Parents and Teachers

Encourage your kids' creativity and you could win big! Win money for your school's art program! Receive free U.S. Kids activity books for each student entry! Get a free classroom subscription to a U.S. Kids magazine of your choice!

When your child or student enters the U.S. Kids Cover Contest, your school becomes eligible for a donation of $1,500 to support your art program!

Teachers, our cover contest makes a great class project. Print out entry forms and drawing pages here on our website, and give your students a chance to get creative! Be sure to select the magazine on the entry form appropriate for each student's age. A parent or guardian must sign each entry form. Enter at least 10 of your students and receive a free subscription to the U.S. Kids magazine of your choice and a free U.S. Kids Fun Time Activity Book for each student, while supplies last.

10 Art Tips for Parents and Teachers

  1. Children may not draw things the way they look to adults. They draw and paint their world in their own way. It is different from an adult's world. It is a young child's world.
  2. Every art activity should be a creative experience that requires original thinking, planning, and doing.
  3. All children do not create at the same speed. Some are slower than others in developing original ideas. Do not feel that your child must finish his artwork in one sitting. Unfinished work should be left where the child may work on it when he or she wishes to do so.
  4. Encourage your child to talk about his or her artwork. This seems to give children greater confidence about their work, especially when the listener shows a genuine interest in the child's art.
  5. Be encouraging by watching your child work. Try to stay interested by asking questions about what your child is creating.
  6. Show your child some techniques you remember learning when you were growing up.
  7. Supply your child's creativity. Have lots of paper available on which to draw, whether it is drawing paper, construction paper, or scrap paper you bring home from work. Have a good pencil sharpener, #2 pencils, high-quality markers, crayons, colored pencils, and watercolor trays handy.
  8. Keep supplies organized and labeled on shelves at the child's height. Show the child how to get out his or her own supplies, where everything belongs, and how to clean up independently.
  9. Encourage your child to try new, unique ways of doing things.
  10. Set children up for success. Ensure a project is broken down into simple-to-master tasks.


10 Lessons the Arts Teach

by Elliot Eisner
  1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
  2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
  3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
  4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
  5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
  6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
  7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
  8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
  9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
  10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important. SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind. Yale University Press. Used by permission from the National Art Education Association (NAEA). For more information on art education and its benefits, visit http://www.naea-reston.org/