In a world where the only constant is change, we as parents, can struggle to know what we can teach our kids that will help them in a future we can’t even imagine.


The rapid pace of technological advancement that we have experienced in just our short lifetime can indeed be overwhelming, leaving us questioning whether the skills and knowledge we impart to our children today will remain relevant tomorrow. It’s a legitimate concern, but one that underscores the importance of embracing a new approach to education – one that prioritises adaptability, creativity, and confidence over rote memorisation and traditional learning.


Reflecting on my own childhood and education, it’s not hard to look back and see that the world I spent my formative years in bears little resemblance to the present. If our parents and educators could have foreseen the emergence of the internet, artificial intelligence, and social media, would they have tailored our education differently? Undoubtedly. Yet, as adults, we find ourselves grappling with the reality that much of what we learned in school has become irrelevant in the face of such major changes.


So how do we prepare our children for a future we can’t see?


Offering them opportunities to experiment and think laterally can be a great starting point! Reducing the fear around “being wrong” and not being like everyone else is essential to their success.


One notable example is Steven Bartlett, whose unconventional path to success serves as a testament to the power of thinking outside the box. By prioritizing experimentation and intuition over conformity, Bartlett defied societal expectations, and built a thriving marketing empire. His journey underscores a fundamental truth: the ability to adapt and innovate is paramount in a rapidly evolving world.

mini-artistArt is a fantastic solution to helping our children develop these characteristics. Far more than a recreational pursuit, art creates a mindset that revolves around neural-elasticity, problem-solving, and lateral thinking. Unlike traditional education, which often emphasizes conformity and uniformity, art encourages individuals to delve deep into their inner selves and express their unique perspectives, it encourages experimentation and allows us a safe space to experience failure – without the expectation to be something already known and accepted.


As parents, it’s our duty to nurture our children’s creativity and confidence. By fostering a love for art and encouraging self-expression, we empower them to navigate an uncertain world with resilience and creativity.


The children who learn to think creatively today will be the adults who thrive in the unknown of tomorrow.


Here are a  few things we do at the studio (and things you can implement at home) to help build confident and lateral thinking artists!

Art for kidsBox Lab Workshops

Given a multitude of boxes, bits and pieces, some tape and a very broad brief we allow our mini-artists the opportunity to develop something that has a purpose. We often start with a plan, and then discuss what to do if our plan doesn’t work how we intended. This can help develop neural pathways that develop efficient and innovative solutions to problems, instead of just “doing what has been done before”.


Letting our students wander off task occasionally when we are teaching them something.

Quite often our students will be learning a new skill, and they’ll be overcome with the need to put a frog in the middle of their drawing of the desert… Instead of telling them that frogs don’t belong in a desert, we ask them, “How would that frog survive in a desert”. At this point their problem solving skills get a great working out as they figure out what their frog needs for survival in that environment.


messy art for kids

Offering messy art activities that have no real outcome

Our expressive canvas workshops are a wonderful way to let our mini-artists know that sometimes we don’t need to have a planned outcome. In our expressive arts workshops we ask them to think about how colours and lines can represent different feelings, and then play music while they paint to allow their intuition to take over. Learning how to connect to our feelings and intuition can help us when we need to make decisions for our future!


Teaching our mini-artists how to use art as an expressive tool.

Another benefit of our expressive art workshops is that students learn the connection between abstract ideas and the physical world. Being able to express abstract ideas such as feelings using physical elements such as shape, line and colour helps our students develop the ability to manifest their ideas into reality.

Think about any inventor, entrepreneur, or visionary who has changed the world – every one of those people required the ability to turn an abstract idea into a physical piece of reality.



Teaching our mini-artists that mistakes are great ways to come up with new ideas!

The most seen problem we deal with in the studio is when a student accidentally gets the skill we are teaching wrong and gets upset. Our favourite way to respond to this is to ask the student what we could do to the “mistake” to make it something awesome. It doesn’t have to have the same outcome as the class we are teaching.


I like to tell my mini-artists the story of the biggest selling painting I had in my career as an artist, the one that was developed because I made a mistake on a commissioned piece. The mistake turned out to be a great new technique that we now teach in studio, and ended up being requested by customers for years after I sold the initial one!


Sometimes learning that our mistakes aren’t failures helps us understand, even if we are upset about something, the experience may open up pathways to new and exciting opportunities.


Not giving answers to all the questions.

When our mini-artists are sitting there with a paintbrush in hand and ask us, “What would happen if I painted pink over this green while it’s still wet?” (or another similarly curious question!) The best answer we can give them is, “Why not try it out and see?” If they are nervous about doing it on their artwork, we’ll give them a bit of scrap paper to experiment with, but even if we know what will happen, we know it’s better for our mini-artist to see it, and do it, than listen to us tell them what will happen.


Being confident to experiment to find out the answers to our questions helps our students develop adult skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, resilience, and a lifelong curiosity for learning.



Teaching our mini-artists that art can send a message.

One of our key messages to students is that no matter how shy they feel, and no matter how quiet they are, their art can make their voice big. Children often spend a lot of time feeling unheard, and this can lead to adults who won’t speak up and won’t share their amazing ideas. By giving every child a voice through art, we teach them that their ideas are valuable, and this shows up in adults who can confidently share their world-changing ideas.



By providing the platform for experimentation, encouraging lateral thinking, and celebrating the beauty of mistakes, we can equip our young artists with the tools they need to navigate the uncertainties of tomorrow’s world. By giving them opportunities to make mistakes, experiment and explore their curiosity, we can help them develop the necessary characteristics that create alternative thinkers, problem solvers, who won’t just get caught up in the crowd.


We would love to know what you do in your home to foster a generation of bold, compassionate artists who dare to dream, create, and inspire change.




Ps. Want to know more about the characteristics of a creative person and how valuable it can be in adult life. Read this!