Thursday, May 8, 2008

Creating Art with Children

Children create art in an honest and forthright way. It shows how they feel and understand the world. It shows how they interpret their world, which is different than how adults see the world; animals, people, things can be any shape, colour, or size. Their interpretations constantly change as their feelings and ideas change. For children, art activities work best when they are a creative experience that requires original thinking, planning and doing on their behalf.

* Children are not always creating “something”. Often they are in the experience of playing with the paint, colour or shape they are making. By adults asking what something is, this often takes a child out of the experience of just being with the materials. By referring to a child’s art as designs, the young child has a ready answer to the inevitable question by adults, "What is it?” The young child can answer "It's a design!" and can continue playing.

* Children do not create at the same rate. Unfinished work should be left where a child may work on it when she wants to do so.

* Talking about their artwork gives children a greater confidence. Showing a genuine interest in the child's work helps them value their unique way of creating.

* Young children determine the size of things they draw or paint by the importance they wish to give them. A flower may be larger than a building because the flower is more important to the child. This is completely logical to the child - as it is to many professional artists.

* One of the best ways of understanding why art making is important for young children is that it encourages creative expression. We need to provide opportunities for this potential to develop as fully possible.

* Through our actions and attitudes, we convince young children that we have complete faith in their ability to express their own ideas in their own way.

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