depend on the one who sees the art what he might see in it. The fun is to also be able to purposely express or pull out an emote from the viewer.
Well enjoy your children, grand kids or just any child in your life that can gain this experience as a part of developing who they might choose to become.