Art & Young Children

Art is a medium through which a child expresses his/her thoughts, feelings and fantasies. A child's artwork depicts his/her perception of the world around him/her.  

Children who are encouraged to express  through art, their thoughts, feelings and imaginations are broadened and enriched. Art promotes creativity and ability to think. Art is an integral part of early childhood education. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of children in preschool programs engage in art-related activities during each school day. 

German Village by Ankush Bhatia

 According to Enid and Laura Zimmerman, three views of art teaching have influenced art education for young children over the past fifty years. First view, a child's artwork is a reflection of natural inner processes of development. A second view, based upon a cognitive developmental approach, focuses on children's construction of general knowledge about the world. The third view, art education promotes self-development so that children can understand themselves in relation to the society in which they live.

Gardner (1980) suggests that children's natural art abilities unfold if adults provide equipment, materials and encouragement. There should be no direct intervention from adults, so children's natural abilities could unfold (Schaffer-Simmern 1947). For toddlers and preschoolers freely exploring colors, textures, characteristics of materials and expressing feelings, perceptions and ideas seem good goals. The process is more important than the product.

Once the child completes his/her artwork, instead of a word of praise, have a dialogue with the child. You will learn more about the artwork and the child's thoughts. Write brief notes and attach it to the artwork (of course with the child's permission). Always date the artwork. A child's artwork helps an adult track a child's development. Be an advocate of your child's artwork!   


More by :  Kamna Raj

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