Shelter in place was tough for my family. It didn’t start out so badly, but soon enough we went from an abundance of positivity to almost none at all. After the novelty wore off, distance learning became a nightmare as my daughter fought me every step of the way. As soon as she saw the computer on our kitchen table, she bolted. Eventually, I gave up the fight, only popping online in the morning to check her in for attendance purposes and taking a brief look through what her teachers were posting. One morning, her art teacher shared the link to a YouTube tutorial. I almost dismissed it, as I normally do with YouTube videos, but I am so glad that I didn’t.
A couple of years ago, after my daughter stumbled across some downright creepy material on YouTube Kids, my husband and I scrubbed the app from all of our devices and never looked back. But, because my daughter loves art, I went ahead and clicked on the link that her teacher shared, and found a pretty simple how-to video teaching kids how to draw something using only basic shapes. Hearing this warm, enthusiastic man explain how to draw caught my daughter’s attention, and she ventured by. It was the first time in weeks she willingly came and sat next to me at our kitchen table, so I ran as quickly as I could to grab to ream of paper and our box of crayons.
After weeks of battles, there was no telling how long my daughter would want to sit and do something with me, so I was going to do my best to soak in every second. I was delighted to find that this tutorial was one of many on this family YouTube channel, cleverly dubbed Art For Kids Hub. The family, which has over three million subscribers, consists of a mom, dad (aka the art hub), and their four children, creates art together that ranges from super simple to pretty advanced, and always emphasizes the importance of having fun. As someone who can barely draw a stick figure, I figured I’d just take the hub’s advice and have fun with my daughter. Well, much to my surprise, the tutorials are so perfectly paced and easy to follow that even I was drawing! In fact, I was so amazed that I almost hung my own drawings on the refrigerator next to my daughter’s.
As the weeks went by and the weather got warmer, families in our neighborhood started covering their driveways in chalk drawings for passersby to admire on their daily walks. My daughter and I spent a morning covering our long driveway in drawings of her favorite characters from Frozen 2. When the rain washed them away, we filled the driveway with pictures of cute cartoon cupcakes, lollipops, and other beloved Disney characters. Inside, we sat down at the kitchen table almost daily and drew pictures of birds, flowers, mermicorns (because that’s a thing), and emojis. We delivered my daughter’s drawings to her teacher, classmates, and friends’ mailboxes to brighten their days as well as ours. And it worked!
This sweet, art loving family helped mend the relationship between me and my daughter by giving us something fun to do together, enabled us to spread cheer in our community, taught this old dog a new trick, and just made quarantine more bearable. And for that, we are eternally grateful. Ahead, check out 20 of our favorite videos.